Monday, October 31, 2011

Mocha Chocolate Cake

Ok, here's the recipe that I've been dying to share with you for a totally delicious, can't-wait-to-eat-another-bite chocolate cake.  This is an Ina Garten recipe called 'Beatty's Cake,' but I wanted to title this post with a better descriptive title for the cake.  I made it a few weeks ago when we were celebrating multiple birthdays for coffee lovers and I didn't realize how much I would love it. 


I've found that this cake (as is the case for all cakes) is very sensitive to cooking.  I made it the first time and it was perfectly cooked, moist and I even thought a little underdone until I tasted it.  I made it into cupcakes earlier this week and I way overcooked them!  So sad, but the frosting made up for it and not one was left in the teacher's lounge.  I made the round cake again last night and it came out moist and delicious!  I'm definitely better at timing the round cake pans than the cupcakes.  ;o)

Beatty's Cake  (adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients:
  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (or AP) plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar (1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white)
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken (as a substitute, I use whole milk with 1 tsp. of vinegar and let it sit 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup oil (olive, vegetable or whatever you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugars, 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, applesauce, 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 (mind your oven as mine are done right around 24 minutes), then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

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.

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (I prefer dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (I'm a lazy cook and will always use the microwave for this).  Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.



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