Sunday, March 7, 2010

Let us eat cake!

I love chocolate cake and for years I've struggled to make a good one . My biggest gripe was they were on the dry side which was due to my temperamental oven. I did the happy dance the day the stove up and died!

My wonderful husband realizes, and notices, how much I love to cook/bake and this time, doing the happy dance once again, we bought a better oven and ever since my chocolate cakes have been good . . . but still not great. That is until I stumbled upon the following recipe online from America's Test Kitchen from the Episode: Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake. This chocolate cake always turns out moist and delicious.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
12 T. unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) very soft, plus extra for greasing pans
1 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces), plus extra for dusting
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. Dutch-processed cocoa (3/4 oz.)
1/2 c. hot water
1 3/4 c. sugar (12 1/4 oz.)
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 c. buttermilk
2 t. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

Adjust the oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round 9" by 2" high cake pans with softened butter, dust pans with flour and knock out excess. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1" of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is metled, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 c. sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1-2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 1 1/4 c. sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2-3 minutes. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Add cooled choclate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30-45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition. Add about one-third of four mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds). Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached 25-30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting, 45-60 minutes.

Since I don't care to make icing, I use Betty Crocker's Chocolate Buttercream icing and it works well. If I keep quiet about the icing, people think I made that as well.

As Julia Child always said, "Bon Appetit!!"



Relyn said...

Hmmmm.... I bet I could handle that. Or, rather, I should say Mmmmmmmm... Yum, yum. You make me want to bake.

Jaime said...

Hello there :)
Just came to say hi and thank you so much for your beautiful comment on my blog. I knew I loved this space of yours as soon as I laid eyes on that gorgeous chocolate cake! What a perfect first post to find (chocolate being a major weakness for me and half a million other women I know and don't know)...I think I will putter around here a little and get to know you better.
So nice to meet you!

Se'Lah said...

Always love a good recipe!
Thanks so much for sharing this.

Hope you are well.

Lynn said...

I was never a cake person. Same as you, I found them kind of dry. As soon as you wrote "dry" I thought "I wonder if this recipe uses buttermilk?" And it DOES! EVERY single cake recipe requiring buttermilk that I've tried? Yummer. Moist and delicious. This cake looks to die for. I want to stick my fingers in the frosting. Hope you don't mind. hehe