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.
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
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. =)
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!