Chocolate Cake in the Morning

7 Dec

I made a cake for a client this morning.   Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream.  Doesn’t it look yummy?  This cake, a cake that I have probably made over a dozen times, took three attempts.  Three tries!  The first time I forgot to prepare the pans  and the cake wouldn’t budge.  After letting them cool completely and using all of my usual tricks it had to be  scraped out of the pans, delicious but no amount of buttercream could piece it back together.   The second time I completely forgot the baking soda and baking powder, I ended up with two chocolate hockey pucks.  And the third time?  The third time I put on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, sending Isabella into a trance like state for just long enough for me to get the cake in the oven.

This is based on Barefoot Contessa’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake.  The buttercream is Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Classic Chocolate Buttercream.   Ina’s Chocolate Buttercream is delicious but it has a raw egg yolk in it, something I don’t really worry about when it is for friends or family but I try to avoid when baking for clients.

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake – Ina Garten

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup freshly brewed coffee, hot

Pre-heat the oven to 350°.  Prepare two 9 inch pans with butter and flour.  Line with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients, mixed until just combined.  Add the coffee.  Mix until evenly incorporated.  The batter will be very runny.   Divide evenly between the two pans.  Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Rotate half way through baking.

Remove from the oven and let cool.  Remove from pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Classic Chocolate Buttercream –  The Cake Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum

6 egg yolks

1 lb of butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 oz dark chocolate, melted

In electric stand mixer beat the egg yolks with the whisk attachment until light yellow.  Meanwhile in a small pot combine the water and sugar and cook over high heat, occasionally brush down the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush to prevent the mixture from crystallizing.  Cook they syrup until it reaches 238° – you know you are getting close when the mixture starts to thicken and the bubbles are bigger and move a little slower.  Remove from the heat.  Stop the mixer and raise the whisk attachment.  Add a little of the hot syrup to the eggs. Beat on high until combined.  Repeat, adding the syrup in 3 additions.  Beat on high until cool.  Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and  the chocolate.  Beat until incorporated.


I normally cut each cake layer in half, making 4 layers.  Spread a thin layer of buttercream between each layer and frost the top and sides.  Enjoy!


One Response to “Chocolate Cake in the Morning”


  1. When life hands you chocolate cake crumbs… « Heavy Cake - December 7, 2011

    […] morning’s post detailed the many attempts it took to make a simple chocolate cake.  The fist cake was delicious […]

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