Last week was a cake week.
You know.....an extra long, extra busy week, that you knew you'd only get through with the promise of cake over the weekend.
I like to reward myself like that.
I love cake. Chocolate cake. Chocolaty chocolate cake.
I am always on the hunt for THE BEST chocolate cake recipe.....and I think this one comes close. I made it a few weeks back--half of it made into cupcakes with whipped chocolate ganache (which might have almost killed us they were so wickedly rich), and the other half baked in a cake round and sent into hibernation in the freezer for whenever a cake week rolled around.
I also like to be prepared.
I pulled my sleeping cake out of the freezer this weekend, left it in the pan, topped it wish some super easy frosting....and we dug in.
Double Chocolate Cake
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
recipe is for two cake rounds.....I made mine into 12 cupcakes and 1 round:)
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups hot water
3/4 c butter
3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans.
Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs (adding one at a time) until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
Browned Butter Frosting
enough to frost one cake round or 12 cupcakes
The sugar in this frosting is uncooked--which some people might find weird, but I actually really liked the grittiness of the brown sugar paired with the soft fudgey chocolate cake.
The funny thing about this frosting, is that I was going for not too sweet, seeing as though the cake is so perfectly fudgey. Turns out that, it was an equally rich frosting, so make sure you have a tall glass of milk handy.....or your Dr's number nearby in case you slip into some kind of coma. Totally worth it though.
1 stick (1/2 c) of butter
1/2c-3/4c brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
a few tablespoons of milk
To brown butter:
Heat pan on medium heat.
Cut butter in to pieces and melt in pan.
Stir continuously. Butter will foam up.
After foam subsides, small brown flecks will start to appear in bottom of pan.
Continue stirring, until butter has reached a nice brown color, and nutty aroma.
When you want to lick the spoon, you know it's ready.
Turn the heat all the way down.
Allow butter to cool in the fridge until it is soft, but no longer a liquid.
Mix with a hand mixer until butter becomes fluffy.
Add brown sugar and milk, a bit at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Leave your cake in the pan, because its a cake week and you want it easy, sloppily schmear frosting on top, and grab a fork and dig in.