Thursday, April 1, 2010

Double Chocolate Cake

Until now I could not make good chocolate cake. I feel something is missing in the cake like not very chocolaty or not sweet or etc. Today, I am looking for delicious chocolaty cake online. I found "Finding the best Chocolate Cake recipe" thread in eGullet Forum and read it through 3 hours, including taking notes down. I have finally listed all tested recipes by professional or non professional bakers in that thread. I am going to try Double Chocolate Cake tomorrow. Stay tune.

Today, I baked the chocolate cake  together with my cousin, Lilian. She comes to my place today and she will come tomorrow again. Among so many chocolate cakes discussed and rated in the forum, I chose twisted "Double Chocolate Cake" version to try first and I will try the rest of cakes later. This is the link to original "Double Chocolate Cake" recipe from Epicurious. I liked the taste and texture of the final product before freeze. I will try after freeze cake tomorrow. Today, I try the freeze cake and I don't really  like it. I will not freeze it next time. I pretty much followed the recipe except few changes as usual.
I mixed Hershey's unsweetened nature cocoa and Ghirardelli chocolate cocoa as I wanted to finish off my Ghirardelli. We can just use one brand of cocoa. I used the Nestle morsels semi-sweet chocolate chips and Hershey special dark mildly sweet chocolate chips. I used the instant coffee powder for hot brewed coffee and espresso powder.The coffee deepens the flavor of the chocolate. Someone in that thread mentioned that Sumatra coffee match well with chocolate flavor.

I forgot the brown sugar and added all white sugar. I didn't want to use all cake flour as I used 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup cake flour. We can use 2½ cups all purpose flour too. I usually don't use baking soda, so I added 2¾ teaspoons baking powder. Probably I reduce baking powder next time. I made my own buttermilk by adding 1TB lemon juice to the milk. This time I used the lime juice. Someone also mentioned that 1 c. sour cream = 1 cup buttermilk + 3 oz. butter, so we can substitute 1½cups sour cream for 1½ cups buttermilk and 1/2 cup butter.

This recipe yields 36 cupcakes. I made 24 cupcakes and one 9" round cake. I only filled 2/3 to cupcake tin as I expected the batter to rise. But it did not rise much and the cupcakes came out half size as I baked at 175 degree C. Maybe temperature is low compared to 200 degree C I usually bake for cupcakes and muffins. So next time I should fill batter to almost full of cupcake tin.

Seem like this cake should bake slowly at low temperature and do not over bake it. Or else, the cake will dry. One profession in that thread said that freezing in general improves most of the cakes (with a few exceptions). They actually become moister through the process of defrosting. Fresh cakes are always drier in comparision.  Therefore, after baking and wrapping the cake once it's near room temperature, put it in the freezer over night. Then defrost and use. However, I still prefer no freeze cake.

  • 1½ oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1½ oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1½ cups cocoa powder (regular or Dutch process)
  • 1½ cups hot instant coffee or 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder + 1½ cups hot water  {original: 1½ cups hot brewed coffee}
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder {original: 1 TB espresso powder}
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter    
  • 2 cup white sugar {original: 1½ cups white sugar}
  •                              {original: 1 cup light brown sugar}
  • 2 cups all purpose flour {original:2½ cups + 5 TB cake flour}
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2¾ teaspoons baking powder {orignal: 2 teaspoons baking soda + ¾ teaspoon baking powder}
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs {original: 3 large eggs}
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree F or 150 degree C. Grease two 9” pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper/parchment and grease paper.
  2. Into a medium bowl, pour the hot coffee, mixed with the espresso powder, over chocolate, cocoa and butter,  blend by hand whisk till smooth. Let  the mixture cool slightly, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl sift together  flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and add sugar.
  4. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a stand mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk or sour cream, vanilla. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
  6. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes (timing may vary). Do not over bake to avoid dryness. Baked 30 minutes for cupcakes.
  7. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks.
  8. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper. 
  9. Wrap cakes well in plastic wrap and freeze them.

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