Monday, September 20, 2010

sweet and simple

very sweet.

chocolate cake with browned butter frosting

Last week was a cake week.

You 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.


10 comments: said...

YUM!!! That frosting sounds heavenly! I must try

Unknown said...

MMmmmm, I love browned butter frosting and the crunch of sugar in there is always a good thing I think. I like texture in my food and that added crunch to the soft feel of cake is perfect. lovely recipe!

Anonymous said...

double chocolate cakes lurking in the freezer? i like your style. sometimes you need a fix ASAP. oh and that frosting sounds dangerously good.

cheers and enjoy the cake,


Aaron John said...

Looks yummy!! The frosting with brown butter sounds interesting!! Never seen it before! I just want a slice of this cake!!
Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

Heather said...

That looks SO good! I too am always on the hunt for the best chocolate cake. Can't wait to try this.

kara lynn said...

oh this DOES look good. but i love hearing how you are on the search for the perfect chocolate cake and frosting combo ever. i am definitely on that search. and it is oh so delightful. thanks for sharing!

Anna Fearer said...

This is making my mouth looks so yummy..TFS

Alex said...

I made this cake last night because the recipe looked too good to pass up.
However, mine ended up making 21 cupcakes and one cake round! So I have a lot of chocolatey goodness sitting around that I plan on distributing to friends.

connie said...

My friend introduced me to your blog, I think it's sweet blog that brings a smile to my face. I baked this chocolate cake and made the browned butter should be renamed "Heavenly Chocolate Cake." Of course, it was a bit of a disaster as I tried to bake it in a 13x9" baking dish and it overflowed, but it was still delicious. This cake is perfect, even without any frosting, served plain or a light dusting of powdered sugar. Thanks for this yummy recipe!

alyssa said...

Exactly the frosting I've been searching for to top my chocolate cupcakes! Thanks for sharing!