Monday, December 31, 2012

The BEST Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake has become a staple in our family.  It is rich and moist and everything a chocolate cake should be.  The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa at home - Ina Garten, Beatty's Chocolate Cake.  I opted for the organic or unbleached option where ever possible.

Chocolate Cake


butter for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder - this is important, I used Camino Organic
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken - I have also used cream as a replacement and it works fine
1/2 vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed coffee - I grind it and make it nice and strong
Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter two 8" round cake pans.  Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk (or cream), oil, eggs, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.  With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place one layer, flat side up on a flat plate or cake pedestal.  With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting.  Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting


6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder - I have subbed with 2 tablespoon of cold coffee left from the pot made above and this works fine

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating  for 3 minutes.  Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.  Dissolve the coffee powder (or coffee) in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water.  On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended.  Don't whip! 

Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


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