After my last chocolate cake blog, where I used a recipe that purported itself as "the best chocolate cake you ever ate" I knew I had to keep searching. It so was not the best chocolate cake I ever ate. The cinnamon in it was a bit off putting and the glaze/frosting was insanely sweet (and I even cut down on the sugar it called for!). I continued my search and found a recipe that sounded more like what I was going for at Epicurious.com. I was right. This recipe is a keeper!!
You start by sifting together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Then in another bowl, take 3 oz. of a good semi-sweet chocolate and pour one and a half cups of hot fresh brewed coffee over it. Let sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Set aside. Since I was testing the recipe, I didn't go all out with fancy chocolate and just used Nestle's chocolate chips and you know what, it was great! You will need two bags for this recipe.
Now, in your mixer, beat the eggs until they start to thicken and turn a lemony color. It doesn't take long in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer but may take a little longer with a hand mixer. Slowly add the other wet ingredients: oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the mixer and beat until combined. Then add flour/sugar mixture and beat on medium until just combined. I put the whole bowl of flour/sugar in all at once. Once it's all combined, divide batter between pans. Your pans should be greased and lined with wax paper. The recipe calls for 10 inch cake pans, but I used my 9 x 3 inch cake pans. DO NOT use a regular 9 inch pan or it will spill over the sides and cause a mess in your oven like this. But if you want to make three layers instead of two, I think the regular 9 inch pans will work.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Then cool the cakes completely in their pans on wire racks. When cooled, turn out onto the racks and remove wax paper.
While the cakes are baking, make the ganache frosting. Oh ganache. Is there anything better?? I don't think so. It's simple but enhances whatever it is on. The recipe calls for a few more ingredients than I used, but you can do it how you want. I prefer to stay away from corn syrup as much as possible so I left it out. And I also don't think ganache needs any added sugar. I did however use the butter it called for. You will need one pound of semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl and one cup of heavy cream. Heat the cream and then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for a couple minutes then whisk until smooth. Add the butter slowly in pieces and whisk until completely smooth. You may have to refrigerate the ganache to get it to a spreadable consistency.
This cake is VERY moist. I got the first layer on the plate easily, spread some ganache on it and then when I went to put the second layer on, it broke right in half. Frosting covers many flaws so I wasn't worried about it at all, but hopefully it won't happen again. The picture shows that the cake was pieced back together, but I'm not sure you can really tell.
The ganache frosting is a beautiful consistency and a great cake topper. It's terrific! It spreads nicely, doesn't leave a ton of crumbs behind and looks glossy and beautiful. Just for kicks, I put chocolate cookie crumbs on the side of the cake.
This is by far, closer to the best chocolate cake I ever ate! Even my Nick loved it and he's not much for cakes. In fact, whenever I make a cake that he likes, he gets mad telling me I'm trying to change him into a cake lover!