So here’s a recipe finally! I made this as a special birthday cake. What I didn’t realize at the time is that this makes a hefty cake. It didn’t even fit in my covered cake plate. And usually there’s no problems with finishing off a cake, but with this one — I had to cut it into quarters and freeze a couple of sections. This should really be no surprise since there are four layers of cake and eight layers of filling, plus frosting. And after thinking about it, I did go a little overboard with the non-cake aspects of the recipe.
This was adapted from bon appétit, with one change. Well, maybe a couple changes, and I did a couple different versions. The original recipe is a Devil’s Food Cake with a Peppermint Frosting and a double ganache filling. Well, I omitted the peppermint in the frosting (which was very much like a seven-minute frosting), and with the white chocolate filling, I added the zest of an orange, hence the name of my version. But keep in mind when you’re whisking the white chocolate, be sure to clean off the tines of the whisk (they’re called “tines”, right?), because the zest will get caught all up in ’em. There’s a different version of the cake that I made for a friend as a “thank you” where I just used the orange / white chocolate cream alone. That’s the one with the rosettes on it. Of course, I also I made a chocolate frosting for that one and coated it with toasted cake crumbs.
Now this recipe can seem a little complicated, but that’s just because there are several components involved. So if you break it down in that way, it’s not too bad. Or you can just omit certain parts and make up something else. Here’s what you need:
For the cake:
- 2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 T. baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- 2 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 c. ice water
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9 in. cake pans with 2 in. high sides. Dust pans with cocoa and tap out excess. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yolk. Add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with ice water in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until just blended and smooth after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely. Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.
For the dark chocolate ganache:
- 1 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
- 2 T. light corn syrup
- 14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 1 hour. Can be made 1 day ahead. Before using, let stand at room temperature until soft enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
For the orange / white chocolate cream:
- 12 oz. high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 c. chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
- zest of 1 orange
Place white chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 c. cream to simmer in a saucepan. Pour hot cream over white chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; whisk until smooth. Whisk in zest. Cover; chill until mixture thickens and is cold, at least 4 hours. Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.
Add 2 c. chilled cream to white chocolate cream and beat until smooth and peaks form. Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewhisk to thicken, if necessary, before using.
Assemble the cake:
Using long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer on platter, cut side up. Spread 1/3 of dark chocolate ganache over cake. Spoon 2 c. white chocolate cream in dollops over cake; spread evenly to edges. Top with second cake layer, cut side down; spread 1/3 of ganache over, then 2 cups white chocolate cream. Repeat with third cake layer, cut side up, remaining ganache, and remaining cream. Cover with fourth cake layer, cut side down. Chill while preparing frosting.
For the frosting:
- 2 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. water
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 T. light corn syrup
Combine sugar, 1/2 c. water, egg whites, and corn syrup in large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Whisk by hand to blend well. Set bowl with mixture over saucepan of gently simmering water; whisk constantly with hand whisk until mixture resembles marshmallow creme and ribbons form when whisk is lifted, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove bowl from over water and attach bowl to heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high-speed until mixture is barely warm to touch and very thick, 7 to 8 minutes.
Using offset spatula and working quickly, spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill.
Notes — Alright so I made a common mistake with the ganache filling. I accidentally overheated the chocolate which causes the chocolate to separate. I’m sure this has happened to lots of folks. So how to fix this? There’s lots of things that you can do to get things come back together. First of all, transfer everything into a new bowl to help cool things down. One of the things you can do is to gradually add some additional chocolate. This helps to temper it. You could also add some additional cream or butter; adding fat helps smooth things out. Immersion blenders can also prove very useful as well at this stage. What I did was a combination of all these and I also added a brick of cream cheese to this batch. Problem solved!. . . If any seizing or separating occurs when you’re working with chocolate, keep in mind that you cannot use it to coat anything anymore. It doesn’t matter if you fix it and everything looks fine — it will not coat properly! You can still use it for frostings though, or in brownie recipes, or things along those lines. . . This Devil’s Food Cake recipe is different from other recipes that I have. Most recipes that I know of combine the cocoa and some hot water together, which you then add to the batter. This one, as you’ve read earlier, combines the cocoa into the batter and adding ice water separately.