An Ode to Joy! Part II

April 21st, 2008

I have become the unofficial birthday cake baker at work. When everyone started finding out that I was going to law school, I believe they were more concerned about missing my cakes than me. I enjoy baking the cakes. I love being able to try new recipes and coming up with something to wow the birthday recipient.

This past weekend we threw my co-worker a party and I volunteered to bring the cake. He really likes chocolate cake so that was my only guideline. Now, I will admit that when I know there is going to be a keg at the party, I will go buy a cake mix, make some homemade icing, come up with a fun decoration and call it a night. Why should I slave over a cake when everyones’ taste buds will be dull from beer? On Saturday, I woke up itching to bake but too lazy to go to the store. So I took inventory of what we had and did some research on chocolate cake recipes. I stumbled across this recipe Nana Edie’s Devil’s Food Cake that looked amazing. I had everything needed except for the semi-sweet chocolate. I just had unsweetened. Well, I broke out my trusty friend the Joy of Cooking and figured out a conversion. Unsweetened chocolate + sugar = semi-sweet chocolate! It turned out great!!! In talking with a friend, he recommend filling it with strawberries so I filled it with strawberry jam and iced it with my mom’s chocolate frosting. It was quite delicious!

Devil’s Food Cake with Strawberry Filling
(adapted from Nana Edie’s Devil’s Food Cake)

1/2 cup milk (not nonfat)
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups + 7 teaspoons sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup strawberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter 2 (8- by 2-inch) round cake pans and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
3. Stir together milk and vinegar and set aside to “sour” (mixture will curdle).
4. Melt chocolate and butter with water in a saucepan over low heat, whisking until smooth. Cool slightly.
5. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
6. Beat sugar into chocolate mixture with an electric mixer.
7. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.
8. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined.
9. Add soured milk and beat on high speed 2 minutes.
10. Divide batter evenly between cake pans.
11. Bake in middle of oven until tops of layers spring back when touched lightly and edges have just started to pull away from sides of pans, about 35 minutes.
12. Cool layers in pans on racks 5 minutes.
13. Run a thin knife around edges of pans, then invert layers onto racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 box confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

1. Cream the butter and cocoa together.
2. Mix in vanilla.
3. Slowly add confectioner sugar and milk until it creates a frosting. Add the milk slowly because sometimes you do not need the whole amount.

Assemble cake:

1. Warm the jam in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it spreadable.
2. Pour over the first layer and spread.
3. Place second layer on top of the first layer.
4. Spread the chocolate frosting on the top and down the sides.
5. Decorate as you please.

P.S. Do not forget to enter my Dollar Dish Duel!!!! More details here.

13 Responses to “An Ode to Joy! Part II”

  1. Nemmie on April 21, 2008 6:43 pm

    Looks fantastic! I love devils food cake.

    And I hear you on the official office baker – but then again, isn’t it nice to be able to push all the baking experiments on others?

  2. Manggy on April 21, 2008 8:44 pm

    I wish we could see a slice! (Ah, the burden of bloggers… I haven’t taken a pic of a cake slice in ages). I think if there’s a keg you can pretty much coat a cardboard box in frosting and let people lick it.

    About the figs, it’s ok… I think occasionally there’s a dried fig here but I hear it’s not the same as fresh. Thanks Ginny!

  3. VeggieGirl on April 22, 2008 4:46 am

    I have a feeling that soon, you will become the OFFICIAL birthday cake baker at work, with your tantalizing creations ;0) You picked a lovely cake to bake this time, for sure!! Yum!!

  4. LyB on April 22, 2008 6:52 am

    Chocolate! It looks really delicious, and I wish I could see a slice too! ;)

  5. Sylvie on April 22, 2008 11:51 am

    I seem to have become the designated birthday cake baker at work as well. I think it must be good to work with people like us. ;)

    Your cake looks lovely!

  6. Mike of Mike's Table on April 22, 2008 12:09 pm

    Looks excellent–you can never go wrong with devil’s food cake.

  7. Mike of Mike's Table on April 22, 2008 12:09 pm

    Looks excellent–you can never go wrong with devil’s food cake.

  8. Mike of Mike's Table on April 22, 2008 12:09 pm

    Looks excellent–you can never go wrong with devil’s food cake.

  9. Kevin on April 22, 2008 5:45 pm

    That cake looks good. Strawberry jam in a chocolate cake…mmm…

  10. Ginny on April 22, 2008 6:51 pm

    nemmie- thanks! Sometimes it is nice…they did make me a great cake for my birthday- a fallen chocolate souffle cake. yummy!

    manggy- I know! I hate not being able too when I need to bring the cake to something. yep, sometimes I do not know why I bother to bring something at all but then they all smile.

    veggiegirl- thank you! I wanted to pitch the idea that I take one day off a month to make cakes in order to boost moral at work…people did not seem to think it would work! sigh! :)

    lyb- you really can’t go wrong with chocolate! :)

    sylvie- I often think the same but I do like making the cakes…

    mike- thank you! :) you really can’t!

    kevin- It turned out well…A nice addition when you realize you will not have enough frosting to finish the cake…but don’t tell anyone ok! :)

  11. Chuck on April 22, 2008 9:15 pm

    On my birthday I always have a chocolate cake that looks just like yours. YUMMY!! I don’t think there’s anything better!

  12. Cakespy on April 24, 2008 10:00 am

    Um…YES! It does look “quite delicious”! More than quite delicious in fact!!

  13. Ginny on April 24, 2008 4:21 pm

    chuck- chocolate cake is a must for me too! Thank you!

    cakespy- why thank you! that is high praise coming from you! :)

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