{the best chocolate cake ever}

{chocolate cake} by {how sweet life is}

Recipe courtesy of the lovely Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa

“This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I’ve ever made,” says Ina Garten, host of Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa. “It’s so easy and so moist and light. There’s buttermilk and a cup of coffee in the batter! The frosting is just buttercream and a little coffee.”

I made this cake for Victor’s birthday this year, and I don’t think he will ever let me make another cake again.  It was, by far, his favorite cake ever!  I plan to make this again for our Thanksgiving dinner, so I thought it would be nice to share the recipe again for those looking for non-traditional dessert ideas this year.

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

For the Cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the Frosting:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
*If you do not have buttermilk, make your own:  Pour 1/2 tablespoon vinegar into a liquid measuring cup, and top off to the 1/2 cup line with whole milk.  Let stand for 5 minutes before using.  Voila!*
Make the Cake:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
3.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.
Make the Frosting:
1.  In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute.
3.  In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.
Assemble Your Cake:
1.  Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up.
2.  Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge.
3.  Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

{cake assembly in progress} by {how sweet life is}

Make Ahead Tip:  The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days.  Let stand for 1 hour before serving.
{Happy Baking!}
xo
~the sweetest mami~
Advertisements

{fall} in love with baking…

The weather is still rather warm here in South Florida, so it’s been hard to really get into the mood for Fall.  Having said that, I turn to baking as my inspiration for warm and cozy days full of wonderful seasonal flavors.  Here are some pictures of sweet baked goods I’m hoping to make this Fall.

Instead of pumpkin pie, I plan to make this decadent pumpkin cake this Thanksgiving:

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
{via Food and Wine}

I just love warm apple crisp with a scoop or two of french vanilla ice cream…

Apple Crisp
{via Martha Stewart}

It’s been way too long since we made our own ice cream…this flavor is perfect for the Fall!

Caramel & Apple Ice Cream
{via Food and Wine}

I’ve been dying to make a simple bundt cake like this one, or a variation of zucchini bread, just to have in the mornings with a hot cup of tea…

Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake
{via Real Simple}

I hope you find a way to celebrate Fall as well, and enjoy it before the busy holiday season is upon us!

{happy baking}

xo

~the sweetest mami~