In college I had a hard time picking a major, like so many do. I ended up studying Humanities, emphasizing in Media Arts. I studied film and how it fits into the arts as a whole. To this day I am as much of a film enthusiast as ever. So from the very beginning of Project Food Blog, I have been looking forward to this particular challenge, when we would be asked to create a tutorial video.
I recruited both my husband, Steve, and our friend, Jake, (both of them also film enthusiasts) to help with the video. Together we brainstormed, probably having a little too much fun doing so, and decided to make a short film inspired by one of our favorite directors, Wes Anderson, featuring one of my favorite recipes. Wes Anderson has a very distinctive style (maybe you know some of his films— Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and most recently, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and I hope those of you familiar with his films will appreciate the nod.
It was pretty easy for me to pick a recipe to feature. As a baker I am particularly fond of cake and one of my favorites is this chocolate cake. Not only is it the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever come across, but this cake is one of my all-time favorite cake recipes period. And I’m not even a chocolate person, it’s just so incredibly delicious. Hopefully my video will convince you that this cake is something you’ve got to try, and show you how easy it is to make.
I’m not going to lie, the video was a lot of work. We worked for over 16 hours total on filming and editing. And that’s not including the hours I spent obsessing about it. But it was so much fun! This has got to be one of my favorite Project Food Blog challenges to date. Our hard work paid off and I am extremely happy with how my video turned out, and I am excited to share it with all of you.
I hope you love it as much as I do! A special thanks to Steve and Jake, because without them this video wouldn’t have been possible.
Voting for Challenge 7 begins on Monday, November 15th.
Update: Voting is now open!
Adapted from Sky High Cakes
Makes 1 double-layer eight inch cake
2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup freshly brewed coffee, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 eight inch cake pans, lining the bottoms with parchment paper.
Sift together the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and buttermilk and mix on low until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and coffee. Add to the mixer bowl in three additions, mixing after each addition.
Pour evenly into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 5 cups
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup brandy
Melt chocolate and butter together in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Add the heavy cream and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the brandy. Cool to room temperature. Frost cake as desired.