One year ago, I launched Graceful Cuisine, and posted my very first recipe: Balsamic steak with radicchio. As I reflect on the past year, I am thankful to say that my life with a food blog has positively changed. It has given me an avenue to reach out and touch people’s lives, and hopefully I have made your day or simplified life’s tasks for you in some way. It makes me infinitely happy when I hear that someone is looking forward to reading my next post, or took some time to share my recipe ideas to their friends. And of course, another big change since the birth of my food blog is a major improvement to my photography and blog writing skills!
Just as I cannot celebrate a birthday without cake, I also cannot celebrate an anniversary with cake! I must admit have a long-standing reputation for my love of chocolate, cakes, and desserts. You might have guessed this, since the desserts tag is one of the largest sections of my recipes by category word cloud.
Hence, I feel compelled to mark this anniversary by sharing with you a recipe that incorporates it all: sweet, decadent chocolate cake. The Devil of all cakes. A Devil’s Food Cake! Here I share with you my recipe for the newest addition to my guilty pleasures list. Enjoy!
To make the ganache
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 lb semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
To make the cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Put the cream in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream directly over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes without stirring it or moving it.
Use a whisk with a small, circular motion and stir the center of the mixture until it is fully combined. Add the softened butter and stir until it is fully mixed.
Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache mixture and set it aside at room temperature overnight, or at least 8 hours.
Position the rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350oF.
Butter two 8”x2” round cake pans and cut a circular piece of parchment paper out to fit the bottom of the pan. Also butter the parchment paper and dust with flour, tapping out any excess flour.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until the mixture turns a lighter color and looks to be slightly increased in volume, which should take 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add in the eggs one at a time, until each egg is fully mixed into the batter before adding the next one.
Put a piece of parchment paper on your tabletop and sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda onto it. After sifting ingredients together, add the kosher salt on top.
Roll the parchment paper into a chute or funnel shape and add a quarter of the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk and mix on low speed until it is fully incorporated. Continue to alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, mixing fully between additions. Stop to scrape the side of the bowl as necessary to ensure all the ingredients are mixed properly. After all the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly, use a whisk to fold in the mayonnaise into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and place it the oven to bake for about 40 to 45 minutes.
Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, remove the pans from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the pans on the rack and let the cake fall onto the rack to cool completely; remove parchment paper lining. Cakes can be made 1 day ahead of time, and wrapped up and stored at room temperature.
Using a serrated knife, cut each of the cakes in half horizontally so that you have a total of four cake layers. Use one piece of cake as the base layer on the cake plate and tuck strips of wax paper underneath the cake in order to keep the cake plate clean while icing the cake. Put about 1/4 cup of ganache on top of the cake and spread it around evenly. Add another cake layer and top with ganache, and repeat until last cake layer is in place.
Spread a thin layer of ganache over the top and the sides of the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Spread the remaining ganache evenly over the top and sides. Remove the wax paper under the cake. The cake can be refrigerated if it is covered, for up to 2 days. To serve, ensure the cake sits at room temperature for 2 hours before serving.