Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
I have been taking a bit of a break from baking the last couple of weeks, mainly because of the relentless stream of sugar that has been in my face since mid-December. And while I did contribute to the stream of sugar, it got really ridiculous the week of Christmas at work with almost every flat surface sporting a platter or a tin with some sort of sugary goodness for the "poor, pathetic souls who have to work on Christmas."
So between all that sugar, and the box of goodies that Chris' mom sent, and the chocolate in my stocking, and the fact that my weight has crept up (horror!!!) I have been taking a bit of a break. Which is why I had no intention of baking this week, but Chris called me from work and asked if I could please make a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for a coworker who was leaving their office, and of course I said yes, because the fact of the matter is I like baking. a lot.
The request was easy enough, and I tend to keep all the basics on hand, so it was only a matter of finding a recipe. I have never actually made a basic chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, but I knew that any number of my books had what I was looking for. In the end I turned to my Passion for Baking book and the recipe she provided worked out perfectly.
The cake is super soft and moist -- in fact she recommends partially freezing it before attempting to frost it -- something that I wish I had done. The chocolate flavor of the cake is there, but it's not overwhelming -- luckily the frosting more than makes up for it. It's a buttercream frosting which means super sweet and rich, but the flavor is great, which is a very good thing considering I tore part of the soft cake apart attempting to frost the damn thing. Fortunately copious amounts of frosting can hide a multitude of sins. :)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder, measured and then sifted
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
1/2 cup half and half or milk
Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into the wet and mix, adding buttermilk and sour cream as mixture blends. Blend on low speed until everything is incorporated, then divide between the prepared pans.
Bake on middle oven rack for 35 to 40 minutes, until cake springs back when touched. Let cool in pan.
For icing, in a mixer bowl on low speed, blend melted chocoalte with butter. Add vanilla, cocoa, and half of the powdered sugar. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix slowly. Once sugar is more or less blended in, whip on high speed, adding a bit of half and half to get a light, fluffy consistency.
To frost cake, semi-freeze layers, 20 to 45 minutes for easier handling. Frost and layer the cake.