Here is my philosophy on cakes - they should be easy to make. Oh wait - that is my philosophy on just about everything. But here is the thing, a great chocolate cake is just a must know and it can seem intimidating, so intimidating that you just give in and reach for the boxed mix. Do yourself a solid and walk away from the mix. This delicious Chocoholics Chocolate Cake is ridiculously easy to make, has a rich moist crumb and can be made in just one bowl. Oh and the ganache - the ganache just makes me swoon, and it is the perfect decadent pairing for this richly chocolate cake.
If you're a cake nerd like me - or have ever been on pinterest in your entire life - then you'll have seen a bunch of cake recipes that are variations on a theme. I know you've been dying to know what the difference is between all of them (lol) so here I am answering your burning questions ...
|What the heck is the difference between all these cake recipes?|
|That Chocolate Cake (Scharffenberger)||Beattys Chocolate Cake (Ina Garten)||Hersheys Chocolate Cake|
|Leavening||1.5 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tsp baking soda||2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda||1.5 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tsp baking soda|
|Eggs||2 large||2 extra large||2 large|
|Milk||Regular Milk||Buttermilk||Regular Milk|
|Other Liquid||Coffee||Coffee||Boiling Water|
|Technique||2 minute mix time||Mix to incorporate||2 minute mix time|
So which one do I prefer? I prefer That Chocolate Cake with buttermilk subbed in for the hot coffee, but with minimal mixing. Here is why - with these leavening ratios and the cocoa I usually use (Fryes) I never end up with that chemically after taste that some chocolate cakes have.
I recently made this cake with 2% milk instead of buttermilk which is what I usually use and I could instantly see the difference. If you can get your hands on buttermilk then use that. If not then put a tablespoon of vinegar in a measuring cup, pour over enough milk to make 1 cup and let it stand until it starts to look thicker, almost like its curdling. It may not look delicious but it will make a world of a difference to your cake!
The ganache despite being very impressive looking (and tasting) is super easy to make. I do suggest that you step away from the no name chocolate chips on this one. Chocolate chips will often have additives that help them hold their shape and will not melt smoothly. Milk chocolate chips especially can have this problem. 400g of chocolate can seem like a lot but it's shy of two bags of chocolate chips or is 4 of the smaller bars of chocolate and will give you enough ganache to generously frost a cake. Because you know what makes me want to pull my hair out? When I have ¼ of the cake left to frost and there isn't any frosting left. Yeah... that.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1-½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup very hot freshly brewed coffee
- 400 g chocolate semi sweet or bittersweet, whatever you prefer
- 200 ml cream
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two 9-inch pans.
Combine all the 'dry ingredients' together in a bowl.
Mix in the remaining ingredients except the coffee on medium speed till combined.
Add the coffee.
Divide the batter between the two pans - it's approx 2 ¾ cup per pan if you divvy it into two
The cakes take 22-28 minutes to bake. Test as soon as the top starts to look done and the cake starts to pull away from the sides.
Remove and let cool for ten minutes before inverting out onto a cooling rack.
Chop the chocolate
Scald the cream in a pan, remove from the heat
Add in the chocolate pieces (or chips) and stir well till the chocolate melts.
Cover and refrigerate once it comes to room temperature till it reaches spreadable consistency.
If it has become too hard then warm in 15 second intervals to acheive a spreadable consistency.
If you want to pipe it out you can always whip a cold ganache for a fluffier frosting or pipe on some final decorations when it's cold and thicker.
Put about ¾ cup of ganache on top of the base layer and spread into an even circle.
Stack the second cake.
Add ganache to the sides and 'patch' any uneven bits (creases where the cake layers meet etc)
I like to 'frost' my cake by adding dollops of ganache on top close to the edge, pushing it over the edge with my offset spatula until all the sides are done and then I finish up the top and do a final tidying up.
Do whatever is easier for you and just remember that there is no such thing as ugly chocolate, swirl it, smoothen it, just have fun!
Some people like a cold cake, but I like this best at room temperature when a spoon glides through the lovely ganache!