Monday, February 11, 2013

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Ultimate Chocolate Cake
Cupcake Ranking: 4 Cupcakes
This cake was delicious.  I think.  Why am I unsure?   Because I didn't follow the recipe very carefully.  He he.  The recipe calls for Valrhona Cocoa powder.  Which is an extremely decadent chocolate.  I am all about searching for fun/rare ingredients.  However, I a)Didn't have time this week to look for anything but the bare neccesities, b) am a firm believer in using what you have and making the best of it and last but not least c)was not willing to pay $19.00 a pound.  Smile. That being said, the cake turned out yummy and everything a cake should be.  I will put what I used in italicts and do what ya would like to.
1 C Valrhona cocoa, plus more for dusting (8oz Baking Chocolate Bar, roughly cut up and melted)
3/4 C strong Coffee, boiling (We don't drink coffee, so I used Stephens Hot chocolate)
1 C Milk, room temperature
2 3/4 C cake Flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp Baking soda (When you use a bar instead of cocoa, you need to add 1/8 tsp of baking soda per ounce of bar used...So I used a total of 2 tsp Baking Soda)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature, plus more for pan (For every ounce of bar used you decrease the amount of fat by 1 Tbs.  So I used 2 sticks or 1 C of Butter total)
2 1/2 C Sugar
1 Tbs pure Vanilla extract
4 large Eggs, room temperature
Icing (Next time I would double the frosting amount)
3 1/2 C Confectioners' sugar
1 C Valrhona cocoa powder
12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 C Milk, room temperature
2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
Place rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans (I used two 9-by-2-inch pans and the cake even overflowed these.  DO NOT use an 8x2). Line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment, and dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Sift cocoa; whisk in boiling coffee (or Hot chocolate) and milk. Let cool. Sift together cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using a rubber spatula, mix the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Pour in the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix until fully incorporated (I used my Bosch.  Rubber spatula. Shrug.)

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (about 4 cups in each pan). Bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center.
Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully run a small offset spatula around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the pan. Remove cakes from pans, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
To assemble, using a serrated knife, level the top surface of each cake layer.  To prepare the icing, In a small bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter, milk, and vanilla; stir until smooth and free of lumps. Spread with 3/4 cup of frosting (I'd say 1 1/2 cups is better but then again I REALLY enjoy icing) . Top with the remaining layer, bottom side up. Using a swirling motion, cover the outside of cake with the remaining frosting.
Rach's Tips
I'm sure the nicer the chocolate...the better the cake.  However, I used a very medocre chocolate and this cake was DELICIOUS.  It was moist, chocolatey, and really great.  I would make it again for any chocolate cake occasion.