Friday, April 17, 2009

Chocolate Cake (both of them)

My family has had an abundance of chocolate cake over the last few months. My Dad made a delicious chocolate cake for Valentine's Day that was perfect, so I still had fond chocolate memories when his birthday rolled around. All chocolate cake recipes are created equal (right?) so I chose a different recipe -- from the Food Network. To top it all off, it was an Emeril Lagasse Food Network recipe. It had to be good, right?

Well, my family said it was: they loved it. I had my doubts about it, however. Chocolate bread came to mind as did the words bland, tasteless, and "below par." I kept my concerns to myself though. One good rule for a cook might be (and I just made this up), don't talk your eaters into disliking your food.

I must say that the cream cheese chocolate frosting was excellent, and I would have been happy to just eat the frosting for dessert and skip the cake altogether. Time did improve the cake some; I actually managed to enjoy the leftovers the next day.

My mom's birthday follows my dad's by exactly two weeks, so I was eager to redeem myself in the cake baking realm. I asked my mom what kind of cake she wanted; she wanted chocolate. "Are you sure?" I thought. I asked her again the next day just to be sure. Yes, she definitely wanted chocolate.

Okay, I decided to do it, but I wanted the kind of chocolate cake I remembered from February. The key? Use the same recipe that received such rave reviews for my dad a few months ago. I had him find the recipe for me, and I followed the directions impeccably.

The results? Scharffen Berger wins the cake! It turned out just the way I wanted it too. It had the rich chocolate flavor that was so lacking in the other recipe. I will definitely make this one again!

Happy Birthday, Dad and Mom!


Anonymous said...

Hello there! Wonderful blogging you've got ;-) It's so interesting to tap into people's lives! Would you also mind typing out the recipe? Am searching for the best one and yours looks GOOOOOD!

Thank you so much!!


Bonnie Faber said...

Love the pics of the cake! ;)

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Thanks, girls!

Eunice, "Sharffen Berger" (mentioned in the post) links to the recipe, but I will post it here for your convenience (just in case something happens to the link eventually). I am glad you enjoyed my post!

That Chocolate Cake

For the Cake

* Unsalted butter and flour for pans
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* ¾ cup Scharffen Berger unsweetened natural cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* ½ cup canola oil
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 cup boiling water

For the Frosting

* 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 5 ounces Scharffen Berger 99% Cacao Unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
* 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the Cake:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment and the sides of the pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing on low speed. Min in the eggs, oil, and milk.

Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the water. The batter will be soupy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the layers out onto the rack and cool completely.

When the cakes have cooled, check the frosting. It should have the consistency of mayonnaise. If it is still too thin, allow it to cool longer.

For the Frosting:

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Pour into a bowl and stir in the vanilla.

To Frost the Cake:

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread the frosting with a hot palette knife or icing spatula to give the frosting a beautiful shine. Run the knife under hot tap water and dry with a towel. Spread about ¾ cup of the frosting over the top of the first layer. Top with the second layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, heating the knife again as necessary.

Serves 8 to 10

Elizabeth J. said...

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P.S. I found your blog on the blogroll of Beauty From the Heart.

Under Southern Skies said...

That looks so good! I love chocolate cake!

faithful lofgren said...

Oh my goodness! I suddenly have a fierce, irrepressible craving for chocolate cake. Thanks a lot! jk, I'm going to try out this recipe soon!