cake mix, devils food (baked in an 8 by 3-inch cake pan for about 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean)
vanilla bean, scraped
large egg yolks
semi-sweet baking chocolate
FROSTING - BUTTERCREAM ADAPTED FROM ROSE LEVY BERANBAUM’S THE CAKE BIBLE AND ROSE’S HEAVENLY CAKES: (I ADMIT THAT THIS BUTTERCREAM TAKES A FEW EXTRA STEPS, BUT IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT. IT IS VERY HELPFUL TO HAVE AN EXTRA BOWL FOR THE STAND MIXER WHEN
vanilla bean, scraped
large egg whites
+2 tablespoons sugar (divided)
cream of tarter
BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE TO FINISH THE BUTTERCREAM
butter (room temperature)
semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter and lightly flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cakes comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool the cakes in the pans on a rack for 15 minutes.
Gently remove the cakes from the pans and continue to cool.
2To make the pudding: Bring milk, salt, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla and butter to a gentle boil in a medium sized sauce pot. Whisk together the egg yolks, remaining sugar, cornstarch and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the eggs. Once the eggs are warm to the touch add everything back to the sauce pot and whisk over medium heat until the mixture has boiled for 3 minutes. It is very important to whisk for 3 full minutes to cook out the cornstarch or your pudding will be grainy and may separate once it is cooled. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Whisk it in gently, but thoroughly. If your pudding has any lumps than strain it, this is not always necessary. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap pressed right on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but this can be made a day ahead.
3To make the custard for the buttercream: Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl, set aside. Heat the milk, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla bean in a medium sauce pot. Once it just begins to simmer whisk a little bit of the hot milk to the egg yolks. Once the yolks are warm to the touch add them back into the pot of milk and gently stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture just begins to thicken and coats the spatula. Quickly remove from heat and strain into a shallow container. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but this can be made a day ahead.To prepare the Italian meringue: Once the custard is cool and you are ready to finish the buttercream heat 1/3 cup sugar and water together in a small pot with a Candy Thermometer. Let them boil and once the sugar is melted turn down the heat and begin to whip your egg whites. Whip the whites and cream of tartar until they are foamy on medium speed. Slowly add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip until the whites form medium-firm peaks, turn the mixer to low. By this time your sugar syrup should be about 248 degrees. Once it reaches that temperature on the candy thermometer remove it immediately from the heat. Turn your mixer up to medium-low and carefully pour the hot syrup into the mixer along the side of the bowl. DO NOT let the syrup hit the whip attachment or the hot syrup with splatter. Whip the hot whites on medium-high until they cool, about 3-5 minutes. In a separate bowl fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter. Once it is soft add the chilled custard and mix on medium until it is smooth. Add the Italian meringue to the butter mixture in 3 stages, on medium-low speed. When you first get all the meringue incorporated it may look curdled, like the picture above. Just let it mix for another 2 minutes. It should become nice and smooth. If it doesn’t then the butter was too cold. Just hold it over the stove for a few seconds to melt the butter a bit and then try remixing.
4Don’t hold it over the stove too long or you will melt it too much. Better to do it twice for a short amount of time. Once your buttercream is nice and smooth add the room temperature melted chocolate. Mix together on medium-low just until it is well incorporated. Cut the cake into 3 layers, fill it with 2 layers of the pudding. Be sure to build your cake on a cardboard round to make moving it and decorating it easier. (I cut the top layer of cake off and put it in a food processor to create the crumbs for the outside. I also tend to have bags of frozen cake scraps in my freezer which make this a snap.)
5Once your cake is covered in the buttercream press the cake crumbs to the surface. I start on the sides of the cake and then do the top.
Create bakery-quality cupcakes, cakes, and cookies at home by creating beautiful rosettes. What You'll NeedRoyal icingGel food colors for rosettes and leavesPiping bagWilton 21 star tipWilton 352 leaf tip1. Make...