black and white cake

I reblogged this from November 14, 2010 from my (failed) early food blog. I was looking it over, sort of a nostalgia trip, and I saw this. I miss AJ!


Ever had those “senior moments” in the kitchen?  Hmm. Forgetting the sugar in the batter of a butter cake once taught me forcibly that baking is an exact science. Today was another one of those moments when I used soy sauce instead of hoisin sauce because the recipe said “Kikkoman’s” and I read no further. Nevertheless I remain optimistic in the kitchen, fool that I am, willing to experiment so long as I have willing souls brave enough to try my cooking; last week’s attempts at Haupia Cake, notwithstanding. John was very diplomatic to say he liked my first attempt, which he called a haupia “torte,” and Richard said that for my second attempt the haupia was exactly right. Well, some things do work sometimes!

This recipe was inspired by the Black and White Cake recipe in Diane Mott Davidson’s book Fatally Flaky a detective novel-cum-cookbook. As a genre I’m not sure how it’s supposed to work–should I read the book or put it down and cook?  I decided to cook. AJ requested an ice cream cake so I decided to give this one a try. It was originally supposed to be a chocolate layer cake with a vanilla ice cream filling; hence a black and white cake. However, AJ wanted a chocolate vanilla swirl filling instead. And I used a different chocolate cake recipe only because I happened to have all the ingredients for that cake in the Teeny Tiny Kitchen.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake (New York Times Cookbook)
Have at room temperature:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease two 9×1 1/2 inch layer cake pans, bottoms lined with parchment or waxed paper and greased. Flour pans. Set aside.

Mix all ingredients. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, water, milk, and vanilla. Blend on low speed to moisten all the dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and blend until just combined. Do not over mix.

Bake the cake. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pan 10 minutes on wire racks. Then invert the cakes and remove the pans and the parchment/waxed paper circles. Cool completely.

After this I followed the Davidson recipe for Black and White Cake.

Make the ice cream layer.
1 quart vanilla or vanilla swirl ice cream
1 9×1 1/2 inch layer cake pan, buttered

Soften the ice cream in the refrigerator about half an hour; 15 minutes on the kitchen counter. The consistency should be soft to the touch and spreadable. Spread the softened ice cream in the prepared pan and freeze until it is solid again.

Assemble the cake and ice cream layers
Remove the frozen ice cream layer from the freezer. Use  a thin spatula to separate the ice cream from the sides. An offset spatula will help to remove it from the pan. If it breaks apart, just push it back together. 

Put the bottom layer upside down on a serving plate. Place the ice cream layer on top and smooth it together. Put the second layer on top of the ice cream. Loosely cover with foil and freeze for at least 3 hours.

The next part is the fun part!

Making and pouring the chocolate glaze.
10 oz. (1 1/2 cups) bittersweet chocolate chips (easier than chopping up the chocolate, I find)
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons corn syrup

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the butter. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and whisk in the corn syrup. Let cool to room temperature. I would say when the glaze feels warm when you dip your finger in it.

Set a wire rack over a baking tray. Take the frozen ice cream cake out of the freezer and using a large pancake turner, take it off the plate and put it on top of the wire rack. With a thin blade spatula, smooth the ice cream layer flush with the cake layers. Pour the glaze all over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. The frozen cake will solidify the liquid glaze into a thin coating of chocolate! Is it ever neat!

Refreeze the cake for about an hour to set the ice cream. To cut the cake, heat a serrated knife in hot water–I poured boiling water over the blade–and wipe dry. Slice the cake using a sawing motion–don’t press down.

The cake was cold, lightly sweet, and creamy–but the texture was holey like the last two cakes I made. Over mixed. This disappointing result is because my mixing bowl is too small. Time to get a bigger one!

Post script:
Wow. It’s been four years since I made this Black and White Cake, and I’ve learned _so much_ about baking cakes since then! The key thing to do, of course, is to weigh all the ingredients. And now that I know what I know, I just don’t know if I would try to make this cake in Bangkok. Too hot!

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