It seems this is the year of chocolate. Honestly, I’ve never been more excited by non-chocolate dessert options in my life, but it seems this is indeed the year I nail a few of my gustatory ambitions. A couple of weeks ago I finally — finally, finally! — made my perfect chocolate cookie — moist, rich and seriously chocolate.
This week, I turned to chocolate cakes. Why? Hmm, just in the mood. And it was my half birthday, which can’t go by uncelebrated… or at least without being used as an excuse for CAKE!
I can’t remotely take credit for this baby; it’s a creation from Desserts for Breakfast, based off the much acclaimed cake by Scharffen Berger. The single thing I amended was the quantity of sugar as I rarely feel a recipe needs quite as much sugar as it calls for.
This cake — good lord, that cake — is as light and airy as it is dense and moist. I’m not sure how it manages to do both, but it does. It does it all. It forces you to sneak a fork out when your daughter isn’t looking to shave a few bites off. It forces you to sneak a few more bites because the toaster is taking too long to deliver a somewhat more healthy alternative.
Of course, this recipe was a revision of the original Scharffen Berger creation. Mmm… mmm… I sense further exploration may be needed. (Just in the name of due diligence, of course.)
- 1¾ cups (350 gr) sugar
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 7.5 oz (213 gr) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 12 Tbspn unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1½ tspn vanilla extract
- 3 cups (600 gr) sugar
- scant 3 cups (425 gr) AP flour
- 1 cup + 2 Tbspn (135 gr) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1½ tspn salt
- 2¼ tspn baking powder
- 2¼ tspn baking soda
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1½ cup whole milk
- 1½ cup hot coffee
- Preheat oven to 350ºF / 170ºC.
- Make a small pot of coffee.
- Grease, flour and line 3 8" (19cm) cake tins with parchment paper.
- If using cake strips to ensure flat layers (no bumps to later cut off), wrap them around your tins.
- Combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and the baking soda, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl (or stand mixer), combine eggs, vegetable oil and milk and mix.
- Add dry ingredients, and mix on medium for 3 minutes.
- Add hot coffee, and mix on low for another half minute.
- Divide batter into the 3 cake tins, and place in oven.
- Bake 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is clean when removed.
- Let cool on a rack, and get underway with that frosting! It will take a while to cool as well.
- Using a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and sugar, and gently bring to a boil.
- Simmer on low for 6 minutes, keeping an eye on it and whisking gently from time to time.
- Remove from heat and add broken pieces of chocolate and chunks of butter (if not broken down, these may not melt in their entirety).
- Mix in vanilla.
- Let cool — this will take considerable time (approx 45 min if using a refrigerator, though if doing so, be careful to not have it dip below room temperature or it won't spread!).
- When room temperature, start decorating!