Tuesdays With Dorie….


I’ve joined another baking group. No, I have not left the Daring Bakers(all 500 and something of us…or maybe it is 600 now) but joined a group that is dedicated solely to baking Dorie Greenspan recipes. The first time I saw a post for Tuesdays With Dorie, I thought it was the cutest idea ever. We could spend years on Dorie recipes and never make a dent in all that she has to offer. If you read this blog you know that I am more than a Dorie fan, more like a Dorie worshiper. No other cookbook author seems to do what she does…offer near fool proof recipes in a language that the every day cook can understand. Having reviewed Baking From My Home to Yours, I know what an outstanding cookbook it is…I have recommend it to countless numbers of people and if you don’t have it you truly should.
Each week the group makes a recipe from Dorie…on Tuesdays. We are currently using the Baking From My Home to Yours but we have lots to choose from. This time around, April of Abby Sweets, selected the Black and White Chocolate Cake. It looks impressive though I must admit that I ran into a problem. A first for me with a Dorie recipe. Not really Dorie’s fault as it was my own. See, I am an over froster. I like frosting. Lots of frosting. From the picture it appeared that it was to be spread thinly…I just don’t do that. So naturally I ran out of frosting and had to make more…and I made a mini cake! I loved the actual buttermilk cake. I loved the chocolate filling. The white chocolate whipped cream was okay. I am not the biggest fan of white chocolate. I like it more of an accent than a main attraction. I know a lot of the girls had major issues with it. I don’t know what kind of white chocolate they used but you have to have high enough quality of white chocolate to make this work. The book suggested Valrhona, which is what I used. This is no time to use Bakers chocolate.
Presentation wise it is lovely. You have to be pretty good at cutting cake layers though as this cake has four. Like I said, I made mini ones. Again using my 4 ½ -inch diameter spring form pans. To make it easier to cut, my cooled cakes were placed in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then I used toothpicks to mark where I wanted to cut the cake. They aren’t perfect but they were decent enough. Some people swear by using dental floss. This method doesn’t work that great for me.
If I were to make this cake again I would do all of the layers in the chocolate, omit the white chocolate all together and go with a chocolate Buttercream frosting…but then it wouldn’t be as pretty.
To see a list of who is in the Tuesdays with Dorie group, visit the website so you can see what the other members did.

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

Dark chocolate cream:

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

White chocolate whipped 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 soda and 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 chocolate cream: 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 wrap against 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 chocolate is 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 chocolate whipped 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.

Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, Houghton Mifflin Company, November 2006




  1. yum, it turned out so pretty! :)

  2. i’m with you, peabody–the more frosting, the better! in fact, i prefer a frosting to cake ratio of approximately 3:1. :)
    it looks absolutely perfect, and almost too pretty to eat! almost.

  3. Looks stunning Peabody!

  4. Beautiful, you can imagine having a slice at some old fashioned hotel in London with a pot of tea served in a silver tea pot and fine porcelain tea cups and saucers.

  5. Yours looks beautiful! I’m going to ditto the white chocolate whipped cream thing though – I’m a sucker for real chocolate!

  6. Fantastic Peabody! Now you’ve convinced me to go get my Dorie book. My sister-in-law took mine last year and I have not gotten another one since.

  7. It looks beautiful! Mini cakes were a wonderful idea! I am so glad that you joined us!

  8. I love the idea of the mini cakes – this looks fabulous! And as for the all dark chocolate frosting… yeah my husband pretty much begged me to do that. He’s “eh” about white chocolate and a sucker for yellow cake and dark chocolate frosting. Next time :)

  9. WOW! Its adorable. Little cakes are just the cutest. Im hoping I can cut it as well as you did too. Waiting on some natural light to show up in my house before I hack into it.

    So glad you joined us!

  10. Ha! Tuesdays with Morrie – I mean, Dorie! Very clever …

  11. Lovely! I’ve always admired that cake in the book. It looks like a baked version of a tuxedo. I love your mini cake and, hey, extra frosting is a bonus in my book!

  12. your cake is gorgeous and puts mine to shame! thanks for the toothpick tip, i will try that next time :)

  13. It is a beautiful cake! My husband is not a frosting fan, so I don’t make frosted cakes very often unless I am taking it to work. But I love the frosting!

  14. I agree with you about the whole white chocolate thing… Although it has been about 5 years (or more) since I’ve had the stuff, so my opinion is rather biased. All the same, that is one stunning cake!

  15. Peabody,

    This cake looks great, and so accurately performed – each layer screams “perfection”! Yummy!

  16. Ahh if only I had enough time to make extra frosting. I love the mini cake, adorable!

  17. Sometime I think I should not visit your blog .. especially not at 5pm!

    Anyway, I am not a lover of white chocolate and I might try this one with butter cream on top & sides instead. Would it work?

  18. I feel the same way about white chocolate. I’ve never seen Valrhona’s version, but I’m sure I could track it down if I had to have white chocolate for something. The cake is great visually, and I totally agree on your decision to frost thickly even though you had to make another batch.

  19. Sounds like fun :) I would have had to make a second batch of icing too :)

  20. You know I’m going to love anything that celebrates Dorie!

  21. Thats fine looking cake. I love my Wilton tool for layering cake slices.It works like a charm!

  22. Your cake looks great. I love the idea of making mini cakes. And I am also a frosting lover!

  23. Oh, That Cake is to Die For! Thanks for recommendation of book, is now on my wish list. :)

  24. Looks lovely! I’m a liberal froster, too – I usually whip up a double batch. What’s the worst that could happen – leftover frosting? I have spoons :)

  25. That looks dreamy! My kind of cake. What fun we will have looking at all your Dorie posts!

  26. YUMMO>>>>>>> You have great photos…and recipes… :)

  27. What a sweet looking cake! I like the idea of a mini-me cake. Brilliant.

  28. Yummy looking! And yes, yes, the more frosting the better.

  29. Sounds like another fun baking group!

  30. wow! your minis are tall and beautiful! am jealous of your white chocolate cream! i used belcolade white for mine…not the best stuff in the world, but not cheapo either…still didn’t work out for me so well.

  31. I’m pretty sure that your cake looks *better* than the picture in the book. It’s perfect!

  32. OMG! Pea baby how high is that thing? I cannot believe you went and joined another sugar high group – EVERY TUESDAY? YOU are my hero – this looks so good and you leave me in awe!

  33. Peabody, as selfish as this may sound, I’m super excited that you joined another dessert group – now I get to be inspired by (and tantalized by) even MORE of your latest “culinary concoctions” :0D

    Oh and in my opinion, this method DOES work for you – that cake is magnificent!!

    P.S. – Happy Mardi Gras!! Have you ever made a King Cake before?? :0)

  34. I love reading Tuesdays with Dorrie posts – nice that I get to see your take also.

  35. Love the title! That’s a really cute idea and a seriously beautiful cake!

  36. So pretty! I’m jealous at how much your cake layers rose – it looks amazing!

  37. That cake look absolutely amazing! Darks chocolate cream and white chocolate cream…mmm…

  38. I’m jealous too! Very pretty cake, and I should have done what you did with the extra frosting. I skimped on the white chocolate layer so I’d have enough to frost.

  39. So I bought that gadget thingie that looks like it’s a dental floss fork for a horse? Mmm hmm.. figured it’d help me cut straight layers. Yeah.. not so much. Ugh.

    But I have had my eye on this cake ever since we reviewed the book and one day I shall make it.. oh yes I will! :)

    Yours couldn’t be prettier, Gracie! :D

  40. Tuesdays with Dorie, what a great name, love it! Hope you enjoy the group!

  41. I would eat it all…it’s chocolate…and it is smacking beautiful!

  42. Beautifully executed!

  43. gorgeous! i love perfect slices of big fluffy layer cakes. i just picked up a copy of “baking…” a few weeks ago but haven’t made anything from it yet, so this is inspirational.

    Us vs. Food

  44. looks so tasty, peabody!
    personally, i love white chocolate, and i have this book… i must try this one!

  45. I’m looking forward for what’s to come – what a fabulous idea for a blog event. I love Dorie!

  46. What a beautiful creation!You always do such a fantastic job!

  47. I’ve always wondered just how small your cake pans were. I was eyeballing some 6 inchers last week and almost bought them. I’ll have to take another look. Fabulous looking cake. I’m not a fan of lots of frosting, but you’re right — it looks so pretty! Of course, all your food does, you stud.

  48. Yum looks great! I didn’t get a chance to make this last week but everyone’s looks so good so I’m thinking I should make it soon.

  49. Granted I’m a few months behind, but I just made this cake for my husband’s birthday. It was so pretty and quite tasty. Thanks for posting it and giving me the inspiration (via Dorie)! I also emailed you about a chocolate cake recipe and I ended up using one from Epicurious that the birthday girl loved. Thanks.

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