I’ve got another cake to share that has been waiting in the queue for almost a month, but I had to tell you about this one first. After all, a bloody cake is only appropriate one time a year: Halloween. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Or maybe a wee bit touched in the head.
Keep in mind that when I say “bloody cake” I don’t mean it in a Ron-Weasley-swearing-all-the-time kind of way. I mean the cake was dripping in blood.
It’s not really blood, of course, nor was it supposed to look quite so realistic. A miscalculation in the ratio of heavy cream to white chocolate led to a drippy red glaze that wouldn’t
coagulate set up the way I’d planned. It looks more like the real deal this way, though, all drippy on the sides and pooling on the cake plate. Happy–and in this case, mildly disturbing–accidents are the best.
The cake plate was a belated anniversary gift from David. Because retro, slightly radioactive* cake plates are the traditional gift for sixth anniversaries. Didn’t you know?
Kidding. It’s not. The traditional gift (in the UK, at least, according to Wikipedia) is sugar. And don’t you worry, there’s plenty of that here. And when the slightly gruesome and rather awesome collide with massive amounts of sugar under a black light, that’s what Halloween is all about, Charlie Brown.
Bloody Devil’s Food Cake
Devil’s Food Cake
adapted very slightly from Mouche Avec Moi
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
Line bottoms with parchment and spray again. Dust with cocoa powder;
tap out excess. (For the record, I only have two 8-inch pans, so I measured out my batter, divided it evenly, cooked two cakes, washed a pan, then cooked the third. It took some extra time, naturally, but it worked well.)
Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Whisk
in boiling water. Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set
Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the
paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until creamy. Gradually mix in sugar
until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time,
mixing well between each addition; mix until well blended. Mix in
Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, add
one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Then add one third of the cocoa mixture. Continue alternating until all ingredients are combined.
Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and smooth with an offset
spatula. Bake 35 to 45 minutes. (I suggest erring on the side of less time, as my cakes turned out a little dry.) Let cool in
pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks; remove
parchment and re-invert. Let cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
adapted very slightly from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used three bars of Ghirardelli)
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
Place chocolate in a small heat-resistant bowl. In a small saucepan, heat cream until just simmering. Quickly remove from heat and pour over chocolate; swirl the bowl to ensure all the chocolate is covered. Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk together until smooth and glossy. Cool to room temperature. If you don’t want to wait for it to cool, place it in the fridge to speed things up. You’ll need to stir the ganache every ten minutes or so to make sure it cools evenly. If it gets too stiff, just warm it up till it reaches a good spreading consistency.
Bloody White Chocolate Glaze
2 oz white chocolate, chopped (I used half a bar of Ghirardelli)
1/4 cup heavy cream
red and blue food coloring
Prepare as above until the chocolate and cream are well combined. This mixture will be runnier than the dark chocolate. Stir in red food coloring several drops at a time until the ganache is bright red. Add a few drops of blue to deepen the red; it makes the blood look slightly more realistic than just red does.
To assemble: Trim the tops of two of the cakes so they are flat. Spread one with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and top with the next flat cake. Repeat, topping with the third, untrimmed cake. Frost with the rest of the ganache. (Do a crumb coat if you want, but it didn’t really seem necessary with this cake for some reason. Maybe I was extra careful? Or didn’t really care? Knowing me, probably the latter.) Drizzle the red glaze over the cake, covering most of the top and allowing it to drip down the sides.
*Yes, we have access to a Geiger counter, and yes, we checked the uranium glass, and yes, it is a smidge radioactive, but, lest you worry that we’re all gonna get cancer from the bloody cake, using your microwave is probably going to give you more problems than eating off this baby. So there’s that.