Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 342: Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

Since I have a few minutes I thought I'd share the cake recipe I made last week.  I adapted it from a Cook's Country magazine.  It is written to be baked in three 8" cake pans but to make it using three 10" dutch ovens it should be increased by half.  I also increased the frosting by half.  My grocery store didn't carry Dutch process cocoa so I used regular baking cocoa.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake
10" dutch oven

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter , softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs , room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease three 10" dutch ovens, then dust with cocoa powder and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the boiling water, chocolate and cocoa powder together until smooth.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture, and the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.

Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pots, smooth the tops, and gently tap the pots on the counter to settle the batter. Bake at 350°the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 20-25 minutes.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them out onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and let cool completely before frosting, about 2 hours.


1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks), softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4-3/4 cup heavy cream (Use enough to get the desired consistency)
8 ounces white chocolate , melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups finely ground peppermint candy
3 10-inch chocolate cake rounds 

With electric mixer, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed, scraping bowl once, until smooth, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and cream and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer half of frosting to clean bowl and stir in white chocolate. Add 3/4 cup ground peppermint candies to remaining frosting.

To assemble: Place one cake layer on serving platter. Spread half of peppermint frosting over cake. Repeat with second cake layer and remaining peppermint frosting. Top with final cake layer and frost top and sides with white chocolate frosting, reserving 3/4 cup for final garnish. Press remaining ground peppermint candies into sides of cake and sprinkle evenly over top of cake. Use remaining white chocolate frosting to pipe ring of dots around base of cake and pipe 6 rosettes on top of cake. Place 1 whole peppermint candy on each rosette.

The Finished Product

The Review
This was absolutely decadent!  It was rich and chocolaty.  All I could handle was 1 small slice.  I took it to a family Christmas party and it was a big hit.  No one could believe it came out of a dutch oven.  And yes, I was trying to show off just a little.  :)  I won't lie, this cake is a lot of work, but it is totally worth it.  You could never get such a tender, chocolaty cake from a box.  Grade A.

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