For years I have been looking for the perfect dark chocolate cake, more like Death by Chocolate and this is it! In Arizona I could bake anything and everything and always came out great but then I moved up to the mountains and I more or less had to learn how to bake all over again. Heck, I’m still learning, making mistakes along the way and boy have I made plenty with this cake! I must have made this cake at least 14 times before I finally got it right, and now I wouldn’t change a thing. Hope ya’ll enjoy it.
Here’s everything you’ll need to Chocolate Heaven…
1 3/4 Cup + 2 1/2 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp. Buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Beanilla Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Boiling Water
1 1/4 tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
Pre-heat oven to 345 degrees. Lightly spray and line with parchment paper 2, 9″ round baking pans or a 13″ x 9″ baking pan, set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, dark cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt.
Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, on medium- low speed, add the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrap down sides and bottom of bowl and continue mixing for another minute. Add espresso powder to boiling hot water, then add to batter. Scrap down the sides of your bowl again, not to forget the bottom of your bowl. The batter will be thin but no worries, that’s the way it should look.
Divide your batter into prepared pans or pan and bake on middle rack of the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, then your cake is done. Note: I’ve noticed depending on the weather my cakes have either taken the said time or up to 15 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before inverting and cooling completely.
I have two different frostings I use for this cake. One is a Chocolate Fudge Frosting and the other a Chocolate Ganache, (recipe below). Both work very well.
Note: Makes 24 cup cakes
Chocolate Ganache Recipe…
8 0z. Good Quality Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
8 oz. Good Quality Dark Chocolate, at least 52%, finely Chopped
8 oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Place all the chocolate into a large glass bowl, microwavable, get to that in a minute. In a small sauce pan, warm the heavy whipping cream until right before it come to a simmer, DO NOT SCORCH!! Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Whisk, whisk, whisk and if you find that your chocolate still has lumps in it, if it’s not smooth and silky yet then, by all mean stick that bowl into the microwave for 30 second, no more!
Whisk it until nice and shiny, silky, smooth then add the pure vanilla extract. Feel free to put down the whisk and pick up that sturdy wooden spoon and just keep on stirring. You don’t want one tiny piece of chocolate layin around in there un-melted, okay! When you go back to stir it up to frost your cake, you’ll notice that the color will be lighter (notice the difference in the color of the Ganache in there photo’s). That’s because you are sorta, kinda whipping some air into it. If you weren’t going to use it for a while, put it in the fridge say for more than an hour, when you took it out it would be way to hard to spread on your cake, you would just tear your cake all up and I know you don’t want to do that, now do you! At this point you can do one of two things… Start all over or, using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, re-stir it… re-whip it? However you want to call it, and as you do this you will notice that it will get lighter in color. This is called Whipped Ganache.
This Ganache is perfect for piping and fantastic for Truffles. I’ll get into that on another day. Oh, the endless possibilities of a Truffle. Yummy!!! Again, for another day.
Keep on smiling… For one reason or another… Keep on Smiling 🙂