Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chocolate Addiction - Devil's Food Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

How time flies! It seems like just not too long ago that I baked a Royal Chocolate Praline cake for my son's 13th birthday. He's 14 now. It's a chocolate cake again that he requested. Deliberating between a genoise sponge cake, chiffon sponge cake or butter cake, I finally decided upon a Devil's Food Cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Why is it called Devil's Food Cake? To me, it's just a more chocolatey version of the basic chocolate butter cake. I did some research on the web. It's darker and has a more intense chocolate flavour due to the presence of cocoa powder and the extra dose of baking soda. The baking soda reduces the Ph level of the cake, thus resulting in a darker colour. Not only that, the baking soda also gives the cake a fluffier texture. It's airier and more moist from the brown sugar used. It's sinfully delicious - dark, intense chocolate flavour and at the same time moist and fluffy. Can't help having an extra bite. Can you?

After deciding on the cake base, I was thinking of what kind of frosting layer to go with. I did not want the usual chocolate ganache. I wanted something different which I have not attempted. Browsing through the web, I saw salted caramel sauce. I'm not a fan of caramel as I find it a tad too sweet for my taste bud (you will notice that all my cakes and cookies are on the not too sweet side). But when I saw the salted caramel sauce recipe on this Brown Eyed Baker blog, I couldn't resist trying it out. I made a batch and it was surprisingly delicious - sweet and salty. Combine it with cream cheese and butter to transform it into a frosting between the layers of deep, dark chocolate cake must taste sublime - bitter, intense, sweet and salty. I added banana slices to the salted caramel cream cheese frosting as requested by my son. He asked why didn't I add any banana to the other layer of the frosting. Haha .... Finale - cake frosted with dark chocolate ganache and I added popcorns to decorate the cake. A very satisfying cake for all of us.

Devils's Food Cake (Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum)

30g dark chocolate (70%), chopped
31.5g cocoa powder
3 tsp instant coffee granules
125g boiling water   
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
30g sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
112.5g cake flour
135g Muscovado sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
113g butter

Line a 6" x 3" round cake pan with parchment paper. Grease and coat the bottom and sides with baking spray with flour.
Preheat the oven at 175 degree celsius with the oven rack set at the lower third.

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, instant coffee granules and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. To speed cooling, place it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.
2. In another bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolk, sour cream, half the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract just until lightly combined.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt on low speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and the remaining chocolate mixture . Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. With the mixer off between addictions, add the egg mixture in two parts, starting on medium-low speed and gradually raising the speed to medium. Beat on medium speed for 45 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. The batter will be slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.
6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.The cake should start to shrink from the side of the pan only after removal from the oven.
7. Let the cake cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the side of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that that top is up. Cool completely.

Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
113g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
113g cream cheese, cut into cubes, room temperature
40g salted caramel sauce
20g powdered sugar

1 large banana, sliced

1. Using a handheld mixer, beat the unsalted butter and cream cheese together util light and fluffy.
2. Add in the salted caramel sauce and continue beating until well combined.
3. Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time and continue beating until well combined, light and fluffy.

Chocolate Ganache
186g bittersweet chocolate (55 - 60% cocoa mass), chopped
232g heavy cream

1. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until almost to the boiling point.
2. Pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl containing the chopped chocolate. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
3. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix the chocolate and cream together until smooth and well blended.
4. Leave it at room temperature to cool until it is of frosting consistency.

1. Cut the chocolate cake into 3 even layers.
2. Place the first layer on a cardboard round.
3. Spread a thin layer of the salted caramel cream cheese frosting and top it with banana slices. Spread another layer of the cream cheese frosting on top of the banana.
4. Place the second layer of the cake on top of the cream cheese frosting. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on top.
5. Place the third layer on top of the cream cheese frosting.
6. Spread the chocolate ganache frosting to the sides of the cake followed by the top.
7. Put the remaining cream cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star tube. Decorate the top of the cake and top it with pop corns.

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