I’m not normally big on cakes. One reason is because I stink at the whole frosting and decorating process. Thus why you get a highly cropped photo lol. Editing is a great way to hide the flaws. The other reasons? I don’t know. Simply that when it comes to desserts, I’m a creamy type of girl, i.e., ice cream, mousses, puddings etc. After that, I love a good pie.
But there are times I just want a big old slab of plain old chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It’s one of those simple pleasures, one of those foods that takes you back to childhood birthdays immediately. Well, for most people anyway. When I think of childhood birthdays, I think of Dressels cakes, which were sold in grocery stores in Chicago back in the day (whipped cream and strawberries. YUM!) and of my brother “accidentally” telling me to cross the street on my 8th birthday and my getting thrown about 72 miles by an oncoming car. Really. Seventy two miles. Maybe even 722 miles. He had it out for me. My brother, not the car driver. 😛
Where was I? Oh yeah, chocolate cake. Years ago, I got a free sample copy of Cuisine Magazine. On the back cover was a luscious looking chocolate cake. I have saved that issue, mainly for that recipe, ever since. Today, I made it. This is chocolate cake nirvana. Old fashioned moist, dense chocolate cake filled and topped with a smooth rich chocolate icing. Not a bit of powdered sugar in sight in this frosting, this is the kind that uses cocoa, sugar, cream and butter that are heated, then cooled until thick enough to spread. Basically, a richer than usual ganache. This is extremely easy to make. No 500 steps, no adding things in 2 tablespoon increments then beating for a year. You mix your dry, you mix your wet, then you combine. Don’t overbeat this however. I did to mine a little and it became a bit tough. Just beat until it’s combined and there is no dry flour mixture left showing, rather like you do when you make brownies or pancake batter. The frosting is also easy. Just melt your butter, pour in the other ingredients, heat and voila, there you go. Just chill until it’s spreadable, then
eat it out of the bowl spread onto the cake.
You know the drill. 🙂
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups hot water
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar (it helps the leavening process)
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I also used a touch of orange extract just because it’s one of our families favorite flavor combos)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 or 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray (I always use Bakers Joy when making any sort of cake) or grease and lightly flour your pans.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
- In a large measuring cup, combine the hot water, oil, vinegar, coffee granules, and vanilla. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients and whisk (no mixer here please) just until combined. It’s ok if there are some small lumps left. Remember, don’t overbeat this.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool cake layers in the pan for fifteen minutes, then invert out onto a wire rack. The inverting helps you have layers that are flatter rather than domed.
- While they cool, make your icing. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and coca powder. The mixture will be thick and grainy. Remove from the heat
- Combine the heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla in a measuring cup. Put the pan back over medium heat and whisk gradually into the cocoa mixture. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth, glossy and hot to the touch. Do NOT boil.
- Remove from heat and then either cool at room temp until totally cool and thick enough to spread or, better method, chill in the fridge for about 30 to 40 minutes, until thick enough to spread.
- Lay one layer flat side up on a plate. Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting onto to it and spread to cover. Lay the other layer carefully on top, pressing down lightly to help prevent sliding. Use the remaining frosting to cover the tops and sides of the cake, making sure to eat a bite or six as you do so. No one will notice. 😀
- Enjoy chocolate nirvana. You’re welcome. 🙂
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