sweets for every tooth.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chocolate Suicide

Sometimes bakeries charge a ridiculous amount of money for beautiful cakes.  Someday I'll charge a ridiculous amount of money for beautiful cakes.  For now, my friends see/taste beautiful cakes at aforementioned bakeries, then come to me with their order because I don't charge a ridiculous amount of money.  Yet.

Today's order?  A birthday cake.  A Chocolate Suicide Birthday Cake, to be specific.  I searched long and hard to find a suicide cake recipe from scratch, but every recipe calls for boxed cake, canned frosting and pudding for filling.  I highly doubt a bakery selling a chocolate suicide cake is hoarding boxes of devil's food cake in the back, and I refuse to do it either.  So here is my chocolate suicide cake, with a little inspiration from the only scratch recipe I could find, and a little inspiration from my own love of chocolate and history of chocolate-frosting-and-ganache-making.

The following recipe is for a two-layer half-sheet cake (12"x18").  You probably have no need to make that much cake, so you can halve the recipe and bake it in a single 9x13" pan, then slice the cake in half to fill it.  Or just drizzle the filling on top.  Baking times for both cake varieties are listed below.

Here's what you'll need:

4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 oz Instant Chocolate Pudding Powder
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 Cup Oil
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
6 oz Semisweet Baker's Chocolate
4 Eggs
2 bags Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease and flour two half-sheet baking pans, or one 9x13" baking pan.  **Also helpful in removal of cake from pan to line bottom of pan with waxed paper.

2. Combine flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt and pudding powder in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until evenly combined.

3. With mixer on, slowly add in water and mix until combined.  Add in oil and vanilla until well combined.

4. Melt baker's chocolate according to packaging instructions, I like to melt it in a saucepan over low heat, constantly stirring.  Add melted chocolate to batter, scraping saucepan with spatula to get all of that chocolate.  Add eggs to batter.  Mix until smooth and well combined.

5. Add chocolate chips to batter and gently stir until evenly incorporated.

6. Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (12x18") or 40 minutes (9x13"), until middle of cake springs back when lightly pressed, or knife inserted in center of cake comes out relatively clean (might not be fully clean if you hit a melted chocolate chip).

Now this cake is fine as is.  You can toss some frosting or ice cream on there and enjoy it right now.  Or you can add a ganache filling and really wow people.

12 oz Semisweet Baker's Chocolate, chopped into small chunks (Ghirardelli or Baker's brand)
1 1/3 Cups Whipping Cream

1. In medium saucepan, heat whipping cream over low heat until just boiling.  Immediately turn off heat (to avoid cream boiling over).  Carefully add chocolate chunks to cream, and whisk or stir with a fork until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth.

1. While the cake is still warm, (aka take the cake out of the oven, immediately make the ganache, immediately ganache your cake) pour hot ganache over the top of one cake layer.  (If you baked only one 9x13" cake, this is where you have to slice the cake in half first).  Allow to set for 15 minutes, then carefully place second cake half on top of ganache.  Cover cake with plastic wrap and move to refrigerator to allow ganache to set and cake to cool before frosting.

12 oz Semisweet Baker's Chocolate, chopped into small chunks
1 Cup Unsalted Butter (2 stick2)
6 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 teaspoons Instant Espresso Powder
4 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Whipping Cream, slightly warmed

1. In a small saucepan, combine chopped baker's chocolate and butter.  Heat over lowest heat setting, stirring consistently with a spatula until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.

2. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a fine sieve over large mixing bowl.  Sift into bowl.  Add salt.

3. Dissolve espresso powder in vanilla in a small bowl or cup, add to sugar mixture.  Add whipping cream.  Add melted chocolate mixture.  Beat frosting until smooth and tick, about 5 minutes.  If frosting is too thick, add more whipping cream by the teaspoon.  If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar by the teaspoon.

Frosting can be covered tightly and stored in refrigerator for up to one week.  Allow frosting to soften, and remix with beater if necessary.  PS this makes a crapload of frosting.  Half the recipe if you're doing a smaller cake.  Half batch should be able to fill and frost a 9"x13" cake.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM (Just used this for the detailing.)
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter, softened and cubed
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (more to taste)

1. Combine sugar and butter in mixing bowl.  Blend until creamy and fluffy.  Add in remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.

By the time this cake was done, it must have weighed 15 pounds.  I'm not even kidding.  I wish I had actually weighed it, because it could have been upwards of 20.  It's like a solid chocolate brick...a delicious solid chocolate brick...

Will definitely be keeping this in the recipe books, but probably making it on a much smaller scale next time around.  This would be fantastic as a cupcake...


Margaret said...

yes pls. i'll take that!

Katie Schmitz said...

Me and my fiance went to New Orleans and ate at the Embers Steakhouse, we had this cake and since it was apart of the trip we became engaged on....and the fact that we both LOVE chocolate, we decided to try to have it as Matt's grooms cake. Thank you so much for posting the recipe from scratch as it appears that the art of cake making has disappeared to Betty Crocker. My mom plans on making it and I hope that if she has any questions she can contact you.

Katie Schmitz
Durant, Oklahoma