The Perfect Chocolate Cake
Though this cake is one of the most delicious & decadent I have ever encountered, I make it only on the most special occasions & only when I can take the time to make it with love. It’s true, I’m that way. When dear friends welcomed their new child to the world last week, it was time to dust the recipe off, buy the best ingredients around & get my 4 year-old sous chef to lay off the (apple)sauce & assist me on this cake.
We had a lot of fun with this one. My daughter is four & rather good with measuring & mixing for her age. Sure it takes longer to bake with my child beside me, but it is worth the odd mishap to experience creating with her. She feels empowered when helping & takes a lot of pride in her work – this makes us both happy.
I’ve had the New Recipes From Moosewood Restaurant cookbook since I left home & moved to the big city. This cake recipe is originally from that cookbook (which I still have – it is covered in batter, sauce & water smatterings from so many years of loyal service) . I’ve modified the version of the recipe slightly over the years, especially now that I have some dietary limitations.
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups boiling water
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat over to 350. Grease & flour 3 x 9 inch round cake pans.
This recipe is makes a 9 inch round, 3 layer cake.
Combine cocoa with boiling water, stir until smooth & let cool to room temperature. Sift together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, eggs, milk & vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the wet, alternately with the cocoa. Do NOT over mix. Blend just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
Pour batter into pans. Bake 25 – 30 minutes. Cool in pans for ten minutes, remove cake from pans to cool completely.
While cake cools, make frosting. Melt chocolate & butter in a saucepan. Stir in cream until smooth. Remove pan from heat & place in a large bowl of ice. Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat in the powdered sugar until frosting holds a stiff shape. Chill.
Whip the filling ingredients together until stiff. Chill.
When all parts are cool, put the cake together. spread the filling between the layers & frost the outside of the cake.
Serve quickly, or keep refrigerated until serving.
To make this cake dairy & gluten free: I use Bob’s Red Mill Cake & Biscuit (gluten free) mix for cakes. It is expensive, but worth it to me since I know I can rely on this blend. I use Camino cocoa & baking chocolate as they contain no dairy. Instead of butter for the cake batter, I use 3/4 cup oil (canola, or even light olive) . You can also use a buttery spread like Earth Balance. I skip the filling since it is essentially whipped cream (you really can’t sub that in my books) & use the frosting in its place. The frosting I make with Earth Balance buttery spread & rice milk. I add 1/2 cup of rice milk to the mix & add more or less icing sugar as I blend it out. You’ll know when you have the right consistency. If your icing gets too thick, just add more rice milk or whatever dairy substitute you use. If your icing is too thin, add more icing sugar. Remember chilling it will also thicken the mix.