I started this post on Sunday night (June 17, 2007). Happy Dad's Day!
Holy Moly! It's finally done. This Martha Stewart's Devil's Food Cake with crazy frosting is made! Although you can't tell from this photo, the cake is actually very, very dark and exudes chocolate-ness.
However, it wasn't an easy ride! I freaked out making the famous Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting. This complete fat bomb has 24 ounces of chocolate chips and a whole quart of heavy cream! I got confused making it. The instructions say "melt...on medium-low heat until thickened, about 30 minutes." Mrs. Milman, on the show (you can see the video at Martha's website), says: "Low heat!" "Keep it on low heat or it will burn" "The secret is low heat." Well, darnit, what's the name of the recipe? Mrs. Milman's... So I'm going to listen to this sweet woman from Cape Codand kept the heat low for 30 minutes until everything was nicely melted...but not really that thick.
You pop the mixture into the fridge and stir the frosting every 15 minutes...for 2 hours. Yes, this totally interrupted my weekend nap. However, after 2 1/2 hours, it still wasn't thick. I thought Mr. Trashcan was going to visit me yet again. Finally, after 3 hours of babysitting my frosting, it thickened and I frosted the cake! Sure, doesn't every cake take about 4 hours to make?!?! (I'm missing Mr. Pillsbury Doughboy right now)
This was the first time I used Dutch-processed cocoa. (Remember my first attempt at this cake resulted in a light brown cake when I used regular cocoa?) Now I know why Martha and other cooks insist on Dutch-processed cocoa. It really rocks. It is dark and rich. It is imported from Holland, and, like all things Dutch, very cool. One of my UCLA roommates has Dutch parents and I discovered Nutella from her. Yes, Nutella is everywhere today - but this was back in the early 1990s so it was like finding a new hazelnut chocolate friend. We ate it on thousands of pieces of bread. Does Nutella have Dutch-processed cocoa in it? Probably not, but my mind worked this way: Dutch-processed cocoa --> Dutch things --> Dutch people --> UCLA roommate --> Living in West LA near the LDS temple --> Eating Nutella, caramel waffle cookies (you can get these at Trader Joe's now, but remember this was the early 1990s so these were a find too!!), and double salt licorice (which I never got the hang of). Now my old roommate has the cutest two girls, and I'm going to their house this summer to bake something with them. I'm going to bring Dutch-processed cocoa.
I also made a chocolate sheet cake from Baking Illustrated (page 342). This recipe has buttermilk in it. I frosted it with the same Mrs. Milman's frosting. I'm going to ask my co-workers which one they like best.
By the way, I took my folks to the new exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. It is about Japanese American gardens and gardeners. Please try to go if you are in Los Angeles. My uncle is in one of the photos (he is a Bonsai tree teacher and was trained by one of the legends in the field).
P.S. I brought the cakes into work and they say the frosting rocks! Yippee! People liked both cakes, and more people preferred the buttermilk chocolate sheet cake. (I forgot to take a photo of the sheet cake).