It’s taken more than a year, but this week Tuesdays with Dorie is finally tackling the Devil’s Food White-Out Cake. The black-and-white beauty on the cover of “Baking: From My Home to Yours.” The cake of inspiration.
What, you didn’t recognize it?
A few weeks ago, Jeff’s dad, Dan, was joking about wanting a birthday cake topped with a jeep – one like his white Jeep Cherokee. He told his wife, Tina, who told Jeff, who told me that this idea needed to be on like “Donkey Kong.” So, I used this week’s Dorie recipe to make the cake, a crumbly devil’s food with a marshmallowy filling, and a batch of Rice Krispies Treats® for sculpting the jeep and rocks. Jeff sculpted, I added the fondant, and he painted the details. He had never worked with fondant. Remember how my first fondant experience looked? No? EXACTLY. It was born for the landfill. But if you peek through Jeff’s tinted windows, you can see Dan laughing at the wheel while Tina screams. The only unrealistic thing is that the rock hill should be much, much steeper.
If you’re looking for an easy cake that looks (and tastes) impressive, Dorie’s Devil’s Food White-Out Cake could be your pick. The cake is covered in its own filling and crumbs, so you don’t even need a spatula to decorate it.
Devil’s Food White-Out Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
Makes 12 servings
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped
Filling and Frosting:
- 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
- For the Cake: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Working with a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add sugars, and continue to beat for another 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the vanilla.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, and mix in the melted chocolate.
- When the chocolate is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2.
- Mix in the boiling water.
- Stir in the chopped chocolate, and divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Transfer the cake pans to a wire rack, and let them cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
- When the cakes are cool, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside, and crumble the fourth layer into a bowl. Set the crumbs aside.
- For the Filling and Frosting: Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixing bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, cream of tartar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan, and boil for 3 minutes.
- Uncover and allow syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
- When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer. (If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup reaches temperature.)
- With the mixer at medium speed, carefully pour the hot syrup into the egg whites. Add the vanilla extract, and keep beating the whites until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes.
- To Assemble the Cake: Put a bottom layer, cut-side up, on a cake plate protected by strips of wax paper or parchment paper.
- Using a long metal spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting.
- Top with a second layer, cut-side up, and frost it.
- Finish with the third layer, cut-side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake.
- Cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling.
- Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving.