I love FALL!! I especially love Halloween. I become a cooking and baking monster as soon as the outside light starts to change. I’m also a food “gifter” so there’s a lot of holiday baking for friends and family. I wanted to try more fun recipes this season so I made a Spider Web Cake.
Whenever I make a new cake, I like to try a different cake recipe. I feel like I’ve already found my white cake favorite but have not settled on the chocolate recipe. I think I found it with this one.
I’ve had the cake recipe, The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake, from The Stay At Home Chef for a couple of months. It looks really rich in the photo and the post gave plenty of options to alter the recipe for personal taste. As I’ve stated in a previous post, I make my own buttermilk. I don’t use it often and don’t want to keep it in the frig. So, I added one tablespoon of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup then added whole milk until the amount reaches one cup. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. It should curdle…stir and it’s ready to use. There are other recipes online using lemon juice, cream of tartar, sour cream, yogurt…one may work better with a recipe than the other. White vinegar has worked consistently for me so I have not tried the others. I added one teaspoon of espresso powder to the cake recipe for added richness. I’ve used it for years in chocolate recipes and especially love it in brownies. It makes them dense and decadent.
I used my go-to buttercream frosting recipe, á la Sprinkles Cupcakes, at Genius Kitchen. After mixing, I spooned a quarter of the white frosting into a bag, with a Wilton #4 tip, to draw the web. I then added about 10 drops at a time of black Wilton food coloring. The key sheet says 40 drops to make it dark but I think it ended up being more like 30 drops. I would start low and continue to add. The drop amount will be different depending on the amount of frosting you make. I also noticed that if you let the frosting sit for a little time, it seems to get darker. Mine sat for an extra 30 minutes while my cake was cooling. It looked much darker than when I had finished mixing. However, the eyes can play tricks on you when working with color so step away from it if you feel you aren’t getting the color you want then take another look. I have to do that when mixing dark navy and red.
I used my angled icing spatula to spread the black frosting then tried smoothing it with a stainless pastry scraper. I’m still working on my smoothing skills. I made the mistake of putting the cake directly on the final glass stand instead of working with it on my cake turn table. I honestly forgot about it in the pantry. The piping of the web was easier than I expected. I found a photo online as a key to follow then went for it. When I messed up a line, I either straightened it or removed it with a toothpick. About half way through, it clicks and the lines get better. The spider in the online photo was made with marzipan but I just used the frosting and copied the look of the spider.
It looks really great in person! I did not cut into this one to show the decadence of the cake because it was a gift for my wonderful neighbor, Anna Kate, who takes care of Figment when I travel. I’m happy to say I finally found my go-to chocolate cake recipe.