Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake

I've been meaning to post this for weeks now--it's the recipe I used to make L's birthday cake, and it was not only the best chocolate layer cake I've ever made, but quite possibly the best I've ever eaten. Thank you, Rose Levy Berenbaum, whose book truly deserves the title The Cake Bible.

1/2 c + 3 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (I use Droste, and for things like this, it is worth the expense!)
1 c boiling water
3 large eggs, room temp
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 c + 2 Tbsp sifted cake flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, softened.

  1. Preheat oven to 35oF. Prepare 2 9-inch cake pans: greased, bottoms lined with parchment or wax paper, then greased again and floured.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temp.
  3. In another bowl, lightly combine the eggs, 1/4 of the cooled cocoa mixture, and vanilla.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend.
  5. Add the butter and the remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Increase to medium speed (high if hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scape down the sides.
  7. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides.
  8. Scrape batter into prepared pans and smooth. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when touched lightly in the center. Should start to shrink from the sides only after removing from the oven.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides and invert onto greased metal racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert and cool completely.
I used Martha Stewart's chocolate frosting, and the result was fabulous.

UPDATE: Added the sugar!


Anonymous said...

no sugar?

RJS said...

Ooooh, that would be a problem. Let me check the book and I'll correct it. Thank you, anonymous error-catcher. :)

RJS said...

Fixed it!