Hosting a red carpet viewing party? Dress up your dessert table in this tuxedo cake: chocolate cake iced with buttercream and drizzled with chocolate ganache.
There's an awards show on tonight, and while I watch simply for the fashion (and this particular year, Neil Patrick Harris), many people make a party night out of the show, and host a viewing party, with all sorts of red-carpet-worthy food.
And those foods are what today's Sunday Supper is all about. Thanks to Katie of Ruffles & Truffles for hosting today's star-studded event!
Since I mainly watch awards shows for the fashion, when I thought about the phrase "red carpet," my mind immediately went to the dresses and tuxedos — and tuxedo cake. "Tuxedo cake" describes the look of the cake more than the flavor. It's a dark (almost always chocolate) cake, iced in white frosting and drizzled with dark chocolate ganache.
You can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe in place of the one I used, and your favorite white frosting. If you've been reading The Redhead Baker long enough, you know that Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my all-time, forget-the-cake, just-get-me-a-spoon frosting. And since buttercream contains, well, BUTTER, it will never be purely white.
But when you have rich, chocolate cake and decadent, creamy buttercream, drizzled with fudgy ganache ... does it really matter? I think not.
This Swiss meringue buttercream recipe below makes more than you will need to fill and frost this cake (unless you prefer to put about an inch of frosting between, on top and on the sides). This buttercream can be frozen for up to 6 months. When you want to use it again, melt two-thirds of the buttercream in the microwave. Place the remaining (still-frozen) third in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the melted buttercream over the frozen buttercream and beat on low speed with the paddle attachment.
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, 1 ½ sticks
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar
- ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¼ cup milk
For the buttercream
- 12 egg whites
- 1 lb 4 oz granulated sugar
- 2 lb unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into tbsp-sized chunks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the ganache:
- 4 oz good-quality dark chocolate, chopped fine
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Splash of vanilla
Make the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for about 2 mintues until smooth. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the sugar gradually. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring to scalding (small bubbles form around the edge of the pan). Remove from the heat.
- With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a ¼ cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lightly tap each pan against the counter to settle the batter and remove air bubbles.
- Set the pans on the middle rack in the oven. Bake the cakes about 30 to 35 minutes, until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and the center springs back when touched lightly.
- Cool the cakes, in the pans, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake layers out of the pans and continue cooling on the rack.
Make the buttercream:
- Place the whites and the sugar in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer. Place the mixing bowl over a saucepan filled with about an inch of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not sit in the water). Continually whip the egg whites and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove bowl from the water and place on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue forms medium peaks (peaks form, but the tips fall over).
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Add the butter, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, whipping until fully incorporated before adding more. The time it takes to incorporate will get longer and longer as more butter is added.
- After all the butter is added, add vanilla and liqueur (if using) and continue beating until the buttercream comes together and looks smooth and creamy. If the mixture looks curdled, trasnfer about a quarter of the buttercream to a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the mixture melts. Pour it back into the mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until the frosting becomes smooth and creamy.
- Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use. If using later, allow buttercream to come to room temperature, then beat again before using.
Make the ganache:
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Place the heavy cream in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat in the microwave on high for about a minute -- watch it carefully, don't let it boil over.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let sit undisturbed for one minute, then whisk until smooth.
Assemble the cake:
- Choose a serving plate. Place a dollop of frosting in the center of the plate.
- Level the cakes (cut off the dome, if one formed while baking). Place one layer, cut-side-up, in the center of the serving plate. Place about a half-cup of buttercream on top of the layer, and spread with an offset spatula, adding more buttercream if needed.
- Place the second cut-side-down on top of the buttercream. Spread a very thin layer of buttercream all over the top and sides of the cake -- the cake below should still show through (this is called a "crumb coat"). Set the cake in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and add another layer of buttercream frosting to the top and sides of the cake, so that no cake shows through. Set the cake in the refrigerator for about an hour to set the frosting.
- Warm the ganache, if necessary, at 10-second intervals in the microwave just until it reaches a pourable consistency. It should be warm, not hot. Pour over the center of the cake and use an offset spatula to push the ganache towards the edges of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator to set the ganache, until ready to serve.
Don't forget to check out the rest of these red carpet worthy recipes!
Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:
- Beef Sliders with Sautéed Mushrooms, Onions, Bleu Cheese and Bacon by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Black and White Olive Cheese Puffs by Peaceful Cooking
- Cheddar Olives by Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Chicken Boursin by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Herbed Butter and Cheese Popcorn by Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Italian Guacamole with Pesto by Food Done Light
- Lobster Bruschetta by The Texan New Yorker
- Melon and Prosciutto Skewers by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mini Cheese Balls by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Moroccan Beef Kefta Briouat by Manu's Menu
- Mushroom Pate by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Oysters Rockfeller by Noshing With The Nolands
- Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp by Casa de Crews
- Raspberry Brie Bites by Love and Confections
- Roasted Red Pepper Pinwheels by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Smoked Trout Stuffed Baby New Potatoes by Food Lust People Love
- Spinach Bites by Shockingly Delicious
- Sweet Chili Chicken Skewers by Nosh My Way
Nominees for Best Course in a Leading Role:
- Bow Ties and Tails Galore by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Chicken Oscar by Palatable Pastime
- Indulgent Lobster-Champagne Risotto by The Weekend Gourmet
- Oscar Worthy Cantonese Lobster with Coconut-Ginger Rice by Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Nominees for Best Supporting Sips:
- Apple Ginger Martini by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Blood Orange Rosemary Spritzer by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Cherry Almond Sparklers by Magnolia Days
- Iced Espresso Martini by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Mixed Berry Martini by The Messy Baker
- Red Carpet Sparkler by Rhubarb and Honey
- Thank You Peary Much by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Nominees for Best Delectable Desserts:
- 7-Layer Bark by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Caramel-Almond Latte Ricotta Cookies by What Smells So Good?
- Champagne Truffles by Brunch with Joy
- Chocolate Covered Cherries by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Decadent Flourless Brownies by Recipe for Perfection
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Parfait Cups by Wallflour Girl
- Imitation Game Guinness Brownies by NinjaBaker.com
- Mini Strawberry Galette by Basic N Delicious
- Mini Strawberry & Chocolate Cheesecakes by Happy Baking Days
- No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake Shooters by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Popcorn Puppy Chow by Pies and Plots
- Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites by The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
- Tuxedo Cake by The Redhead Baker