My friend and co-worker, Katie D., ordered another cake for a birthday celebration last Saturday. The family loves chocolate, so Katie ordered a 10″ square chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. I wanted the cake to have an October theme so fall leaves and a couple of candy pumpkins seemed appropriate.
Katie called this morning and reported that everyone loved the cake, especially her cousin Trygve (pronounced trig va – it’s Norwegian).
The chocolate cake recipe can be found on my post, Vampire Gran’s Perfect Chocolate Cake. Here is the buttercream recipe I used:
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 3/4 cup water
- 6 large egg whites at room temperature 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 sticks (1 1/2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
- 12 ounces fine-quality 60%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- Equipment: a candy thermometer; a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment
Bring 1 3/4 cups sugar and water to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, until it registers 220 to 225°F, 15 to 20 minutes.
At this point, while continuing to boil syrup, beat whites with vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt in mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating, and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks.
When syrup reaches soft-ball stage (238 to 242°F), immediately pour syrup in a slow stream down side of bowl into whites (avoid beaters) while beating at high speed. Beat until completely cool, 25 to 30 minutes. With mixer at medium speed, add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition (see cooks’ note, below) and until buttercream is smooth. (Mixture may look curdled before all butter is added but will come together at end.) Pour chocolate into mixing bowl and whip until buttercream is smooth. If buttercreams are too soft to spread, chill, stirring occasionally. When chilled enough, whip before spreading.
I used pastry tip # 112 to make the leaves.