Every year, our friend Jayne’s Birthday Celebration is declared Rumfest. That’s a combination of her maiden name and the fact that Jayne’s Birthday is never confined to a single day. It seems to carry on for at least a week, punctuated with multiple events to celebrate her big day. Before you go thinking this may have something to do with the fact that Jayne was born on a Friday the thirteenth, I have to stop you. Triskaidekaphobia has nothing to do with it. “Unlucky” thirteen has little to do with Friday at all. It’s a superstitition relating to Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Supposedly he was the 13th to sit at the Last Supper. But the Bible doesn’t say anything about the order in which the Apostles sat. And if we’re discussing unlucky numbers, Hexakosiohexekontahexaphobia, or fear of the number 666 has to be added to a list that includes Tetraphobia, or fear of the number 4, which leads buildings in most Asian countries to lack floors that include that digit. 17 is unlucky in Italy and 39 in Afghanistan and 87 is unlucky when Australians play cricket. And get this, 13 is actually a lucky number in Italy! I hope this clears things up for you. But I digress…
Smitten Kitchen’s Recipe for Ding Dong Cake as adapted by Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate’s website.
Ingredients for the cake:
3 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate (you can use chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cream filling:
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
For the ganache:
1 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
First make the cake:
1. Chop chocolate so no pieces are larger than a chocolate chip. Place chocolate in a medium bowl or a 2 cup measuring cup and pour hot coffee over chocolate.
2. Let sit for 5 minutes then stir, making sure all chocolate is melted and well combined with coffee. Set aside to cool.
3. Sift all dry ingredients together-sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In the a large mixing bowl (or the mixing bowl of your stand mixer) beat eggs on medium speed until frothy.
Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and chocolate-coffee mixture to eggs, beating well to blend.
5. Add in sugar/flour/cocoa mixture, one cup at a time, mixing just to combine after each addition.
6.Pour batter into 2 9 inch cake pans that have been well greased and lined with parchment paper on the bottom.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, using toothpick to test for doneness.
Let cakes cool completely in pan. Using a plastic knife, run knife around edges to loosen before turning out onto rack or plate.
Next Make the Cream Filling:
1. Pour cold milk into a small saucepan. Before turning on the heat, whisk in flour so no lumps remain. Turn heat on to medium low, and stirring, heat until mixture is thick, like a roux. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let cool completely.
2. Cream together butter and sugar on medium high speed, until fluffy, about 8 minutes.
3. Add in the milk mixture and beat again until mixture resembles a whipped cream.
Assemble the Cake
1. Place one layer of cake on an 8 inch cake circle, top side down. Cover with a thick layer of cream filling then place top layer of cake, top side down, on top of filling gently pressing down to secure layers. Place cake on a wire rack on top of a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Make the Ganache
1. Place chocolate chips in a large measuring cup.
Heat cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until boiling, careful not to scorch.
2. Pour heated cream over chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir chocolate to make sure completely melted and smooth.
3. Slowly pour ganache over top of cake, letting it drip down the sides. If needed use a spatula to help spread ganache on top over sides.
4. When ganache is set, cake can be transferred to a serving plate.
Chill cake for 4 hours before serving.