Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Midnight Dark Chocolate Cake

I've been tinkering with my recipe and have had some success! So, I'm sharing my recipe with you. I really think it is one of the best chocolate cakes I have had. I made the recipe initially by combining three of my favorite chocolate cake recipes. Then I tweaked and tweaked some more. I hope you like it!

One note before I give you the recipe. You will notice that I use weights for the measurements for a lot of the ingredients. If you have a kitchen scale, I encourage you to use the weights for the most accurate, consistent results. If you don't have a kitchen scale, get one! Or just use the cup measurements listed. For the flour, lightly spoon it or, even better, sift it into the measuring cup then level.

Midnight Dark Chocolate Cake
14 ounces cake flour (4 cups)
10 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (1 1/2 cups)
7 3/4 ounces light brown sugar (1 cup, packed)
4 1/3 ounces Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa (or other blend of natural and dutched cocoa)(1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3/4 cup canola oil
2 whole large eggs
4 yolks from large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment two 8-inch round pans. Lightly dust with flour or cocoa powder and set aside

Place flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Here mine are, all in their little piles.

Mix for 30 seconds. After mixing, the dry ingredients should look like this.

In a small microwavable bowl, combine the water and espresso powder. Heat for one minute on high, or until hot but not boiling. Here is mine right out of the microwave.

Add the coffee and the oil to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dry ingredients are moistened, then mix on medium (high if using a hand-held mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. I set my kitchen timer for this. You want to make sure you let it go the full time in order to set the structure of the cake. Here is what it will look like when it is done mixing.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, extracts and buttermilk.

Whisk it all together.

After your eggs are whisked, add them to the chocolate mixture in the mixer in three parts. After each addition, mix briefly on low and then on medium (high if using a hand-held mixer) for 20 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a spatula and make sure it is all incorporated together and smooth. It should look like this:

Pour it into your prepared pans.

Bake in your preheated 325 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when pressed lightly with a finger. The sides of the cake should not pull away from the pan before it is taken out of the oven. When the cake is done, cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Here is a picture of my little cake (I baked one 8X3 and one 6X3) after it has cooled and I have cut the dome off. I've been practicing leveling and torting my cakes using a long bread knife instead of any sort of leveler and I think I'm getting pretty good at it! You will see I've left a tiny lip on one side. Nobody's perfect, I guess!

I'm saving this little 6-inch cake to use in the August Miso Bakes challenge, which I will do next week.

The top, well, I ate it. And it was delicious! I pretty much had to eat it, right? I mean, I couldn't give you an untested recipe. That would just be wrong. I actually could have eaten that whole cake. It was really good. Dark, chocolatey, moist. Yum! Here is the top before I ate it. See the goodness inside that little piece?

I hope you enjoy my chocolate cake! Let me know if you try it and if you like it!

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