i'm a big fan of cake in all flavors. nutty, candy filled, fruit filled, topped with fruit, covered in fruity buttercream, made from vegetables, chocolate & peanut butter, slathered in peanut butter, soda flavored, lemon, yellow, crumb cake, you name it, i like it.
but when my dad's birthday came (and went) two weeks ago, there was only one choice: chocolate.
somewhat surprisingly, i haven't made a chocolate cake (or cupcakes) in over a year, and even then, the recipe was so uneventful that i didn't even post it (but my mom's peanut butter buttercream is still one of my favs). so while i have at least a dozen (two?) chocolate cake recipes on my 'to bake' list, i stuck with martha. i had great success with her yellow cake, that her chocolate version shot to the top of my list.
i wasn't disappointed, but it wasn't nearly as good as the yellow cake. but honestly, this cake has one huge benefit that very few share: it's mixed in about 10 minutes and only dirties one bowl. seriously. no folding in egg whites or adding wet to dry. plain and simple. dump and mix.
now that the taste of chocolate cake is still lingering, maybe it's time to start the search for the perfect chocolate cake!?
and the writing? i skipped the tubed gel and used deb's trick. i melted about a half cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave with about a tablespoon of heavy cream. and when it was perfectly melted, i tinted it blue with food coloring. it was a little thin, so i let it set up a bit in the refrigerator while i stacked the cakes and iced them. i spooned the melted chocolate into a small, sandwich size zip top bag, made the smallest slit in the corner, and did a few trial letters on some wax paper - which i highly recommend, since it isn't exactly easy to fix screwed up letters on a cake. and be careful with the piping - once you start, don't stop. i wrote 'happy' and put down the chocolate for a minute to do god knows what (probably fast forward my dvr) and when i went back to it, the chocolate had set in the bag so when i tried to squeeze it, the bag burst in my hand. i saved the day by remelting it in the microwave and putting it into a new bag to finish piping.
one bowl chocolate cake
adapted from martha stewart's cooking school
1 hour total plus cooling time, serves 12-16
1 1/4 cups unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- coat two 8 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray and set aside. preheat your oven to 350F.
- in a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- add eggs, yolk, water, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- divide batter evenly among the two pans and bake about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- let cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10-15 minutes. remove from pan and cool completely (about 2 hours) before icing.
- ice with your favorite chocolate buttercream or my favorite chocolate ganache buttercream. serve with a tall glass of chocolate milk.