The Ultimate Chocolate Cake
In honor of the season finale of The Bachelor I have decided to give up my Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe. Why? Because it is SO (drink) AMAZING (drink)! Seriously, I know I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, and I know I’ve promised some of you that I would eventually post the absolute best chocolate cake recipe, ever (I don’t mean to brag, but really, this one’s that good), so without further ado…. It sounds complicated, and I’ll admit there are quite a lot of steps and it’s a bit time consuming, but follow the directions and I really think you’ll enjoy the outcome. This is the culmination of years worth of frosting, filling and cake batter experimentation and a combination of several recipes---the result is a super moist, ultra chocolaty cake with a rich creamy ganache filling and the perfect buttery, sweet fudge frosting. Try it. You’ll love it.
Chocolate cake recipe
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 2 cups brown sugar, packed 3 eggs, room temperature ½ cup cocoa 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon Kahlua 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup sour cream ¾ cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour two 8” or 9” round cake pans (or one 9x13 metal pan).
In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Set some water to boil, you’ll need it at the end.
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and brown sugar. Start at a slow speed to get it combined, otherwise the mixture is too dry and will fly out of the bowl. Once they are starting to cream together, turn the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating on high for one minute after each egg is added.
On medium speed add a scoop of the flower mixture, mix, add a scoop of the sour cream, mix, add the vanilla and kahlua, mix… continue alternating between wet and dry ingredients until they are all combined.
On low speed mix in the ¾ cup of boiling water. Stop mixing as soon as it is combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edge of the cake to separate it from the pan and turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
WHILE THE CAKE IS BAKING AND COOLING MAKE YOUR FROSTING AND FILLING!
Chocolate Ganache Filling
1 cup heavy cream 8 ounces of semisweet baking chocolate, broken into chunks 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons sugar EITHER 1 tablespoon of Kahlua OR 2-3 Tablespoons raspberry jam (your choice)
Place chunks of chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
In a small heavy-bottomed pot bring cream, butter and sugar to a boil (stir mixture as it heats so that butter is completely melted and sugar is dissolved).
As soon as the cream starts to boil remove it from the heat and pour it directly over the chocolate chunks. Cover the bowl with a plate (to trap in the heat) and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Remove plate and stir the cream/chocolate, in one direction, until chocolate is completely melted.
Place bowl in freezer. Check every ten minutes and give it a good stir until it reaches a thick, frosting-like consistency. It will firm on the edges first, so make sure to stir the firmer edge parts into the still-soft center when you mix it.
Once it reaches the desired texture you can leave it at room temperature.
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter 3 oz semisweet chocolate (I use Nestle’s semisweet baking bars, but others will do---DO NOT USE CHOCOLATE CHIPS) 1 1/8 cups cocoa (I use Hershey’s) 3 3/8 cups powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 7-8 tablespoons milk
In large mixing bowl melt butter and chocolate on HIGH in microwave for two minutes. Stir until all chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa.
When melted butter/chocolate mixtures is room temperature begin stirring in the cocoa/sugar, roughly a half cup at a time. When it starts to get thick switch to a handheld electric mixture and alternate adding the milk, sugar/cocoa/ and vanilla until all the ingredients are combined. Add more milk a tablespoon at a time if you want the frosting to have a fluffier consistency. If you accidentally add too much milk, don’t panic, just add a tiny bit of cocoa and powdered sugar until it firms to the desired texture.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE!
Place one layer of cake on whatever cake tray/plate/server you want to use. Spread on the ganache (it will be thick, so spread gently so you don’t shred/break the cake). Place the second layer of cake on top. Frost with the desired amount of frosting. (Note: the frosting recipe is actually a batch and a half of my original recipe, but I find this is a good amount of frosting to generously frost a cake this size and still have a little frosting left over for eating, bribing spouse/children/significant other/roommate/neighbors into doing favors, etc.) Cover with a cake dome and store at room temperature, but not in sunlight. (If you don’t have a cake dome, strategically place toothpicks on the top and sides of cake and tent it with plastic wrap until you have the whole thing covered--- the toothpicks will prevent the plastic wrap from touching the frosting.)
Eat any leftover frosting or ganache. :)
(Sometimes I have to make a double batch, which yields a large, two-layer sheet cake. Somehow it always disappears....)