Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dream Cake - Chocolate Edition

One of my aunties had a birthday and we got to celebrate it in the ultimate Halloween house.
(Here my Missoni-addicted sister and I got into a spooky mood, with Auntie Shotz enjoying her birthday cake.)

Our friend Barbara goes all out for every holiday but her Halloween decor is beyond genius.

Barbara also introduced us to the most insane chocolate cake recipe you will ever encounter.

I don't want to be a tease so I'm sharing the recipe (it's actually from Ina Garten's book Barefoot Contessa at Home):

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Ingredients (Note: Barbara insists on special brands for some of these ingredients and the cake is so perfect I am not going to argue against her suggestions.)

Butter, for greasing the pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose 'King Arthur' flour - plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

3/4 cups 'Droste' cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (also works great with decaf)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces Scharffen Berger semisweet chocolate

1 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla extract

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (again, Barbara uses decaf)

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

* In case I haven't made it clear how phenomenal this cake it I'll tell you this: there are very few cakes that I like and I cannot stop thinking about this one. Plus it is so rich - all you need is a tiny slice and you're good for the day.*


  1. The pans are special brand too. Ask Mom.

  2. Holy cow. That is a good cake. I didn't even use the special brands, just what we had in the cupboard. Thanks for posting!