When it comes to think about what to make for my husband’s birthday — A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR MY HUSBAND, not any other cakes which I would make for family dinner or stuff, I will try to incorporate some of his favourite food. Except he eats everything.
Somehow Neapolitan ice cream came to my mind. He told me he used to love this when he’s a kid. And I couldn’t be happier to bring back his childhood memory. And hence we had this chocolate devil’s food cake with Neapolitan frosting.
I didn’t try to perfect the Neapolitan stripes on the side of the cake. The rustic effect kind of made a canvas painting.
Ingredients (8-inch 3-layer cake):
Chocolate Devil’s Food Layer Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted dark chocolate, cooled
1/4 cup strawberry puree, strained
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the boiling water and cocoa powder until smooth.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Place the cakes (in the pans) on a wire rack to cool. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the buttercream, put sugar and egg whites in a mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. Use an electric hand mixer to beat constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. Remove from heat.
With whisk attachment, continue whipping the mixture in a standing mixer until thick, glossy, and cool.
Switch over to paddle attachment. While mixing on medium speed, continuously add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. If curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. Add vanilla and salt, mix well.
Equally split buttercream into 3 portions. Mix one of the portions with melted chocolate, and another portion with strawberry puree until incorporated and colours are even.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on the serving plate and spread with chocolate buttercream. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with vanilla buttercream. Place the last layer of cake on top. Gently press down and smear the strawberry buttercream on top.
Carefully smear the side with the extra buttercream squeezed out between cake layers, and form the rustic stripes effect.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.