|Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache|
Note: these as my personal thoughts/opinions that I'm drawing from my baking experience over several years - part of my approach to this problem is science-based while some are "gut" based :o) so please feel free to correct me!
Here's my thought process on achieving an "in-between" cake, meaning a cake that's soft and tender yet sturdy enough so it won't crumble when you eat it. To me that means the cake's structure has to be addressed. It needs to be strengthened. There are several ways to do that. I chose to make 2 changes to the recipe ingredients for that: use 3 whole eggs instead of 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks. The protein in the extra egg white will provide more structure to the cake whereas the fat content in the 2 egg yolks might have an over-tenderizing effect. The other change is to substitute half the cake flour with bleached all-purpose flour. The AP flour has more protein than cake flour and therefore will give us more structure.
I also modified the mixing instructions. The two-stage method in the book is great and quick, but I think that in this case it might have contributed to the cake's structure problem because the flour gets coated with fat early in the process which limits its liquid absorption, and therefore its gluten formation. So I went back to the "traditional" creaming method.
If you've read my blog for a while you know that I like to tweak butter cake recipes a bit by substituting 1-2 Tbsp of butter with canola oil. I think it makes the cake more moist without sacrificing the butter flavor. I did the same thing here.
- Combine the unsweetened chocolate and oil, and use the microwave to melt the chocolate. Set aside.
- Sift and whisk together the dry ingredients including the cocoa powder.
- Cream room temp butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy.
- Lightly beat eggs with a fork and add the eggs to the butter mixture in 3-4 steps.
- Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients in 4 steps, alternating with the sour cream first, and then lukewarm (not boiling) water in 2 steps. Scrape down the sides.
- Beat the cake mixture for an additional 15 seconds on medium-high speed.
- Pour batter into pan and bake in a preheated oven.
|Thick and creamy chocolate batter|
|Oops... right after I took this shot, I realized I forgot the cake strips. Fixed it!|
I made only half the recipe which I baked in a 9" round cake pan for 25 minutes.
My baking time was 5 minute less than the minimum baking time in the book. After I gave it some thought I realized that I should have decreased the oven temp by 25 F because I was using a dark pan. Oh well. It wasn't overbaked so I was happy.
|Caramel for the ganache|
|The frosting is so smooth and chocolatey|
|A slice of chocolatey goodness. Bon appetit!|
- We both loved this cake. The cake still had plenty chocolate flavor without being bitter. Hubby gave it an 8.5/9 out of 10. Not bad for a non-chocoholic :o)
- The cake was chocolatey, moist, melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the sweet filling with a slight tang from the berries was a nice contrast. The thin layer of Midnight Ganache frosting was perfect.
- Above all, the cake wasn't crumbly when we ate it. I think it was the perfect "in-between" cake :o)
- I made half the recipe and used 1.5 whole eggs. How do you measure 1/2 an egg? Easy! Get your scale ready, crack and weigh your egg, lightly beat it with a fork, and then use half the weight!
- I love brown sugar (dark brown sugar, that is). However when a cake recipe only calls for brown sugar, I like to mix both brown sugar and granulated sugar (50-50) because you get the best of both worlds that way since they each have their own characteristics.
- Recap of my changes: for the full recipe, use 3 whole eggs, 7 oz butter, 1 oz oil, half brown sugar, and half granulated sugar. Don't forget to read the section on how I modified the mixing instructions.
- Please let me know if you get a chance to make this cake as described above and how you liked it :o)