Monday, December 17, 2012

A Truly Decadent Chocolate Cake

Three layers of chocolatey goodness make up this amazing cake.  It was a feat of unimaginable proportions for moi.  I mean, it really had a lot of steps and so many ingredients, and I didn't have all the right "tools" but I was determined to make it, and it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but just very time consuming.

Hello calories and welcome chocolate overload.  YUM!  It was one AMAZING cake.

This recipe was adapted from Delectable Deliciousness and is mix of different recipes from various sources.

I made only a few small substitutes to the recipe.

Note: I used Ghirardelli chocolate, including the powder.  I think good chocolate makes a big difference here.

Chocolate Cake

From Barefoot Contessa

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk substitute: 1 tbsp white vinegar + enough milk to bring the liquid up to the 1 cup line
1/2 cup olive oil
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp imitation vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I used decaf)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer whip to combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet to combine. Slowly add the hot coffee just until combined. Note: it was pretty watery, but that's ok.
My make shift standing mixer: Propped the hand mixer up against the held for 40 seconds, haha.

4. Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

For Filling:

Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, via Orangette

*Note - I will definitely halve this recipe next time.  I had way too much filling that I didn't use.  Depending on how much filling you like you can always stick to these portions, but my crew here is not big on filling.  I also didn't use this filling to decorate as it wasn't "thick" enough.  It could just have been my crappy decorating skills or lack of proper decorating tips though.

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
5 tbsp water
2 large eggs, separated
1 tbsp sugar, divided into 1 1/2 teaspoons each
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbsp cold heavy cream

1. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and water in a medium heat proof bowl. Heat over a double boiler, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
My make shift double broiler, bowl on top of pot :D 

2. In another medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and salt. Whisk until mixture lightens and thickens slightly (about 30 seconds if using an electric mixer). Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture and whisk until combined. Set aside until mixture cools to just warmer than room temperature.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (if you have one) fitted with the whisk, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy; add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold in remaining egg whites until only a few white streaks remain.

4. Using your now empty mixer bowl (no need to wash it), whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate/egg white mixture until no white streaks remain. Cover and refrigerate until firm for at least 2 hours (or up to 24).

Fishi tried to help :)

For Frosting:

Simple Ganache
Adapted from various sources of ganache ratios

*Note: Next time, I am doubling this recipe.  I need a lot to be able to decorate this cake with.  Maybe it was just my lack of frosting skills, but I didn't have enough to use to cover the cake and decorate. 

5 oz. milk chocolate, chips
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tsp instant espresso powder
6 oz. heavy cream

1. Place chopped chocolate and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just to a boil. Pour over chocolate and let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.

2. Whisk cream and chocolate mixture until smooth. Cool until ganache is of spreadable consistency.

I added the almonds to add some sort of decoration since things weren't looking too great!

Now, the main reason I picked this recipe was because Jayme (from Delectable Deliciousness) said she thought it was amazing, and usually doesn't praise her baking much or always is looking to improve them.  I usually hate my baking/cooking, so when someone else feels "somewhat" the same way, and then says this is the ONE, that to me is something worth noting.

I do have to say though, I was impressed with the taste of this cake, and as I mentioned, I hate my baking, but this cake was amazing.  My husband also loved it and I mean LOVED IT.  Everyone else also thought it was amazing and they even said it tasted like a professional cake. YAY!  Now, it was far from looking like anything professional (I was very disappointed in myself), but i'm really glad everyone enjoyed it (that's the most important thing for me).  This is definitely a cake I will be making again.  The recipe is just great!! A definite must for any chocolate cake lovers!  

I really need to take a class in decorating cakes though...this is pathetic.

Now, had my skills been really amazing, this is what the cake should have looked like :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! Look at those ingredients! This is really a professional cake and you need the equipment! But wow it looks sooo good - I love how you let the frosting flow over the edge! Bravo!!!



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