How are you going to share the love the Valentine’s Day? How do you share the love every other day of the year?
At the restaurant, this Saturday night’s reservations are already fully booked. We’re going to be packed to the gills with love birds. We’ve got people calling trying to pull the VIP card. What’s that? Oh.. you happen to think you and the chef are bffs this week and you’d like a table for two at 8? Tough luck. Really…
But Friday night…? Not a soul.
What a day Valentine’s Day is… so ripe with expectations, how can you satisfy?
I remove myself from the whole game. There are so many other gorgeous days of my life that I prefer to share love with the world around me. How do I do it? It usually involves butter, brown sugar and cocoa powder, but that’s just my style.
Sometimes love is as simple as sending someone a goofy postcard. As deliberate as looking someone in the eye and smiling as you pass on the street. As tiring as staying up extra late to make your Mom a birthday cake. We share more love than we might realize. Everyday, in the little things. Let’s remember that this week. Let’s remember that always. It’s those little touches that make this life seem loads brighter.
I made this triple layer Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting for my Mom’s birthday. My Dad aptly dubbed it “The Wall”. I baked the smooth batter up in a single 9×13-inch pan, wrapped and froze the sucker, and the next day sliced it (still frozen) into thirds. The layers measures 4×9-inches, producing a rather brick shaped cake. Feel free to bake this cake in three 8-inch rounds or two 9-inch rounds.
What else do you need to know about this cake?
It’s moist, and beautifully flavored. The coffee and dark brown sugars work wonders with the cocoa powder. The chocolate frosting is an absolute dream, and fresh raspberries send the whole cake over the top. Thin slices of “The Wall” will serve about 10 to 12 chocolate loving people.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and cake frosting tips after the recipe!
Devils Food Cake
makes a three layer 8-inch round cake
or a two layer 9-inch round cake
or a one layer 9×13-inch sheet cake
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
1 cup hot brewed coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cups granulated sugar
Put racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter cake pans and line bottom with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together boiling coffee and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into another bowl.
Beat together butter and sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium sped until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour and cocoa mixtures alternating in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (batter may look slightly curdled).
Divide batter among pans and smooth tops. Place two pans in middle of oven and one pan in bottom of oven. Do not put top pans directly over bottom pans. Stagger them in the oven so the heat circulates. If you’re baking with a 9×13-inch sheet pan, feel free to bake on the middle rack. Bake, switching positions of pans half way through baking, until a wooden skewer inserted in enter of cakes comes out clean and layers begin to pull away from the sides of pan, 20- 25 minutes. 25-30 minutes for 9-inch rounds and 35-40 minutes for a 9×13-inch cake.
Cool layers in pans on racks for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove paper and cool completely. I covered my 9×13-inch cake with plastic wrap while still in the pan, and put it in the freezer to rest until I had time to frost it the next day.
Once completely cool, put one layer right side up on a cake place and spread with about 1 cup of chocolate buttercream frosting. Top with fresh raspberries and add another layer of cake. Add another cup of frosting, fresh raspberries and the final cake later. Top with buttercream and frost the top and sides of the cake.
If using a 9×13-inch pan, trim the sides slightly, and measure out the long side into three 4-inch sections. Slice, creating three 4×9-inch layers. Frost!
These cake layers came be made two days in advance and kept, well wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. It can also be frozen for up to a week. I kept the cake frozen while I trimmed and frosted it. I think it’s easier and less crumby.
The cake can be frosted one day ahead and kept refrigerated covered loosely in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.
You’ll need frosting right?
Cake frosting tips!? We have those too!