August 28, 2010
Favorite Chocolate Cake
Last week I bought some baking supplies from Roberts. Everything was 50 percent off, so I had to go and buy some. I ended up with two 10-inch square cake pans and some cake decorating tools. After that morning I had been itching to put the pans in use and treat myself with some delicious chocolate cake.
I had used this chocolate cake recipe before but not in this size of a pan. I knew the cake is quite fragile and requires freezing before frosting. I was surprised that I was able to get the thin layers out of the pans without tearing but the I noticed they were a wee bit flat in the middle. Solution: After freezing the two layers I cut them in half, forming four 10x5 inch cake layers. I could rotate the layers, thus getting rid of the sagging middle. This would make a more of a loaf shaped cake with four layers, which sometimes is a nice change from the regular round or square cakes.
Now, I have the hardest time making chocolate frosting that I would approve of. Other people say the frostings I've made have been fine, but I just don't like them. Blah... So I went with a store-bought frosting. Thanks to Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Chocolate Frosting I loved this cake. (If anyone has an awesome chocolate frosting recipe, I would love if you shared it with me!) I just spread a real thin layer of frosting in between the layers and then covered the outside with another thin layer. Perfect.
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup water
4 heaping Tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp baking soda, dissolved in a small amount of water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour your pans. (You can use 9x13 pan, 8- or 9-inch rounds pans, square pans, jelly roll pan, cupcake pan... your choice!)
2. Bring butter, water and cocoa powder to a boil in a sauce pan. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Stir flour, sugar and salt together. Pour chocolate mixture over flour mixture and mix gently.
4. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, baking soda in water, and vanilla. Stir into batter, and then add sour cream. Mix GENTLY, do not overmix. Pour into your choice of pan(s) and bake until done in the center.
Time depends on your choice of pan. I baked my 10-inch square pan for about 25 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees, jelly roll pan would probably take about 20 minutes and cupcakes maybe 15 min at 350 degrees. Just watch your cake, and once the center feels firm to the touch, test with a toothpick for doneness.
Remember, it'll be easier to transfer the layers for frosting if they are frozen. Of course you don't need to do this if you are making a 9x13 cake or cupcakes.
So, I had an epiphanie while making this cake. It is almost exactly the same recipe as the Chocolate Sheet Cake I've posted. The only difference is the amount of salt, and that sour cream is substituted with buttermilk. Go figure. No wonder I love both.
P.S. Rumor has it this is the cake recipe used at Magleby's... ;)