I can not believe, I never made this American classic cake. In April, for the first time I made this cake for a friend who had a birthday party at their house. That, of course after searching for so many perfect birthday cake on books and online, I finally settled with a recipe from William-Sonoma "Cake" book. I thought it might be the right recipe to try, since the book actually uses the photo of this cake for its main cover (with chocolate buttercream). I figured, it must be that good, right?
The cake was so delicious that I made it again last weekend when my father in law was visiting us from LA. He really liked it, everyone like it, surprisingly enough, I ate everything including buttercream that I would normally skip. I will definitely making it again in the future.
Devil's Food Cake
Recipe adapted from William Sonoma, "Cake"
Written by: Fran Gage
1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
½ cup hot water
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 cups vanilla buttercream, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Butter two 9 by 2-inch round cake pan, line the bottom pans with parchment paper, and butter the papers as well.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, into a sheet of wax paper, set aside.
Mix the Dutch process cocoa powder with hot water, when cool enough, mix in the buttermilk and the vanilla. Set aside.
In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy, gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beat until thick and creamy. Add one egg a time, beating well after each addition. Don't forget that you might need to scrape the bowl from time to time. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients in three addition, alternating with buttermilk mixture in two addition. Beginning and end with flour. Mix just until combine.
Divide the batter between two prepared cake pans, and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Invert the cakes onto wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat butter using electric mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed until it reaches the consistency of mayonnaise. Transfer to another bowl, wash and dry the mixer bowl.
In a sauce pan set over medium heat, add the milk and ¼ cup of the sugar, stir occasionally until bubbles star appear at the edge of the pan. Meanwhile, add the yolks and the remaining sugar into the cleaned mixer bowl, beat on medium high speed until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, slowly pour in the hot milk. Return this mixture to sauce pan. Was and dry the mixer bowl.
Cook the egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until it register 170⁰F on instant thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the mixture back into the mixer bowl. Using wire whisk, beat on medium speed until cool to the touch, about 5 to 10 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, add the butter in four addition, incorporating well after each addition. Use immediately, or refrigerate up to 3 days. To use the buttercream that has been refrigerated, whisk with hand over barely simmering water until it reaches spreading consistency.