Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chocolate Cake, Grown Up.

I was going to save this post for next week when I will be away in the Twin Cities, but in the spirit of the upcoming holiday (and because I know a lot of you will have Friday off and will want something good to bake), I won't hold out on you. Besides, if I waited until next week and you tried this, and knew that I didn't share it with you right away, you'd never forgive me.

(Cake in back is the same as this one)

Don't be fooled by how normal this cake appears. It's moist, chocolatey, and decadent. Generally, I don't like chocolate cakes because there's usually too much other stuff going on in them that gets in the way of the chocolate, but this... this takes the cake. (Get it? Haha! I kill myself). This is not a child's cake, nor is it something for someone seeking the hypersweetened chocolate cakes of their youth. Everything about this recipe plays to chocolate's strong points and brings out all the depth, richness, and complexities in chocolate that most recipes unwittingly destroy. It's not too sweet, it's slightly spiced, and oh, whatever genius out there figured out what coffee and cinnamon can do to a chocolate cake deserves a really big hug, because it's just awe-inspiring.

I've made this before and followed the recipe, but yesterday I was making it for a crowd who wouldn't appreciate (or even remotely like) the ganache frosting called for, so I used swiss buttercream instead. They loved it, but I thought it just got in the way of the chocolate. The pictures here show the buttercream version, but please, do the ganache. Also, if you want to substitute a different jam for the filling, feel free, but I promise you that nothing will reach perfection like raspberry.

I wish I could tell you where I found this recipe, but I have no idea... chances are it's from a fellow food blogger. If you're out there, and you read this, please let me know so I can give credit where it's due. This recipe makes a ton of batter (it filled my standard-size KitchenAid to the brim and made for a very tedious mixing process), so you may want to either scale it down or make it in 2 smaller batches. Also, if you're one of those weirdos like me and my husband who use their coffee maker strictly for hot water and don't want to contaminate it with coffee flavor, a venti black coffee from your local coffee shop is the exact amount needed.

Chocolate Cake

5 1/3 cups cake flour
5 1/3 cups sugar
2 2/3 cups unsweetened (NOT Dutch process) cocoa powder
6 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/3 sticks (20 2/3 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups buttermilk
5 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
2 2/3 cups freshly brewed coffee, cooled
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (for filling)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour cake pans for baking.

2. In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until just moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes).

3. Whisk the eggs and coffee together, and add to the batter in 3 additions, beating only until blended after each addition and making sure to scrape sides of bowl. Divide the batter among the prepared pans.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes (for 9" cakes), or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 20 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

5. Fill with jam and frost with ganache

For Ganache:

2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, broken up
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups heavy cream, heated slightly
1/2 cup brandy or Cognac

1. Place the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir to blend as they melt.

2. When completely melted, remove from the heat and whisk in first the cream and then the brandy. Be sure to scrape down the bowl well and mix thoroughly. Mixture will thicken to a loose frosting consistency as it cools.


  1. I can't come to this post anymore. It gives me the graduation jitters. You know, like when you want to graduate so bad but it's not the day yet, so you spend all your time willing and wishing it was the day?

    Well, I'm willing and wishing it was next Tues, cuz that's when I plan on making this! C'mon day, come!!! I wonder if Steve'll let me go the store tomorrow.... Then I might could make it Saturday... C'mon Sat, come!!!

  2. Haha! I hope you can try it soon! Tell Steve he won't regret it :)

  3. Monday came and went... Hallelujah! I made two 9" rounds, 2 9"ish hearts, and a 6". I froze the hearts, iced the 6" for my friend for letting me use her cake pans, and iced the 9s. There are about two slices left and it's only been three days!

    This cake is really great w/ unsugared coffee. One guess what I've been having for breakfast!

  4. Well if this is the kind of chocolate cake you get for being grownup then I'm there!!! It's gorgeous!

  5. So if you're a grownup, does that mean you can eat this cake whenever you want? ;) I love that you put yellow frosting roses on this cake.

  6. Thanks :). And yes, I think it means you can eat it whenever you want- especially for breakfast or a midnight snack :)

  7. Okay so I had to come back to this and tell you sumthin....

    I have a big problem with this cake.

    I took my hearts out of the freezer and iced them yesterday. I used raspberry jam this time instead of the black cherry Steve asked for last time. AAAAAND....

    I always cut off a piece too big!!! LOL!! I can't help it! It's so delicious! But by the last bite, I'm like: "Did you learn your lesson THIS TIME??? Smaller piece next time!!" But I never listen... ^_^