Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chocolate Cake

This is from Martha's Baking Handbook. Martha would like you to believe that it is a grand feat to produce a cake from scratch, but I'm here to let you know that this cake can be made from scratch in less than ten minutes using only one bowl and less than 4 utensils. Yep. That's right.

5 dirty dishes

For a full how and why on cake visit my blog over here.

Cake Ingredients:

2.5 cups flour
1.25 cups Dutch Process cocoa powder (I prefer Hershey's Special Dark, in grocery stores)
2.5 cups sugar
2.5 t. baking soda
1.25 t. baking powder
1.25 t. salt
2 large eggs plus one egg yolk
1.25 cups milk (2% or whole if possible)
.5 cup plus 2 T. vegetable oil
1.25 t. vanilla
1.25 cups hot water

Put all the dry stuff in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low with paddle attachment until combined. Put all the wet stuff in the bowl. Mix on low for three minutes until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. (EASY RIGHT?)
Measuring dry goods
Dry goods
mixing batter

Pour into prepared 9" cake pans (video on proper pan preparation found here). Oven should be preheated to 350 degrees. Bake about 45 minutes, rotate halfway through. Cakes are done when toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, take cakes out, peel off parchment and allow to cool completely.

baking cakes copy

You can frost these with any frosting you like, but it goes best with Martha's Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It's a little trickier than the cake but so worth it you'll hate yourself if you don't try it.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
8 oz. melted chocolate (bittersweet, try Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips)
3 sticks unsalted butter cut into tablespoons @ room temperature

Place bowl of an electric mixer with whites and sugar over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 160 degrees.

Cooking egg whites

Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat on high until it holds stiff peaks ( a few minutes). Continue to beat another 6 minutes until it is fluffy and cooled.
Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium low speed add the butter a few tablespoons at a time and beat in well before adding more.

Beating in the butter

Continue until all butter is added and then beat on high for 3 to 5 minutes. Add cooled melted chocolate and stir on low for two minutes.

Mixing in the chocolate

Now you can keep it simple and leave it as two layers. Or you can get fancy and make it four layers. Use only a small amount of frosting between layers so it doesn't slide all over the place. (And make sure it's cooled, or you'll have a nasty melty mess on your hands.)

Frosting process
Cake porn
Chocolate cake makes me happy

Frost cooled cake, place in fridge (covered) until frosting is set. Cut, serve, eat. (If there is any left keep it covered in the fridge)

Four layer chocolate cake


Marie Green said...

sounds and looks delicious!

Casey said...

For those of us without a KitchenAid fancy smancy mixer is this cake still possible? I am new to this whole cooking and baking thing and can't quite justify the KitchenAid yet!

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh, Casey, I love you. I love to bake, but I do nothing quite as good yours. I will try this though. I promise. It just gives me another excuse to use my new KitchenAid I got for Christmas.

seven said...

Wow. That looks amazing.

Carrisa said...

that cake looks so delicious.
I always buy store bought cake mixes and then jazz them up to make them my own by adding pudding mix to them. Or this past weekend I poked holes in the cake and then poured homemade hot caramel all over it and let it soak into the cake. OMG. That was the shiz.

come over and trade me a piece.

moosh in indy. said...

Casey-The cake could EASILY be made without a mixer. The Frosting may be a little more difficult but if you're patient and have a hand mixer you could totally do it.

Emma said...

You totally remind me of Paula Deen with all the butter you use in your baking. YUM-O (I am a foodnet work junkie) I will definately make this cake. I normally do box mixes but homemade tastes soooooo much better. Even better it only dirtys one dish.

CageQueen said...

What did you mean when you said to "rotate" the cake while baking it?

moosh in indy. said...

CageQueen-If your oven bakes unevenly (the baking stone alleviates it in my oven thankfully) you need to switch places with the pans so one edge doesn't rise too much or get overcooked.

Missy said...

I'm so glad you decided to do the cooking blog thing. Thank heavens
Anna talked you into joining her fun site! Can I make a request for an upcoming post? Will you please educate me about baking in the freaking wetlands of the midwest? I can't make any recipes turn out right in this ultra humid climate!

Jenny Groberg said...

So I stumbled on your blog and love it. I love the pictures, I love your blog title and picture and I love looking at the recipes. Nice work!

Clink said...

I avoid cooking but LOVE to bake so I am going to try this over the weekend! I will let you know how it turns out.
Oh...and you are way cooler then Martha!

Anna said...

Casey - I made the sugar cookies and they were truly heavenly and surprisingly low in weight watchers points...(well, without frosting).

Dana said...

I finally got around to making this. (It took twice as long as it should because I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old.) I really WISH I had a KitchenAid... ah, well. One day. Anyway, I overcooked the cakes a bit but the icing WAS totally worth it! ;) Thanks for actually typing out a recipe and documenting it with pics!

Dana said...

I finally got around to making this. It's too bad it took twice as long to make as it should because I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old. It would also help if I had a KitchenAid... ah, well... one day! Anyway, I overcooked the cakes a bit but the icing WAS totally worth it! ;) Thanks for taking the time to type out the recipe and document it with pictures!