Friday, June 24, 2011

Death by chocolate cake...TAKE TWO

Devil's Food Layer Cake
Take two on Devil's Food Cake...why "take two" you ask?  Well, this is a blog entry that I have been working on for about 2 weeks.  I had the story part done, but needed to type up the recipe.  The blog entry was funny; it made homage if you my favorite comedian; it was filled with word imagery that would get you to bake this cake in a heartbeat; it was a masterpiece that would win me many blog awards in the near future.  Still confused why you are not reading this glorious blog entry and instead of reading a description about it???  WELL, in the process on working on the recipe from Williams Sonoma's "Comfort Foods" Cookbook  I deleted it; in one STUPID keystroke the whole thing was gone and no cache memory, back button or any such trick could save it *sigh*.   So instead of trying to recreate genius, I am writing this to let you know that it was wonderful, it is gone and I have to move on with my life *sob*.

So now to let you know about this cake and why you should make it.  This cake is beyond good...IT'S GREAT!!!  It is not a very difficult cake and it bakes up perfectly, I have made it as a layer cake (as you saw above) and as a sheet cake (not pictured).  Both baked up perfectly.  The cake feels dense, but the crumb is velvety creating beautiful slices to impress all that see it.  The first bite is so decadent that you will have to control yourself from forgoing a fork and cramming the cake in your mouth with your hands.  The frosting is smooth, creamy and ever so sweet that you may get cavities looking at it and it works in perfect unison to dress the cake for a night on the town (heck the frosting is sooo good that even my mom wants the recipe and she never asks me for recipes...I told her, "you can get it on my blog"  :-P  ).  If you love cake, if you love chocolate...your search is over, this is the cake for you.

Devil's Food Layer Cake
From William Sonoma's Comfort Foods Cookbook
For printable recipe, please click here

For the cake: 
1 C  Boiling Water 
¾ C  Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder 
1¾ C  AP Flour 
1½ tsp.  Baking Soda 
½ tsp.  Fine Sea Salt 
2 C  Granulated Sugar 
½ C + 2 Tbsp  Unsalted Butter, at room temperature*
3  Eggs 
1 tsp.  Vanilla Extract  
1 C  Buttermilk
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool completely.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat together the granulated sugar and butter on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla and the cooled cocoa mixture.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.

Bake the cakes until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of each pan to release the cake. Invert the pans onto the racks, lift off the pans and peel the parchment paper off the cakes. Turn the cakes right side up and let cool completely.

For the chocolate frosting: 
3 ¾ C  Powdered Sugar 
1 C Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder  
8 Tbs. (1 stick)  Unsalted Butter, at room temperature*
1 tsp.  Vanilla Extract  
1 C  Heavy Cream, or as needed  

In a bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Using the mixer, beat in the butter on low speed until it is crumbly. Beat in the vanilla, then gradually beat in enough of the cream to make a spreadable frosting.

Place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on a cake plate. Using an icing spatula, spread the top of the layer with a generous 1/2 cup of the frosting. Place the second layer, top side down, on top of the first layer. Frost the top and then the sides with the remaining frosting. Slice the cake into thick wedges and serve. Serves 10.

*I use Trader Joe's salted butter.

Devil's Food Layer Cake -

Devil's Food Layer Cake

So in the word's of Eddie Izzard, "Cake or Death?" ...  I choose cake.
Enjoy the foods of your labor.  :-)

Devil's Food Layer Cake


Friday, June 3, 2011

That's one spicy meatball...

Spaghetti and Meatballs
This has been the week from hell...stress X50.  I have felt like I was running around in circles all day only to come home and just feel totally frayed at the seams.  Wednesday night at 8pm I was totally convinced that the only way to feel better was to make spaghetti and meatballs...surprisingly it worked.  Some how the process of making meatballs took almost all of my stress much so that I didn't even mind doing the dishes.

For printable recipe, please click here
2 (28 oz) cans  Plum Tomatoes with juice, each tomato crushed by hand
1 (6 oz) can  Tomato Paste
2 small  Onions, chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp  Olive Oil
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Chili flake
¼ C  Pasta Water

In a pan/Dutch oven (at least 5qt); sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil.  Once the onions start to become translucent add the tomatoes and the spices (to taste).  Stir in pasta water.  Taste the sauce before adding any salt, the pasta water will already have salt in it so it may not be needed.  Simmer together until cooked through, at least 20 min.

For printable recipe, please click here
2 lbs. Ground Beef (80/20 or 85/15)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 C  Saltine Crackers, smashed (about half a sleeve of saltines)
4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Red Chili Flake
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven at 400⁰.  Combine the meat, eggs, saltine crumbs, garlic, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Mix together with hands.  Form each meatball about an inch and a half in diameter and place on a baking sheet, makes approx. 24 meatballs.  Place meatballs in the oven and bake for about 15 min.  or until browned.  Using a metal spatula; take meatballs off of baking sheet and place in marinara sauce in the Dutch oven.  Reduce heat to oven to 300⁰ and place the Dutch oven back in the oven for approximately 20 – 30 min. Serve over pasta or on a hoagie roll.

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Its been a hectic week, at least I ended up with a tasty meal and even tastier leftovers.

Enjoy the foods of your labor.  :-)

Spaghetti and Meatballs