Almost Chocolate Cake

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last night (May 23, 2007), I started on my quest to make Martha Stewart’s Moist Devil’s Food Cake with Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting.

Placed visited for this cake:

1. Bristol Farms for cocoa, heavy whipping cream, and whole milk. I went there specifically for the Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder that Martha raves about (and that I couldn’t find in my local grocery store), but the boxes I found at Bristol looked old and didn’t have an expiration date on them…so I ended up getting the Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa, thinking it was close enough. I think that was a mistake…but I’ll get to that later. Oh my gosh, the frosting recipe calls for FOUR CUPS of heavy whipping cream. Yes, if you remember your math, that is a quart of cream. I think the “nutrition” (because there is no nutrition in this carton) label says there are 63 servings…at 50 calories and 5 grams of fat each! I left the field of accounting to become a librarian so my math skills are rusty...but I think that is 3,150 calories and 315 grams of fat. And, whipping cream is expensive stuff! $6.50 for the quart. I bought a kid's size milk jug of whole milk because I’m a soy milk person. There are lots of new items in the kitchen now!

2. Target for the 8 inch cake pans. I’m at Target at 8 pm last night looking for 8 inch cake pans. Seems that 9 inch cake pans are the overwhelming favorite, and there isn't an 8 inch pan in the store.

3. Albertsons for 8 inch cake pans. I drive there after visiting Target. I remember seeing them here so I pick up the last three pans.

4. Ralphs for cake flour. I bought this earlier in the week. Have you seen this stuff before? Never knew it existed…it comes in a box.

5. Costco for chocolate chips. I love Costco. I could live in Costco. Anyway, they have a massive bag of chocolate chips (72 ounces) for $7 – such as steal. The frosting calls for 24 ounces – that is double the size for a regular batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Okay, the baking. Starts out okay. I watched the video of Martha making the cake before I start. Sorta like watching sports films before the championship game. I’m using the KitchenAid mixer (yet another product from heaven), and things almost look like TV except for the massive mess I’m making in the kitchen. The only thing is that the cake batter doesn’t look as dark chocolate as Martha’s. After mixing, shifting, creaming, dusting and all other manner of cooking verbs, it is off to the ovens for these guys.

The cakes cook up and fill the pan. This is going to be a very tall cake! Here is a photo of them cooling off…

Before I go to bed, I take a slice off the top (you know, to level the cake) and try it. It tastes very chocolately but the color certainly doesn’t match Martha. I can’t help but hear Martha saying, “You need to use the Dutch-process cocoa…” Damn.

I set my alarm for 3:30 am. I know, I’m crazy but I want to start making the frosting. You need to melt the cream and chocolate chips for 30 minutes, put the mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours but – get this part – stir it every 15 minutes. Then, you have to use the frosting immediately. I figure if I start early, I can get it going, nap in-between stirs, take a shower, frost the cake and I’ll be good to go.

Well, my alarm was set for 3:30 PM and I woke up at 5:30 am instead. Luckily, I had two jars of canned frosting in the pantry and put them to use…

I brought the cake to work, and despite the canned frosting, everyone loved it! I'm going to get the Dutch-process cocoa and try the cake again...perhaps on a weekend where I can relax while babysitting the frosting. Keep posted for more adventures with chocolate cake!

Mr. Muffin Man Hates Me! Two desserts where Mr. Trashcan didn’t get fed, you think? Well, not quite. I also tried to make Martha's mini coffeecake muffins (Martha’s recipe but with no video) this morning and those are on a long-term vacation with Mr. Trashcan. I didn't like the topping at all. I’m not going to make muffins again unless accompanied by an experienced muffin man or woman.

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Sunshine said... [Reply to comment]

I'm thinking, that maybe you should bring a baking item to the bbq. ;)

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