Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Favorite Chocolate Cake

I made this cake about three months ago, (and photographed it with my broken old point-and-shoot camera)-- but never got around to blogging it.  I have no idea why, but I can tell you that our dinner guest went back for seconds and was happy that I sent her home with an extra slice.  (Now that I think about it, I didn't like the photos of the finished cake.)  I've made this cake recipe several times, and it always turns out very moist and  tender.  I'm sure that the buttermilk and oil has a lot to do with it! Yes, there's coffee in the recipe, but you can't really taste it.  If you've never added coffee to a chocolate cake recipe you will be surprised at how much richer the chocolate tastes.  I didn't take a lot of detailed photos, because my guest was almost here and I was rushing through the whole process I would hope that most everyone knows how to bake a cake. Right?  We start with flour and sugar and leavener, and Dutch Process Cocoa and a few extra goodies (the recipe card is at the bottom of this post).


Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, & vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.Now, we add the cooled coffee.  The batter will be a bit thin, but no worries.  I decided to bake the cakes in a 9" baking pan, which I lined with parchment paper (my best friends).  Baking time varies, of course.  28 minutes is the suggested time, but I always check my cake 4-5 minutes beforehand.  I don't like dry cake.  Then again, who does?!

Cool the cake -- you know the drill.  For the frosting,  I decided to do something a little different.  I want to fill the center with whipped cream.  Only, I wanted to stabilize it.  I did a little research and I read that powdered sugar helps.  I also read that unflavored gelatin helps.  Then, I saw a recipe that used both.  Why not?


1/4 cup ice cold water, 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 cup heavy cream.  The cold water is added to the gelatin to "bloom" it.  I ended up microwaving it for about 10 seconds, just to make it pourable into the whipped cream. Otherwise, I risk having lumps in my whipped cream.  
NOTE: I always chill my bowl and beaters before whipping my cream. It's foolproof.

You can see that the whipped cream has the texture of frosting.  So far, I've never made butter by over whipping my cream. Whew! Done.

Our family loves a white frosting, to contract the chocolate flavor.  I had an idea.   I had made a Grand Marnier Sauce for a Fig Brulee and I had some left over.  Hmmmm....

I never measure when I make frostings. I just create it by texture.  One stick of butter, and powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.  I like to add a little half & half to make the frosting silky.  So, I drizzled 4 ounces of the caramel flan sauce into the frosting... 

When frosting my cakes, I like to build a wall around the bottom layer with a piping bag. Then I filled it in with the whipped cream frosting center..., using

That way, when I add the frosting on top and the sides, the whipped cream won't leak out.   On a whim, I drizzled the very last of the caramel sauce over the cake.  The cake isn't photogenic, I thought to myself.

But, our dinner guest thought so. She patiently waited while I cut and photographed dessert.

This cake wouldn't win for good looks, compared to my Tuxedo Cake...

 ...this has a white chocolate mousse filling. (Slurp.) But, I never got to taste it. I gave it away.

But, the inside looks good to me! Rich chocolate and a whipped cream filling...

VERDICT:  Moist. Tender. Chocolatey.  The whipped cream balances out the sweetness of the buttercream.  The caramel in the frosting is very subtle.  Everyone has seconds!  The cake was gone the next day.  I speak the truth-- this is an excellent scratch cake. Who needs cake mix?  Really?

So, now I've written two posts about cakes, which is unusual for me.  I have a wicked sweet tooth.  Did I ever tell you that?  That's why I don't bake cakes very often.  I'd be a glutton. When nobody is looking.  

I'm posting the original recipe for the cake, and how I made the Caramel Sauce below my signature.  This cake is the star of this dessert.  You can use any kind of frosting that strikes your fancy-- but, please... no canned frosting!  Homemade buttercream is so easy to make, and doesn't have all those stabilizers and hard-to-pronounce ingredients in them!

Cheers!

                               

Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting

        <p>Forget boxed cake mix! This recipe comes together really fast, and you don&#8217;t need any kind of special ingredients. You can bake this recipe as cupcakes, but I took the easy route and baked a sheet cake.</p>     <p>It&#8217;s so ...    

        See Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting on Key Ingredient.    

   

                               

Caramel Sauce with Grand Marnier, Flan Style

        <p>Making my own caramel sauce is something I was always afraid to do.  I heard horror stories about burning the sugar, which I did the first time!  I finally decided to conquer my fear of making caramel sauce, and I was so excited to see that ...    

        See Caramel Sauce with Grand Marnier, Flan Style on Key Ingredient.    

   










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21 comments:

bellini valli said...

I am going to drool over this cake virtually. Love the action shots.This cake is a winner too!!

Velva said...

I am surprised that your dining guests only went back seconds...I would have went back for thirds and fourths :-) What an awesome cake.

Happy 2nd blogging anniversary. I hope to be following you for many years to come.

Velva

Stacey Snacks said...

YUM!!!!

Kate said...

My goodness, friend, such moist and rich looking cake. I would like to join you with a cup of coffee and savor the chocolate! Yum..

Bridgett said...

This cake looks incredible!

Adele said...

Oh that cake looks heavenly...

Joanne said...

I truly feel like I can never have too many chocolate cake recipes and this one sounds seriously rich and delicious. And that grand marnier sauce. well. That's just a miracle in and of itself!

Healthy and Homemade said...

Yummy cake! Looks so tasty.

mamakd said...

Wanna send one of those my way!? Looks just like chocolate heaven! I'm so impressed with all of your pics. That must take a lot of time and patience.

June said...

So moist, so choclaty! I want this with my coffee right now! :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I can't resist a fancy cake - I love the caramel sauce drizzled on top - it's gorgeous!

Allie said...

Why are you doing this to me so late on a Sunday night?! Here I am, my mouth watering, really wanting some cake! I think it looks perfectly photogenic Debby! Enough for me to crave it across the country :)

Cheryl said...

Wow that is a gorgeous cake and so is the one below the Tuxedo Cake. The only frosting I know how to make it whipped cream and I found a special powder at the local cake shop which makes it stay firmer and not slide or melt, love it!

Chef Linny said...

Great photos, as bellini valli said "Love the action shots." I wonder if you take them yourself? I find it difficult to take such nice photos of the food and ingredients when I am doing the cooking and photography at the same time!

tasteofbeirut said...

I am suddenly wondering why I have deprived myself of a great chocolate and whipped cream cake? It seems there is no reason why, I am making plans to make it soon!

Peggy said...

This cake looks amazing! It's definitely pretty and I'm sure it's tasty!

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Marvelous cake! You are right! This is an easy favorite dainty indeed! Delicious!!!!

Kim said...

Oh Debby - this chocolate cake with the amazing caramel sauce is mouthwatering. It's the perfect way to celebrate your 2 years of blogging.

I'm thinking of you and your family and sending you lots of prayers!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Sorry I waited so long to comment on this. Don't dis how your cake looks. It's beautiful! I'd be going back for seconds too if you served it to me.

Ina Garten always puts coffee in her chocolate cakes to keep them from tasting too flat. When I decided to try my hand at inventing a chocolate cake recipe, I made sure to include some coffee too. No, you can't taste it, but it does add a little something, doesn't it?

Meg (The Red Spoon) said...

Yum! Chocolate cake and booze - now that is worth trying! Thanks for the recipe!

Monica H said...

mmm, this looks fantastic as a layer cake. I actually bookmarked your original version. yum!