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Friday, February 3, 2017

THE CHOCOLATE CAKE

UPDATE: This recipe is still as delicious as ever. However, I have a slightly updated version here for 3x6" and 3x8" amounts.

Every baker seems to have a that chocolate cake recipe. You know the one you've made over and over for birthday's, anniversaries, and other celebrations? This is my chocolate cake and frosting. The cake is dark and fudgy, but it's sturdy enough to stack and stack and stack. The frosting is super creamy. It's a softer frosting that is easy to swoop and swirl for a casual finish, but it's just firm enough that you can also get straight sides if you want it to be a bit more formal.



A friend of mine wanted a chocolate raspberry cake to celebrate her brother's birthday. I knew exactly what to do. This cake is filled with alternating layers of raspberry frosting and raspberry jam. 



I piped a border of chocolate frosting to keep the filling from spilling out. Then I spread and stacked five layers of dark chocolate cake! 



The whole shebang was then coated in chocolate frosting, topped with a drippy dark chocolate ganache, and speckled with fresh raspberries. Here it is packed up and party ready. 

 

So, the recipe...

...it is for two 8" rounds, but you can bake in 9" rounds. It's just easier to split the layers when they are a little bit more thick. 

...have a towel handy when mixing. It gets a little splashy at the end. 

...the cake is dark. You can't judge doneness by the color. Feel it with your fingers to test if it springs back, use a tester, and also check to see that it's just barely starting to come away from the edges. 

...for cocoa powder, I normally do half regular and half dark cocoa powder. You could do any combo that suits your tastes. 

...I used Style Sweet CA's recipe for the drippy ganache. She also includes a lot of helpful tips for successful dripping. 

...the frosting recipe makes enough to cover and decorate the cake, but double it if you are using it as your filling too. 

THE CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients 
Cake
280g all-purpose flour
410g sugar
75g unsweetened cocoa powder
2tsp baking powder
1 1/2tsp baking soda
1 1/2tsp salt
1 1/2tsp espresso powder
1c whole milk (230g)
1/2c vegetable oil (105g)
2 eggs, large
2tsp vanilla extract or Frangelico liqueur 
1c boiling water (230g)
Frosting
(adapted from this recipe by Martha Stewart)
340g/12oz semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
137g boiling water 
226g unsalted butter, room temperature
245g confectioners sugar 
1/2tsp salt

Directions
Cake
Preheat the oven to 350•F. Coat two 8 inch pans with butter. Line the bottoms with parchment circles. Coat with butter with cocoa powder. Knock out the excess. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.

Add in the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract or liqueur. Whisk to combine, first at a low speed then increase to medium. Whisk at medium for 30 seconds-1 minute. 

Add in the boiling water and whisk for 30 more seconds. Whisk on the highest speed you can without making a giant mess. You want to put some air in to the batter. 

Divide the batter between the two prepared pans (~730g per pan). Bake for ~35 minutes. Tester will come out with only a few crumbs clinging when done. 

Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before frosting. 

Frosting
Place the chocolate chips in a metal bowl that will fit on top of a bain-marie. Gently melt the chocolate, while stirring, until completely smooth. Set aside to cool to almost room temperature. 

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and boiling water. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until lightened in color and soft textured. 

Add the cooled chocolate to the butter mixture. Mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. 

Add the cooled cocoa mixture to the other ingredients. Mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. 

It's best to use the frosting right away. If you need to wait for some reason, cover the frosting and refrigerate it. Let it come to room temperature and stir on low with a paddle attachment until smooth again. 

4 comments:

  1. I just made this chocolate cake tonight and it was simply amazing! Not too sweet, and light, but incredibly moist and tender crumb. Wow!!!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! Wonderful! Thank you for trying it out and writing. :)

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  2. Just made this as mini-cupcakes that I'm going to top with a simple vanilla buttercream and orange sprinkles to take to the office for Halloween. Of course I had to do some "quality control" and eat a couple! Really delicious - light and moist!

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful to hear! Thank you! Those quality control nibbles are a very important part of the process! ;)

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