Yeah! Another cake for my portfolio. Chocolate cake is one of those things that are unbelievably simple, yet are so decadent. I don’t like eating chocolate too much, but I love the sheen of melted chocolate, when it runs off the spatula in dark, shinny ribbons… gaw. Chocolate is beautiful. Actually whenever I see those Lindt chocolate commercials I want their fancy spiral whisks to spin around in chocolate.
I searched around for the perfect chocolate cake recipe. There were a bunch that wanted espresso powder or something, which annoyed me. I don’t really drink coffee so I don’t have any of that. Actually, last summer I bought a coffee maker ($20 or something) so that I would be able to brew my own coffee for whatever baked good needed it, but it turns out, I suck at brewing coffee. It either tastes too strong, or too weak, or I get grossed out by the film of oil that floats on top because of the beans. If I’m gonna drink coffee, I’ll just get it from the Bridgehead or Tim’s down the street. Way easier and tastier. But back on topic.
I iced this with roses because I REALLLLLY wanted to do a rose cake, but the people I had been making cakes for probably wouldn’t have appreciated a rosey cake. This one is for my student association’s Dirty Bingo tomorrow night, and the prizes are “dirty” themed/valentine’s day themed, so I thought the roses were appropriate. I kind of ran out of icing though, so I could only add roses to the top and then did a border around the bottom. I used a 1M wilton tip for both the roses and the shells around the bottom. (I was too lazy to transfer the icing to another bag).
The recipe I found only asked for boiling water, but I read on other blogs that had chocolate cake that the coffee brought out the flavour of the chocolate, which made sense to me somehow. Now I don’t quite understand but I’m over it.
Also, is it just me, or can you -smell- when whatever’s in the oven is ready? I’ve noticed it a bunch lately, whenever I’m baking something, I’ll just get a certain whiff and I’ll know that I can take it out of the oven even if there’s another 2-3 minutes on the timer or something. It happened today with the cake and the other day with the apple upside-down cake… it’s really bizarre. But useful I guess, because I never time properly or my timer decides to get stuck in time.
- 3/4 unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup boiling water (I used Tim Horton’s coffee) (I also just realized that it was only 2/3 cup in the original recipe, but I like how my cake turned out so I’m okay with it)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla (what? 2? I think I put in 1. Oh well)
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used 3 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate because I ran out of cocoa powder)
- 4 cups icing sugar (I think I used 3 1/2 because it started to get too sweet because I was using semi-sweet)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp milk
- Grease two round cake pans (I used 8×8) and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in egg, one at a time.
- Add vanilla.
- Dissolve the cocoa powder into the boiling water/hot coffee, and gradually add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. If it’s really hot, try to temper it (trickle it in) so it doesn’t cook the egg. It’ll look kind of curdled but that’s okay. That’s just the butter being silly.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Alternate adding the dry mix and the buttermilk to the egg/butter/sugar/coffee/chocolate concoction.
- Mix everything together until incorporated, then divide evenly between the two pans.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean.
- Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove and let cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, mix up the icing by creaming the shortening and butter. I suggest using an electric beater for this. Adds more volume to the icing.
- Gradually add cocoa powder, then the sugar into the butter mixture.
- Add the milk to soften the mixture, then add the remaining sugar until it tastes right to you. Store in the fridge until ready to ice.
- To frost, trip the tops of the cakes so you have kind of a flat surface. For the bottom layer, put the cut side down, and frost the bottom of the layer (it’ll become the middle).
- Stack the second layer on top, and crumb coat it (a thin layer of icing to keep in the moisture)
- Ice it to your heart’s desire!
- NOM NOM NOM.