A Word of Warning:)
Before I get started – there are some cooking directions where I cut corners and others where I don’t. When making this cake I religiously grease and line my layer pans with parchment paper – and then grease again – even if you are using “non stick” pans, which I don’t recommend anyway…but that’s for another post altogether.
Why, you may ask….well it’s simple. If you want to avoid having to pry your cake out of the pans, this is the simplest way to ensure that the cake won’t stick…. and in my experience this chocolate fudge cake most definitely sticks if you do not use parchment. Don’t say I didn’t warn you;)
Chocolate Fudge Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup full fat sour cream (room temperature)
1 cup fresh coffee (cooled)
½ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar – I used rice vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs room temperature
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the racks are in a central position. My grandmother traditionally made a sheet cake, but because I LOVE frosting I make layers. Use 2, 9 inch layer pans (mine are deep). Grease and line with parchment paper.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Admittedly, I sometimes take a short cut and mix them together w. out sifting! Put bowl to the side. In a separate bowl combine coffee, white vinegar and vanilla and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, emulsify the oil and sour cream. Basically you will pour the oil into the sour cream in a thin stream while you continue to mix at a medium speed. This is why I love my Kitchen Aid mixer!
Continue mixing on medium and add eggs one at a time, then the buttermilk.
Add 1/3 portion of the dry ingredients to the sour cream mixture. Mix until just blended. Then add 1/2 of the coffee mixture. Alternate dry ingredients with coffee, finishing off with the dry ingredients. The key is not to over mix the batter. You only want to mix the batter at medium speed until just blended. If you overmix the cake will be tough.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes and then turn out on wire rack to cool.
I personally wait for the cake to cool completely and then trim off the crispy top and sides. This gives me clean spongy layers.
You can save these yummy bits for a kids snack! They love it.
After testing my current frosting recipe I found that that it gets a bit hard after a few hours. This has something to do with the cocoa powder and icing sugar proportions. For me, the most difficult part of blogging has been to translate my loose recipe treatment into hard and fast recipes. I like to experiment but that won’t fly for you! Later this month I will post my original recipe after I work out the kinks. For the time being, this is an amazing chocolate frosting recipe that I adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting Ingredients (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Recipe) :
1 c. cream
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla
20 oz. high quality bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp espresso powder
2 sticks salted butter, cut into 8 pieces
In a medium saucepan heat espresso powder, cream and golden syrup until just simmering. Put chocolate chips into a large metal mixing bowl and pour simmering cream mixture over the top while mixing until melted. Add powdered sugar slowly and beat on medium speed until incorporated, then add vanilla. The final step is to add the butter one piece at a time. Each piece should be incorporated before another is added, Cool until the frosting reaches spreading consistency.
Frosting Chocolate Fudge Cake
There are a few rules that I follow when frosting my cakes:
1. Make sure the cake is thoroughly cooled – residual heat will interfere with your frosting.
2. Don’t forget to crumb coat! After I fill my layers I smooth a thin coat of frosting on the whole cake. It looks messy but the crumb coat will capture any stray crumbs leaving you with a flawless final coat.
3. Ideally let them rest. It gives a chance for it all to come together. In a perfect world I make my cake at night, frost it in the morning and serve it that night.