Sunday, October 24, 2010

A chocolate-licious birthday for my husband!

A certain somebody turned 35 today.  And that's worth making the most decadent cake ever -- chocolatey, not too sweet, with a subtle trace of coffee flavor.

The recipe is Ina Garten's.  It can't be an easier recipe to follow (just don't forget to add baking soda, as I did the first time).  And your spouse will swoon with happiness, and your guests will lick their forks and the cake plate when they think you're not looking.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Frosting
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.

Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.


lavenderpug October 25, 2010 at 11:47 AM  

happy birthday! what a lucky guy to have a lovely wife to bake him this wonderful hunk o dessert! looks amazing, and as usual your cooking/baking skills blow me away.

BigAppleNosh October 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM  

Um, YUM - that cake looks scrumptious. He's a lucky hubs!

Katie October 25, 2010 at 4:39 PM  

Happy Bday to the hubs! That cake sounds absolutely amazing...I can't resist chocolate in any form. I am also loving the cute little banner you have on top!!!!

sandy October 25, 2010 at 5:34 PM  

looks delicious! happy birthday to your husband!

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