Angels and Devils Cake

You all know that usually, Soy takes care of the cooking, and I, the baking. But we’ve been starting to collaborate more and bounce ideas off each other for each of our creations and this cake was one of them. During a drive to Sydney, and after much heated discussion as it is quite difficult to visualise a cake without pen and paper,  Soy and I created this cake, which we named “the Angels and Devils cake”, for the dark and light contrast.

We didn’t randomly create a cake, of course. It was for Lisa’s birthday! Lisa is usually my guinea pig for new creations, as we live 5 minutes away from each other and I’m normally passing her a macaron or two, or a cupcake, for her to try and tell me what she thinks. I asked her what she would like for her birthday cake, and she said, “Well, I like chocolate…” But, I didn’t want to make any ordinary chocolate cake, which led to my brainstorming session with Soy. So, we decided on red velvet and vanilla cake layers, brought together with layers of dark chocolate ganache. And then thought it would be cool to carry through the dark and light contrast to the outside of the cake as well!

It was just our luck that we found these fresh mulberries in Sydney. Their rich, dark colour was screaming out for a lush white layer, so we dipped them in white chocolate. Don’t you think they look like they’re sleeping, covered with little white blankets? ;)

A sprinkling of grated white chocolate topped off the dark/white contrast!

Here is a peek of the innards- the batter was crumbly so I ended up with 3 layers cos one of my red velvet layers broke :( Somehow I am always rushing for time and am too ambitious about cutting my layers rather than baking them separately. Save yourself a lot of effort by baking the layers separately! I was really happy that Lisa loved her cake! And everyone got a bit of a surprise when the cake was cut, because they didn’t expect the different layers inside. The only thing I wasn’t 100% happy with was the moistness of the cakes, so next time I might include a mousse layer in addition to the ganache. But overall, I was really proud of our customised creation for a dear friend’s birthday!

honeyandsoy’s Angels and Devils Cake

Vanilla Cake

2 3/4 cups sifted plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
200g butter, softened and cubed
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line 2 x round cake tins with baking paper.

Cream the butter in an electric mixer so it is soft and pale, then beat in the sugar in 3 lots, and beat the mixture until the butter and sugar are fully combined. Beat in each egg, then finally, beat in the vanilla.

On low speed, drop spoonfuls of flour and pour in the milk alternately, starting and ending with flour.

Divide the cupcake batter equally between the 2 baking tins and smooth over the tops. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Red Velvet Cake

2 ½  cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons dutch process cocoa powder (unsweetened)

2 tablespoons beetroot powder (alternative to red food colouring)

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ½  cups sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (I always use a substitute: 1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup milk, let stand for 5 min)

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter and flour two round cake pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Mix in beetroot powder gently with a fork then set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go.  Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

Make sure you have cake pans buttered, floured, and nearby.  In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda.  Yes, it will fizz!  Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine.  Working quickly, divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check early, cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

200g fresh cream

200g dark chocolate (at least 51%)

75g butter

Chop your chocolate to a very fine (grated) consistency.

Chop your butter into small cubes.

Commence boiling the cream.

Pour ¾ of the boiled cream into the grated chocolate and let sit for a few minutes to commence melting the chocolate.

Commence mixing with a spatula in a slow circular motion taking care not to incorporate any air.

Once you have a shiny and homogenous mixture, pour the remaining cream over the chocolate and repeat the mixing process. Check the temperature of the chocolate (not more than 55°C).

Add the butter and mix until the butter has completely absorbed into the chocolate. Cover your ganache with clingfilm and leave in the fridge to set.

To assemble:

Place a red velvet cake layer on a serving plate. Spread chocolate ganache and top with a vanilla layer. Repeat with remaining cake layers, alternating the flavours, and sandwiching them with chocolate ganache. Then, cover the entire cake with remaining ganache, and top with white chocolate-dipped mulberries and grated white chocolate.

Naughty but nice!

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  • http://www.michelle-chin.com Michelle Chin

    You should call it “Angels and Demons”. Perhaps when dan brown google his own book, then we might come across this recipe and feel flattered about it. :D

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    This does sound amazing and I like how you used red velvet cake! Interesting using the beetroot powder instead of red food colouring! Where do you buy it from?

  • http://twitter.com/IronChefShellie Iron Chef Shellie

    Awesome looking cake guys!!! I wish you lived 5 minutes away from me! ;)

  • http://anediblemosaic.com Faith

    This cake looks wonderful and I love it’s name! Great use for mulberries, dipping them in white chocolate was the perfect idea!

  • Anonymous

    So glad you didn’t use a huge amount of food dye, yuck! I love the mullberries tucked up under their sweet yummy blanket of chocolate too. Yumm..

  • Anonymous

    I like your innovative idea with the colours and layers. The mulberries on top are gorgeous. Wish there was a tree in the neighborhood I could pick berries from like in childhood times, they’re the best fruit!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hahaha! You know, I didn’t even think about that, even though I loved the book when I first read it all those years ago!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Thanks Loll! yes, we will collaborate more, but not on a drive without paper for illustrations and nowhere to escape to when the discussion gets heated! ;)

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Thanks Lorraine! We bought it at the Organic Expo, from Super Sprout. I’ll provide more details in an upcoming post!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Hahaha, ditto, Shellie!!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Thanks Faith!! They were such a rich, dark colour- we were really amazed!

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    Yes, the usual amount of food colouring used in red velvet does scare me…

  • http://www.honeyandsoy.com honeyandsoy

    I wish we had a tree too, Emma! These weren’t as sweet as those I used to pick off my uncle’s mulberry tree, but they were pretty plump and the white chocolate gave them just the right amount of added sweetness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deeba.rajpal Deeba Rajpal

    That is one stunning cake, and I love the idea of contrasts. Two heads are better than one, and this proves it so!! I love that you used beetroot powder for the red – fabulous! And the mulberries wrapped up are too precious! Lucky Lucy!!