The past weekend was one of the most memorable ones. Two of my friends whom I met at work came over from Hong Kong for a business trip. Unusual because Vancouver would never be the place that they would imagine coming over for business. Surprised because I would never imagine having them fly over for a reunion. Anyway, there were here. And it was fun, crazy, warming, and too short!
How many co-workers in your life can become your friends? Not to mention closed ones. And I have a bunch, I am lucky! Moving to Canada had made me believe that you might get distant from them, and they would forget about me eventually. It’s proven to be not true again. We had an unending list of topics to catch up, we joked about everything, we ate so much! We were watching Oscars together, at one point when she said that that guy looked like Aiden, we all knew that she was talking about one of Carrie’s flings at Sex in the City.
We used to be boss and subordinates. The boss was nicknamed and teased behind the scene because we were mean. Was she the bad boss? Who cares? Now we are friends who talk about our kids, families, futures, lives… We are still mean though, I think.
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 Dutch-processed 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
Whipped Vanilla Cream Filling
2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 drops of pink food colouring paste
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
200 grams dark chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream
4 sticks unsalted butter, soften
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup fresh raspberries
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 vanilla cream filling, place cold water and gelatin in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of the cream just to simmer, then stir in the gelatin mixture. Let cool completely. Stirring frequently to avoid setting.
Beat the remaining cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Slowly add the cooled gelatin mixture and food coloring and continue beating until firm peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
To prepare chocolate buttercream, melt chocolate and 3 tablespoons of cream in a microwave. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and beat until incorporated.
Add melted chocolate, and beat until smooth.
Add the remaining whipping cream, and beat until you get to the right consistency.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with half of the vanilla filling and scatter 8 to 10 raspberries on top. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with the remaining vanilla filling and raspberry. Place the last layer of cake on top, smear the chocolate buttercream on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh raspberries and icing sugar.
Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator an hour before serving.