When a dear friend told me that her mix/master went kaput, it was only natural to offer to make the birthday cake for her daughter. After all, Seeta has made many an Indian dinner for us, lovingly put it into the tiff'n'carry and brought over to us to enjoy, and we have enjoyed them immensely.
The Cake had turned out exactly as I had hoped that it would, as the directions,while time consuming were easy to follow.
I did double the recipe as I felt a four layer cake looked more impressive, and to be truthful the single recipe said that I would be able to cut the cake into 3 layers but that was just not the case, as the best I could have gotten out of it would have been 2 layers, not 3.
I always worry that I do not put in enough butter cream in the center or then I worry I've put in too much and then won't have enough for the outside frosting. But in this case it all worked out correctly there was enough frosting for the entire cake and the frosting recipe was NOT doubled. As a matter of fact this was the first time I made a Swiss Meringue frosting and I was quite pleased with the end product.
www.userealbutter.com, it's Jenny's recipe modified from Death by Chocolate by Marcel Desaulniers.
The cake was a huge hit and the evening was lovely.
( I made two of these for my 4 layer cake)
11/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
6 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. butter plus extra for coating the pan
2 oz, unsweetened chocolate broken into pieces
1 tsp. raspberry vinegar
1 cup boiling water
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a sifter. Sift onto wax paper or a bowl set aside.
Prepare your pans ( 2, 9x3 inch round pans) with butter, and parchment paper, I never use parchment paper because my pans are non-stick, and i never have a problem.
Gently melt unsweetened chocolate over water bath or on half power in micro, stirring to prevent burning. Set aside
Beat sugar and butter together in mixer fitted with paddle. Beat on medium for 1 minute, then on high for 1 minute,
Scrape down the sides and beat on high for another 15 seconds, after the addition of each egg.
Add vanilla and vinegar and beat on high for 20 seconds
Add the melted chocolate and mix on low for 10 seconds.
Scrape down the sides .
Boil the water.
On low add the dry ingredients, mix for 10 seconds.
CAREFULLY add the boiling water, continue to mix for 10 seconds on low, then increase to medium speed for another 5 seconds.
Pour into pans and bake for 45 minutes or until center comes out clean. I needed to add an additional 15 minutes for a total baking time of 60 minutes. I usually don't have a problem with my stove temperature, but this cake center was still sticky in the center at 45 minutes.
Cool Pans, then remove cake and cool another 20 minutes. Then put cake in fridge for 1 hour while you prepare the next stages.
PISTACHIOS AND VANILLA BUTTER CREAM
this amount was perfect for the 4 layer cake
8 egg whites
16 oz. sugar
1 pound butter at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1.5 cups shelled pistachios
Blanche the pistachios in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Place nuts in a cotton tea towel and vigorously rub to loosen and remove the skins. Toast the pistachios on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 325 and allow to cool at room temperature.
Reserve a few whole nuts for garnish and chop the rest.
Combine the egg whites and sugar in a bowl. Whisk constantly over a bain marie until 140F. temperature is reached. Then place bowl on mixer with balloon attachment and whisk until stiff.
Turn down whip speed to 3 and whip until cool to touch, this will take a while.
Change to a paddle and gradually add butter by tablespoon pieces. Once desired consistency is achieved add vanilla.
Take 2/3 of butter cream and fold in pistachios. this goes into the layers. The remainder 1/3 is for frosting the outside of the cake.
6 tablespoons heavy cream
4 oz, semi-sweet chocolate chopped
Bring cream to boil and immediately remove from heat. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Stir until smooth and keep in fridge until firm for piping.
Cut off the dome tops of the cake. Slice each cake into 2 layers. Because the cake is very dense, you could choose to make a simple syrup and soak the layers. I choice to use a raspberry liqueur to soak the cake because I knew it would be used after the actual birthday and I didn't want it to dry out.
Take 1/3 of the butter cream and spread in-between the layers.
Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer and then frost and decorate as desired. I spread a few pistachios over the top and then piped the ganache over it in swirls and piped some extra rose buds around the cake and put in the whole pistachios.
Happy Birthday Chetna, Enjoy