We settled on a tall, straight (and boozy) Nikole Herriot-style cake for the main event and chocolate devil's food cupcakes for the groom's cake. I was so extraordinarily nervous about making and transporting a four layer cake that I decided to assemble the cupcakes the day before the wedding, just in case anything terrible happened. Now, generally speaking I'd be caught with my pants down before I served people day-old cupcakes, but that's the wonderful thing about devils' food: it's better the next day.
Most books and websites say that devil's food cake is called as such because it's delicious to the point that people can't stop eating it, and thus commit the sin of gluttony. I don't buy that at all. I think that some old Southern woman, tired of baking at the most inconvenient of times, traded her soul to the Devil for cake that can be made ahead. And that's why it's so fiendishly good.
Make-ahead mocha cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup fresh, hot, medium roast coffee
3 cups (about 13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups plus 2T raw cane sugar
4 large eggs, at room temp
1 cup full fat greek yogurt (or sour cream)
Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin.
Whisk coffee and cocoa together in a measuring cup until smooth. In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until cool to the touch. Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Add coffee mixture. Finally, alternate folding in flour and sour cream, starting and ending with flour. Fill papers 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20 minutes, turning the pan half way through cooking.
Top with chocolate ganache (recipe follows) and chocolate shavings.
you will have some left over...
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
3T light corn syrup (if you don't want to use corn syrup, whip up a batch of this)
2 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
splash of Kahlua*
Put everything in a double boiler and whisk until smooth. Place in the fridge and whisk every 5-10 minutes until ganache begins to hold its shape, then use.
* I removed about 1.5 Tablespoons of cream and replaced it with Kahlua.