Halloween 2017 and Devil’s food cake
What a glorious day! I have hosted my first ever Halloween party at home. Nearly a month of planning, a few days of carving pumpkins and decorating the flat, the whole day of baking and now it’s over. Over until next year, because honestly, in my mind it was a success and it must happen again. Before I go into detail about how incredible, insanely good, super-duper fantastic my cake was (!!), I made a bunch of creepy looking snacks to impress the crowd. Unfortunately, it often happens at parties that the guests show up before everything is ready, so you rush things a bit too much and the pictures taken in the end don’t fully represent all the effort and the beauty of the table. Oh well, at least there’s something 🙂
My Halloween menu:
A bread coffin filled with pumpkin flavoured hummus served with veggies and crackers
Deviled egg eyeballs
Spooky sausage mummies
Devil’s food cake (The amazing idea is from here)
Bloody sangria shots
Witch eyeball punch
Not gonna lie, it took forever to make all of it, but it was absolutely worth it. I enjoyed every second and it seems that the guests also liked things. Serving drinks in syringes is such a genius idea for Halloween. Any red drink looks spectacular, so I made sangria in the large glasses and used original Lithuanian cranberry liqueur for the vampire shots. The coolest thing is that the kids loved having juice in the syringes as well.
oh oh oh, let’s take a moment to appreciate the cake. It was seriously one of THE BEST cakes I have ever made. Still can’t stop smiling, so happy with myself. I was slightly suspicious about the frosting, the recipe called for an insane amount of butter and buttercream frostings are not my favourite. But the final assembled cake was just phenomenal. My friend Martin said some key words I should use to describe it are moist, rich, sweet and obviously delicious.
Here comes the recipe. It is a lot of work, especially the decorations, but so worth all the effort.
Devil’s Food cake
- 140 g unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup (70g) cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups (350 g) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- Large pinch of salt
- 365 g butter
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (I did not use any)
Chocolate fudge frosting
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 170 g unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 112 g unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease 3 x 20 cm diameter baking tins.
- Make the cake. Combine the cocoa powder with 2/3 cup boiling water and whisk well. Stir in the milk. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and the salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the room temperature butter with the sugar using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add in the vanilla, mix well. With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the cocoa mixture. Add the rest alternating between the two mixtures. Mix until smooth.
- Divide the batter into three prepared tins. Bake until the cake centres are firm to the touch, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the buttercream. Mix the egg whites with the sugar and the salt in a heat resistant bowl. Fill in a medium pot halfway with water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bowl with the egg whites over the pot and cook the mixture whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 60 °C. It takes about 5 minutes.
- Using an electric mixer, beat until completely cooled and thick, about 5 minutes. Beat it the butter, a bit at a time until the icing is smooth and spreadable. Beat in vanilla and pepper (if using).
- Assemble the cake. Divide each of the three cakes horizontally to get six layers. The cake is quite tall, so I used the border of the cake tin to make sure it is assembled in the best possible shape. Place the first layer on a plate, spread 1/5 of the buttercream. Alternate between the cake and the frosting finishing with a layer of cake. Cover with plastic wrap and let it set in the fridge. I left mine overnight.
- Make the chocolate fudge frosting. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, sugar and salt. Heat until dissolved, stirring occasionally. This takes about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add in the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Place the pot with the frosting into an ice bath and beat using an electric mixer until it is cool and thick. This also takes about 5 minutes. Spread on the top and the sides of the chilled cake.
- Store in the fridge but remove it an hour or so before serving. Devil’s Food cake is best at room temperature.