Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Cake

This is it, i swear... i won't post anymore about cake... at least til next time :)



This will probably be the longest blog i've ever posted, but i think it's worth it. I decided to try my hand at cake baking as you can see in my previous posts. It turned out really well and I wanted to share it with anyone who reads this blog. I found the original recipe from another blog and since copying is the sincerest form of flattery I am not ashamed to admit that my ideas were truly inspired and not thought up on my own :) Plus, I had some amazing help from melissa. Together we make up 66% of a brain... we haven't quite figured out where the other 33% went...


I made a few of my own changes, only out of necessity... aka messing up and not being able to find certain things *smile* But I was really happy with the way it turned out. The cake was delicious. It had a very dark chocolatey taste and as I was enjoying some with alicia yesterday, we were discussing how we don't necessarily ever CRAVE chocolate... but once we start in on it, it's just sooo good. This cake did it for me!


Chocolate Lovers' Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Filling: Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache (enough to fill one layer)
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces 72% dark chocolate (about 7 squares)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar


For the ganache: (used as topping)
2/3 cup (3 oz) heavy cream
4 ounces best-quality bittersweet/dark chocolate


Decoration:
Chocolate Raspberry Milano Cookies
Raspberries
Easy white frosting
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 4 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 Tbsp milk, divided
- Beat shortening and vanilla at medium speed for 30 seconds.
- Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, beating well.
- Add 2 Tbsp of milk.
- Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough milk to make the frosting of spreading consistency.



Make the cake:

- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper.
- Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla.
- Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. I didn't get an exact time for this because I tend to go by instinct rather than the timer. But as a guideline, I would say leave them in the oven for about 15 minutes and then check them every 4 to 5 minutes after that. It shouldn't take longer than 25 minutes I would suppose.
- When the center no longer looks liquid, insert a toothpick in the center of each cake and if it comes out clean, they are done.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely.
- Peel off the parchment paper.
- After the cakes are completely cooled, use a cake leveler to make all 3 cakes the same thickness.


Make the whipped gananche (filling):

- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a small *metal* bowl.
- Prepare some HOT water in another larger bowl.
- Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan until it bubbles on the edges and immediately pour it over the chocolate.
- After you pour the cream onto the chocolate, place the smaller bowl into the larger bowl.
- This allows the heat from the cream to melt the chocolate and the hot water will keep the heat in so that the chocolate can melt completely.
- Stir slowly after a minute or two to make sure all the chocolate is getting melted.
- Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
- Slowly stir to make sure that the chocolate has completely melted.
- Cover bowl with foil and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready to use the ganache, use an electric mixer to whip it until it is a fluffy but thick consistency. It only take a minute or so with the mixer before it is ready.


Make the gananche (icing):
(do this after you have already assembled the three layers with the whipped ganache)

- Bring 2/3 cup of heavy cream to a near boil in a small saucepan.
- When it is steaming well, remove it from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate.
- Stir or whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.
- The mixture should be smooth and should spread over the cake easily.



Assemble the cake:

- Spread some icing on the cake plate to keep the cake from moving around
- Set a cake layer on the plate with its flat side facing up.
- Evenly spread the whipped ganache over the cake. Top with the second cake layer, and repeat with the third.
- Once the cake is assembled, use the dark chocolate ganache icing to spread evenly on the top and the sides of the cake.
- Immediately place the Milano Cookies around the outside.
- Then you can use your imagination with the top. I used the easy white frosting and squeezed it out of an icing bag into a blob in the center and topped with some raspberries.


- Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

1 extraordinary comments:

Melissa January 22, 2008 at 9:14 PM  

we figured it out. they just didn't like the answer ;)

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