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August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday to You



Heart and I baked this devil’s food cake yesterday for Daniel’s birthday and decided to decorate it with edible flowers and cake crumbs. (Heart mostly enjoys sifting and batter licking, which actually makes her the perfect companion for baking because I don’t enjoy sifting and batter licking is definitely more fun when not done alone!) This was actually meant to be a layer cake, but we decided to half the recipe and make it a little less complicated and a bit less decadent. We only applied one layer of ganache, which yielded a ton left over. Next time I would do two. But in the meantime, we might try our hands at truffles with what’s left.


This is from the Tartine Cookbook, only very slightly adapted. Serves 6-8

1 scant cup flour
2 1/4 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk

Chocolate Ganache

12 oz semi sweet chocolate such as Callibut
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
edible flowers


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9inch cake pan (I used square) by lining it with a trimmed sheet of parchment that fits snug in the bottom and by buttering and flouring the sides of the pan. Dusting off the excess flour. In a small bowl, sift together the first 6 ingredients. Set aside.

In a stand mixer cream butter with a paddle attachment and add in sugar. Beat them together until smooth and pale yellow. Add in eggs one at a time, making sure each incorporates before adding the next. Then alternate adding in the flour mixture and buttermilk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. scrape sides of bowl and mix a few seconds more. Scrape the batter into a pan, smooth it out and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack. Once it is cooled, use a serrated knife to even the top but carefully cutting off the dome part of the cake. Then crumbly the cake crumbs in to little bits and place them on a cookie sheet. Turn the oven down to 250 and bake the crumbs until dry about 50 minutes. Then process them until they are fine.

When the cake is cool start to make the ganache by simmering heavy cream on the stove and pouring over the chocolate shavings. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two before stirring slowly until it’s shiny. Once the cake has completely cooled pour a layer of ganache on top and place the cake in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the cake and pour a second layer of ganache on. Sprinkle the cake crumbs on the bottom half of the cake and add flowers to the top.



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