Experimental Weekend: Donna and James’ Wedding Cake

My friend Donna has a great tradition: she makes her wedding cake on her anniversary. How wonderful is that?!? I must have had a quizzical look on my face so she explained. She made her own wedding cake. The reason she knows how.   I thought maybe the bakery gave her the recipe. At this point I’m impressed that she undertook such a HUGE project. After tasting said cake, I’m even MORE impressed!

My daughter requested this cake for her friend’s birthday. And I have permission to share it here. Yay!

Even though this cake only has three ingredients, it is just So. Darn. Good.

Be warned: this is not your average throw-the-stuff-in-the-bowl-mix-and-bake cake. It is what some might call “fiddly.” But your efforts will be OH! SO rewarded! You will need to plan ahead for this one and start the day before.

1 lb/500grams good chocolate – at least 70%. I used a mix of 70% and milk chocolatewpid-20140521_191400.jpg

1/2 lb/227g butter

6 eggs, room temperature – (I know, right?)





Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by greasing the bottom with shortening and covering with baking paper. I traced the bottom of the pan onto the baking paper, cut it out, then flipped it over and placed it in the pan. Then I buttered the sides of the pan. In retrospect, I could have greased everything first then cut the baking paper. To each his own.





Melt chocolate and butter together. Remove from heat.






Crack eggs into a heated bowl and whisk for at least 5 minutes or until the eggs are, as Donna says, “blown-up.” I rinsed my bowl with hot water and dried it thoroughly before cracking in the eggs.

Sorry, I forgot to get a picture of the blown-up eggs, but they were frothy and fluffy. And I did change my attachment to the balloon whisk. In case you’re wondering…



wpid-20140521_193955.jpgTemper the eggs by adding a little of the chocolate and stir well. Gradually and gently fold in “blown-up” eggs to chocolate mixture. This will take a few folds.

Before implementing the bain marie/water bath baking method, make a foil collar. I used the wider width foil, placed the cake pan in the center then just brought up the edges to prevent water getting into the pan. Pour cake batter into prepared pan.

Place the collared pan into a pan large enough for the water to come halfway up the cake pan. I forgot to place a rack underneath the cake pan so that it would cook evenly on the bottom. (I ended up extending the cooking time a little bit because of that).




Loosely cover with foil. Place both pans into the oven and then add hot water making sure the level of water comes up at least 2/3 up. My pan is larger than 8 inches; I’m sure my level of water was higher than 2/3!

Bake for 5 mins. Remove foil and bake for another 10 mins.  Remove cake from oven then carefully remove the water bath/bain marie.  The cake will be very soft. It will jiggle like a baked custard.



wpid-20140521_201610.jpgLet cake cool. Cover with saran/cling wrap gently pressing to cover the surface of the cake to prevent a skin from forming. Let sit overnight. I should have put mine in the fridge overnight but didn’t and had to put it into the freezer before frosting because it was what could only be described as nearly melted! It was fine after the chilling. Whew!


Remove and cling wrap; loosen edges with knife before releasing springform lever.  Cover cake with a butter cream frosting. Here’s the recipe I used (from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, 1989 edition):

1/3 C butter

4-1/2 C sifted powdered/icing sugar

1/4 C milk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat butter till fluffy. Gradually add 2C of the sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in milk – I only used about half the amount because of heat and humidity levels – and vanilla. Slowly beat in remaining sugar. Add additional milk if needed to achieve spreading consistency.

*Great tip for smooth frosting: dip knife in a mug of hot water. Works like magic!


I know you’ll enjoy this one. It’s a great one to impress your friends. My daughter’s friends raved about it all night, she said. Now I want to make one for us…




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