Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Best Damn Chocolate Birthday Cake EVER. Period.

Today is my birthday. So, I baked myself my favorite cake combination...chocolate with white icing. Prior to today, I hadn't really found a reliably good, sufficiently chocolatey cake that I loved. Well, thanks to Ina Garten (or Hershey's depending on your source), and Penzey's Natural Cocoa, I have now found the cake. Make this chocolate cake. NOW. You won't regret it. Results were intensely chocolate, fluffy and moist. It couldn't get better than this.

As for the icing, I like vanilla on my chocolate cake. And I especially like cream cheese icing. So, the recipe I used was pretty easy, and what I think a classic cream cheese icing should be like. This cake though, could easily be taken to decadent by the use of a fudgy buttercream too.

This cake made my day today. Now only if it'll do the dishes...

Chocolate Cake Recipe from Ina Garten - Beatty Cake or Hershey's Black Magic Cake (they're the same!)

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  3. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Cream Cheese Icing, adapted from Allrecipes.com
This recipe was adapted from the Cream Cheese Icing in the link above. The first comment in the reviews provided different ratios of cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar, which I followed. I've posted the modified recipe below, which makes enough to generously ice a 2-layer cake.

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  2. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

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