Who Doesn’t Like Chocolate Cake?

5 Jul

If there is one dessert that makes pretty much everyone happy, it would be chocolate cake. My chocoholic friends go crazy for this cake, but its not too overly sweet so even I like it. I made this cake for my brother-in-law’s birthday dinner, its always a good cake for a special occasion.

My chocolate cake has layers of devil’s food chocolate cake with layers of whipped cream and topped with a chocolate ganache. The ganache really makes the cake special, it looks impressive when people see the beautiful glazed chocolate.

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Cake recipe (makes 2 round cakes or 1 9”X12” rectangular cake):

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and sift together in a bowl. Sifting the dry ingredients will make your cake fluffier.
In separate bowl, mix sugar and eggs together. Then add buttermilk, vanilla, vegetable oil. I use a hand mixer for my cakes, but you can use a stand mixer if you prefer.
Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until fully combined. Butter and flour two 8” round cake pans and divide the cake batter evenly. Cakes will take 20-25 minutes, but check the cakes at 20 minutes, because you don’t want to overcook the cake. My rule for baking is always undercook the cakes slightly. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out dry, then the cakes are done. Let cake cool completely before assembling.

Marshmallow Whipped Cream:

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 marshmallows

Using an electric mixer with whipping attachment, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Melt the marshmallows in microwave for 10-20 seconds, until they get soft and fluffy and can be blended easily. Add the marshmallows and confectioners sugar to the whipped cream and beat together until firm peaks form. Refrigerate the whipped cream until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

You can play with the cake recipe by using different flavored whipped cream, I like espresso or raspberry or strawberry. You can also use chocolate mousse if you’re feeling adventurous.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces good dark chocolate, chopped (not less than 60% cocoa, I like Valrhona best)
  • 8 ounces heavy cream, scalded

Heat up heavy cream until scalded. Chop up chocolate and put in a bowl. Add cream to chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Whisk the mixture together to make the ganache. It will look shiny and gorgeous!

Now we’re ready to assemble the cake!

For this recipe, I cut the cakes in half lengthwise, so ended up with 4 layers, but you can just have 2 layers. Take each cake layer and layer whipped cream in between. Once cake is assembled, let it set in the fridge.

Put the cake on an elevated grating, so the ganache can drip off. First take some chocolate ganache and put some on the side of the cake to fill in the gaps so will be easier to cover when you pour the ganache. Pour some ganache into middle of top of cake and start spreading out to the sides. This will take a while and it will be a bit messy. You will need to do this process several times to get the cake fully covered.

Save the leftover ganache so you can make the truffles! Let the ganache set in the freezer and roll into balls and roll those in whatever toppings you like best – chopped hazelnuts, espresso powder, cocoa powder.

Once the chocolate is set, transfer cake to your cake plate, very carefully! You can let the cake fully set on the countertop or you can also put it in the refrigerator if your room is very warm.

I have made several versions of this cake and its always a hit. Mini cakes for my “Bubbles & Sweets” party a couple of weeks ago and a special version for Christmas dinner topped with espresso covered truffles for extra decoration. I also made a version for a birthday back in January. But I made a mistake because I accidentally bought unsweetened dark chocolate so my ganache wasn’t sweet enough. So I fixed my boo boo by making some milk chocolate ganache and pouring it over the cake right before serving. The warm chocolate ganache kicked up the cake a notch, the birthday boy was quite happy! But I mean really, who doesn’t like chocolate cake?

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