The Black And White Cake ain’t, let me start out by making that clear. This is the story instead of a Black And Pink Cake. Everybody else’s look so nice, I had to make myself post this poor failure.

Picture 472 It started out so well, the little pink cake pans were floured and parchmented for the first time (I’d never used the paper before), the bowls were lined up and shining. Everything was shaping up to be a simple, lovely day of baking and frosting. Oh sure, the white chocolate gave me pause as I remembered my early childhood hatred of the stuff but I didn’t let it bug me.                           

   

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The batter whipped up very nicely, thick and fluffy. I didn’t even try to speed up the mixing process, despite my mutterings about having to do things the fancy, uppity way with each addition carefully timed. The ingredients seemed to my uneducated self an awful lot like a basic ol’ buttermilk cake, but a look at the picture reassured me that we were making fancy pants, high falutin’ food in the kitchen today!

Picture 476 Like a good girl, I avoided opening the oven to check on the cakes. They were doing fine in there, surely that beautifully luscious batter wouldn’t be having any problems! The timer went off, and I pulled out… pancakes. Now, it’s entirely possible that I’m too used to the fluffy cakes and without proper warning panicked over much. They seemed so flat, so dense though that I quickly tossed them to the side and tried again! The batter was perfect, I counted the seconds between adding eggs with a quiet whisper and slid the cakes into the oven…

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Pancakes. There is no other word to describe them but pancakes. I knew it wasn’t the ingredients, the baking powder and baking soda are brand new and made everything else they’ve touched light and fluffy! Why now, why these poor little cakes? A quick bite of the earlier batch confirmed what I had suspected early. Ol’ buttermilk cakes. Dense and crumbly, the kind of cakes you serve folk when company ain’t coming. Tasty to be sure, but not a whiff of white napkins and crooked pinkies to be heard of!

Resigned to the flat little things, I started in on the chocolate cream. This was to be the redeeming touch of sophistication, and I threw myself into the unfamiliar task without fear. What could be more charming and suave then a lovely bowl of… pudding? The stuff looked like cooked chocolate pudding. Dismayed, I swiped a pinky finger across the spatula, and sure enough it tasted just like a comfy lick of homey chocolate pudding.

Right. An ol’ buttermilk cake with chocolate pudding on it. Mind you, I ain’t got no objections to that combination. It’s a favourite of mine, but there are a lot quicker ways to accomplish it without the time consuming steps or the pricier ingredient list.

The white chocolate cream was the last hope of this being anything resembling fancy. Y’all ever really hated something as a kid, and then outgrew it later? Yeah… that didn’t happen here. From the first whiff of the warm white chocolate, to the cautious lick of the spoon, every fiber of my being was trying to scream and run from the vile stuff. After a few attempts to get near it, I groaned (and did *not* cuss out loud thank you very much) and threw the whole mess in the trash. To make up for it, I whipped up some more whipped cream, and boiled down some fresh strawberries and sugar into a sauce to fold in. It was very tasty, but obviously not sturdy like the original.

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The Black And Pink Cake. After all the hassle, I served it to D and his mom for dinner. After explaining why it didn’t work out, his mom (bless her) laughed and said she was happy it didn’t because she doesn’t care for white chocolate at all. It was a tasty cake, even if that night I wasn’t it biggest fan from having too many hopeful expectations about it.

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Last night, I grabbed a slice before I was gonna throw it out this morning. It had been hanging around since Saturday, and it wasn’t gonna be good by the next day so I wanted to give it one more chance. Very tasty! The cream had sunk into the cake more, and everything was much moister and blended. Then again, ain’t everything tastier in a middle of the night refrigerator raid?

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Black and White Chocolate Cake

For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the dark chocolatecream:
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp corstarch, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces, at room temp

for the White chocolatewhipped cream:
6 oz. premium quality white chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9X2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To make the cake: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking sodaand sal t.

Working with a stand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minutes after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then unmmold, remove the paper and invert to cool to room temperature right side up on the rack.

To make the dark chocolatecream: Bring the milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolk with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until thick and well blended. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle-then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over meduim heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the melted chocolate, and let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the pieces of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the chocolate cream is smooth and silky. Press a piece of plastic wrapagainst the surface of the cream to create and airtight seal and refrigerate the cream until chilled, or for up to 3 days. Or, if you want to coool the cream quickly, put the bowl with a cream into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

To make the white chocolate whipped cream: Put the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl and put the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently to melt the chocolate evenly. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of the heavy cream to a boil.

When the white chocolateis melted, remove the bowl from the pan. Pour the hot cream into the melted chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Using a small spatula, stir the chocolate gently until it is smooth. Let it sit on the counter until it reaches room temperature-it can’t be the least warm when you add it to the whipped cream.

Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream only unti l it holds the softest peaks. Turn the machine to high, add the cooled white chocolate all at once and continue to beat until the whipped cream holds firm peaks. Turn the whipped cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 6 hours.

To assemble the cake: If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Slice each layer horizontally in half. Place on layer cut side down on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment.

Remove the dark and white chocolate creams from the refrigerator and whisk each of them vigorously to loosen and smooth them. With a long metal icing spatula, spread enough dark chocolate cream (about 1 cup) over the cake layer to cover it completely. Top the cream with another cake layer, cut side up, and cover this layer with white chocolatewhipped cr eam, making the white layer about the same thickness as the dark layer. Cover with a third layer, cut side up, and cover with another cup or so of the dark chocolate cream. (You’ll have some dark chocolate cream left over) Top with the final layer of cake, cut side down, and frost the sides and top with the remaining white chocolate whipped cream. Decorate with chocolate shaving or curls, if you wish.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

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