Yesterday was my Phebe's birthday. Ten. Wow. Where did that go? Luckily she wanted a chocolate cake for her birthday. I showed her the picture in the book, and she said that would be great. Thank goodness. I mean, I only NEED so many desserts hanging around.
Pudding: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Slowly add half-and-half and milk. Simmer.
Chop the chocolate.
Stir in the chocolate and cook about 1 more minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla.
The pudding is transferred to another bowl, and plastic wrap is placed directly on the surface of the pudding. ( This way you don't get the skin that sometimes forms on top.)
Cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
Melt butter and cocoa in saucepan.
Whisk in coffee, buttermilk and sugars. (The coffee is added to bring out a stronger/deeper chocolate flavor.) I'm not a coffee drinker, so I added Pero. Worked great!
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla, then slowly whisk in the flour mixture.
Pour, (the batter is pretty runny), into the prepared pans. I did two small rounds, and then 6 large cupcakes. Thought it would make such a fun little birthday cake, and I had a feeling this would be a pretty "rich" cake. The giant cupcakes will make a couple of GREAT thank you's to some friends. I'm thinking one to each, will be just perfect.
The cakes sat in the pans for 10 minutes, and then we turned out and allowed to cool for 2 hours before frosting.
The book had some great tips on slicing the layers in half. Using a ruler, mark with a small sharp knife the middle of the layer. Do this all around the cake. Then using a long serrated knife, and the marks made previously, "score" the cake all the way around. Then carefully slice through the layer, turning and cutting through a little at a time. Worked like a charm. Although, I was wondering if the marks made with the little knife would be easier to see on a lighter colored cake?
Both layers are sliced in half, so you end-up with 4 layers.
Place one on your cake place, with parchment strips laying under on all sides to catch crumbs. It's all about the presentation!
Then start layering. Cake, pudding, cake, pudding, cake and then frost the whole thing with pudding. The last layer (number 4), is crumbled and then pressed along the sides and top of the cake.
Now here's where it went south... when I took my pudding out of the fridge, it was so stiff. I just knew that it would never spread, and it would rip my cake to shreds. (This cake was so moist and soft, I just knew there was no hope.) So, I decided to add a little milk to thin it out... just a bit. I'm thinking I thinned it a bit too much. You can tell from the pictures that it was a little too thin. Dang. Maybe I should have left it, and given it a try? I'll never know.
So there's the finished product. The picture in the book was amazing. The pudding really looked like frosting (so maybe my pudding was right at first, and I shouldn't have messed with it?). And, I couldn't see any holes between the cake crumbs, showing through to the pudding - like you can with mine.
But, it tasted great.
I had a little bit of whipped cream on the side of mine, but most of the kids had a small scoop of chocolate ice cream. Nothing goes better with chocolate than chocolate.
For the full recipe, check out Courtney's blog.