Malto Mario


Feast


The Lady & Sons


1,000 Italian Recipes

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fabulous Fudge Chocolate Cake

Yesterday was the final day in fighting a lil migraine that showed up Saturday morning and decided to spend a few days. Eh, nothing major.. just a buttpain. And by buttpain I mean it ruined my plans on making my first brioche this weekend. =( But I did not let it win.. I've got the brioche scheduled for the weekend after next (this weekend I'm having a few friends over for games, good food and cocktails - yes, the dreaded cocktails. *shudder*) if all goes as planned.

I was also fighting a HUGE craving for chocolate. Alas, I did not win that battle (Party on, Wayne!) and gave in yesterday afternoon. Since finding the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe a few months ago, I've thought long and hard on the next "ultimate" recipe I'd like to find. I decided a while back that I needed to find the best chocolate cake recipe out there. Although I haven't really done much about it other than peruse eleventy bazillion blogs and recipe sites, I haven't baked one. So in checking out my bookmarks of recipes found, I decided on one yesterday and went for it. I made a few alterations in my quest for the chocolatiest of chocolate cakes, but all in all this was a great recipe. Not the "ultimate" but definitely pretty darned good. Here's the thing.. this past August we attended my niece, Kyle's, 4th birthday party. Her mom had a cake made by a local baker and in my humble opinion, this cake was the "Ultimate". It had a soft crumb, was super moist and the chocolate flavor was simply stunning. And by stunning, I mean that I felt like a deer caught in the headlights when I first tasted it. I couldn't move. It seemed the colors of the grass, trees and sky became more vivid. The singing of the birds became a symphony and all the people attending the party kind of disappeared from view. It was just me, standing in the middle of their driveway with my slice of perfect chocolate cake and quite possibly, a lil drool on my chin. :D

So now I have tasted the Ultimate chocolate cake - will I ever be able to find the recipe and recreate it in my own lil kitchen? Well it sure won't happen by asking the lady who baked the cake - my friend tried the first time she ordered one and dear, sweet baker lady wasn't giving up anything. Not that I blame her - it's her livelihood, but damn - help a gal out, sistah!! So I am on my own.

Which brings me to last night's effort. Again, very good cake - fudgy as the title says. But not the ultimate. Worth the effort though.. it came close. The texture was close to a brownie - but lighter, does that make sense? There is flour in this cake so it's not like the true fudgieness of a flourless cake (which I also love but they are too dense to be the ultimate). It was extremely moist and the chocolate flavor did stand out (thanks to the alterations I made). My only mistake was frosting this cake. Frosting.. my evil nemesis. I can't frost a cake to save my life in the first place, and this frosting ended up being too sweet in combination with the cake. It was a simple buttercream that was very fluffy and tasty when I first made it, but after it was on the cake it kinda turned not so fluffy and I don't know why? It ended up kinda like a buttery sweet sludge. Regardless, I wish there was a way to get a good taste of a new cake recipe before frosting it so you could know if leaving it plain or maybe just sprinkling it with powdered sugar would suffice. A fine sprinking of sugar would have been perfect for this cake as the cake is delicious on it's own. So if you decide to try this.. keep that in mind!

Okay with that said, the alterations I made where as follows:

The recipe called for 3 (1 oz.) squares of unsweetened chocolate. Not nearly enough chocolate in my humble opinion! So I upped that to 2 (3.5 oz.) bars of Green & Black's bittersweet chocolate bars. I altered the sugar content since I was going with bittersweet, to 2 c. instead of 2 1/2. Another alteration was, the recipe calls for 1 cup of boiling water. To that water I added 1 TBS. of instant espresso powder, which is something I do to anything chocolate that I bake. I really feel that the addition of the espresso helps to bring out the big chocolate "BAM" that I lurve. In lieu of 1 c. of sourcream (which I didn't have) I used 1/2 c. sour cream and 1/2 c. of heavy whipping cream. And lastly, I baked it in a 10" springform pan instead of a 9" x 13" x 2" baking dish, so my baking time was a bit longer. That's all I did, really - it's a pretty good recipe that didn't need much else.

Fudgy Chocolate Cake
Fabulous Fudge Chocolate Cake
Courtesy of Charmaine Brooks and All Recipes

Recipe that follows includes my alterations, to see the original, go here.

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
2 c. packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (3.5 ounce) bars of Green & Black's bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 c. boiling water
1 TBS. instant espresso powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and 2 cups brown sugar until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate. Add 1/2 c. of the sour cream and then 1/2 the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until well blended.

Add the 1/2 c. of heavy whipping cream and remaining dry ingredients to the batter.

Stir in boiling water with espresso powder.

Bake in a 10" springform pan for 45 minutes. (I kept checking every 5 minutes after the original time of 35 minutes.)

*Note: The original recipe called for a caramel icing, but I omitted that as I thought it'd be too sweet.

The buttercream frosting I went with is as follows:

1 c. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2/3 c. milk

Beat all ingredients until light and fluffy.

*Note: The taste of this frosting is very buttery, which I like a lot (ya'll), but seriously, consider not frosting this cake as it really doesn't need much more than a sprinkling of powdered sugar - if even that. =)

Fudgy Chocolate Cake slice

Calling all of you fabulous bakers out there.. anyone got a really good chocolate cake recipe they'd be willing to share? :) Also.. if anyone can tell me why the frosting didn't stay fluffy, I'd appreciate that too! The cake was completely cool.. and the frosting didn't sit for more than 5 minutes before I frosted the cake. Thanks!

Labels: , , ,

Comments on "Fabulous Fudge Chocolate Cake"

 

Blogger The Muttering Muse said ... (9/26/2006 8:18 AM) : 

Oh yum! If only I could reach into the computer screen and have some of that with my morning coffee. :)

Can you imagine if food blogs were interactive like that? That would so rock.

Baking and Books

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (9/26/2006 10:00 AM) : 

No idea what happened with the icing as I'm not much of an cake-icing person, but the deep chocolate colour of the cake is totally hypnotic!

 

Blogger Orchidea said ... (9/26/2006 10:12 AM) : 

Oh my God!!! That slice looks too good... I would like to bite it.
I love chocolate...
Ciao.

 

Blogger Monisha said ... (9/26/2006 10:49 AM) : 

Hi Lis -
That cake looks so decadent and rich, the only thing that I can think of that may have caused the frosting to lose its fluffiness is humidity, also you can try 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening - that may hold up better!

 

Blogger christine said ... (9/26/2006 12:26 PM) : 

Wow, that looks like the most moist and decadent chocolate cake ever. With regards to the frosting, I experience the same problem with the cream cheese frosting for my carrot cake. I agree that it might be the humidity. You can try upping the powdered sugar to get the consistency you want maybe? I'd love to hear other suggestions too.

 

Blogger Ed Tep said ... (9/26/2006 2:18 PM) : 

Lis - If that cake is not quite ultimate, then does that make it penultimate? Dean would love this cake because he loves chocolate. I'll have to make it for him. And sorry I have no idea about the frosting. I'm not a master baker so I don't have alot of experience with cakes OR frosting.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (9/26/2006 3:12 PM) : 

Muse - Now that would rock! The only problem would be chosing which blog to reach through that monitor for. ;)

Ellie muh luv - Yes, I was happy with the color and flavor of the chocolate.. I wish I could share with you all that cake I had back in August.. then you'd totally know what I meant about how the ultimate chocolate cake should taste.. God.

Orchidea - I wish I could send you some to bite into!

Monisha - I thought maybe the humidity might have played a part. And I actually saw a recipe for 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening but I was afraid to try it! Next time, I'll give it a whirl, thank you =)

Christine - Very moist.. very decadent.. try it! :D I thought about upping the sugar a bit but I was afraid of the powdered sugar taste overpowering the frosting. Maybe I will try that, though, next time and add a flavoring.. like orange oil. Mmm chocolate and orange..

Ed - Thanks! I'd really love someone else's opinion about this cake.. if you do decide to make it for Dean, let me know.. please! :D

 

Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (9/26/2006 5:29 PM) : 

I'm with the muttering nurse; I'd love to reach into the screen and grab a slice. Looking at it has kicked in a chocolate craving, so now I'm going to have to go get some. (Damn you, Lis! Damn you, you chocolate wielding temptress!)

If you're in the mood to try another frosting recipe, I pulled this one from Nick Malgieri's "Chocolate" book. I haven't tried it but, damn, it sounds good. If you use it, let me know how it turns out!

Chocolate butter frosting
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
16 oz semi-sweet chocolate,cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup double strength brewed coffee (I know that's up your alley!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine cream, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk to make sure butter is melted, then add chocolate. Shake pan to make sure all the chocolate is covered and allow to stand 5 minutes. Whisk in coffee & vanilla. Scrape the frosting into a bowl and chill until it is of spreading consistancy. (Be careful not to leave it in the fridge too long or it will set very hard. If it does, divide the hardened filling into 8 to 10 pieces and stir in a bowl set over warm water to achieve spreading consistancy.)

 

Blogger gattina said ... (9/26/2006 5:41 PM) : 

Liz,
agree with you, 3oz of chocolate sounds like not making the cake (or me) happy... but heck, scoop some ice cream to go with the cake, yum!

 

Blogger Jasmine said ... (9/26/2006 11:04 PM) : 

I've been having a craving for such a cake...almost every dessert I've had this month has had some chocolate in it. It looks absolutely wonderful!

j

 

Blogger Lis said ... (9/27/2006 5:17 AM) : 

Laura Rebecca - YOU ROCK my friend.. YOU rock! I have printed that frosting recipe out and will try it on my next attempt, for sure.. thank you =)

Gattina - hehee you make me giggle :D

Jasmine - I KNOW! I get into those moods once in a while myself and nothing that doesn't include chocolate will do. ;)

 

Blogger Saffron said ... (9/27/2006 11:30 AM) : 

First time I come to visit you and...I'm still in love with this wonderul cake!

 

Anonymous Karina said ... (9/30/2006 1:28 PM) : 

Now that is a slice of chocolate cake worth diving into.

Gorgeous blog, by the way. I don't know how I got here, but I'm so glad I found you!

 

Blogger Callipygia said ... (9/30/2006 4:43 PM) : 

lis, I'd say the cake looks fablous. I like that the buttercream looks kind of drippy gooey. Having said that, I remember being quite pleased with the chocolate stout cake on Epicurious, I believe there is a matching frosting to go with it. Check it out.

 

Blogger Marianne said ... (9/30/2006 5:06 PM) : 

Now I want cake. THAT cake. Please, bring me some cake?

I'm sorry I've been MIA lately, I've been sick. But your sweet comments on my blog did not go by unnoticed! I feel awful that I missed your Festa, but next time I'm all over it like a chicken on a junebug.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (10/01/2006 7:24 AM) : 

Saffron - Aww thanks so much for visiting and the kind words =)

Karina - Why thank you! I hope you stop by again =)

Callipygia - Thank you for the heads up! I'll check it out ASAP! :D

Marianne - awww I am so sorry to hear you've been sick. I hope you are feeling better!! How goes the magazine? Are you loving it?

 

Anonymous Ivonne said ... (10/01/2006 9:45 AM) : 

Oh!

I'm sitting here with my coffee, looking at the picture of the ultimate fudge cake ... but no cake.

Where's my cake???

(It looks fudgy and beautiful!)

 

Blogger Marianne said ... (10/01/2006 3:29 PM) : 

Lis, it's going really well, thanks! I'll write about it on my blog soon.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10/19/2006 10:54 PM) : 

This cake comes right on time as I am supposed to bring a "deep dark choc. cake" to a friend's bday this weekend. As far as the frosting goes, I would say that 2/3 cup of milk is way too much for your buttercream to hold its own. Add 1/3 cup first and check the consistency. Add more, one TB. at a time until you are happy with the "spreading". Hope it helps.

 

Blogger Lis said ... (10/20/2006 4:05 AM) : 

Helene - your opinion on this cake would mean the world to me and I can't wait to see how yours turned out, I hope you decide to go with this recipe =)

I also agree that the measurement for the milk was most likely the true cause for the drippy frosting. I will use your advice next time and start with 1/2 of that and then add TBS from there to reach the consistency I am looking for, thank you! :D

 

Blogger s.j.simon said ... (11/19/2007 3:39 PM) : 

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/20/2008 3:29 PM) : 

I have not tried yet, but I think that pumpkin puree can work well for better fudge and moist cakes.
Additionally, I heard white vinegar helps keeping moistness.

 

post a comment