Wait, which chocolate cake?
That Chocolate Cake. You know, That Chocolate Cake from Scharffen Berger’s Essence of Chocolate cookbook. That Chocolate Cake with rich, moist layers, and a thick, creamy frosting. That Chocolate Cake that you will bake every time. For all time.
That Chocolate Cake.
We originally baked the cake for National Chocolate Cake Day (January 27), but we had trouble typing up the post with all that frosting on our fingers. So we’re posting it up now. With a note that yes, yes we did get all kinds of greedy and actually baked an additional half-recipe to make a third layer for the cake.
We weren’t unhappy about that.
You won’t be either.
That Chocolate Cake
from The Essence of Chocolate cookbook
makes 1 9-inch round cake, 8-10 servings
for the cake:
Unsalted butter and flour for pans
2 cups granulated sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup canola oil
1 cup whole milk
1 cup boiling water
for the frosting:
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
5 ounces 99% Cacao Unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To Make 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.
Let the frosting cool, whisking gently from time to time. Don’t overwhip or you’ll create air bubbles.
To Bake 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. Mix 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.
To Frost 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.