Thursday, May 26, 2011
the best chocolate cake (so far).
I need you to stop doing whatever you're doing, and get your screen and your butt into the kitchen and start making this chocolate cake. It's that good and I don't lie... at least when it comes to cakes. And this is coming from a non-chocolate cake lover. Not that I hate chocolate cakes, but I find them so mundane, so boring. I'd very much rather say yes to something vanilla. Yes, I belong to the vanilla people. But I'm praising this cake to the heavens now, and that's something.
I'm going to tell you now where I got the recipe from- Ina Garten. Okay, now you can roll your eyes at me and scream Duh! I tried that already! I won't blame you. I must be the last blogger on earth to attempt this recipe seeing that there are more than 2000 reviews on that recipe! But it was the chocolate cake skeptic in me that went:
How good can chocolate cake be?
And the answer is... very good. In fact, kick-ass good.
It's dense, but not very. It's fudgey and it's definitely chocolaty. Not to mention easy to make too. Still not convinced? I love this cake so much that I can bear to leave it's side for one moment. Halfway through savoring it, nature called. You get the idea. And at that very point of time, I thought damn. I want to finish the cake now. But nature had a stronger pull and I did what I had to do and practically ran all the way back to my cake. Now you know my love affair with this cake.
To fill this, I used a cocoa frosting recipe from before. The very same batch I made last time actually- I forgot that I froze some! Luckily, even after more than 3 months it was okay. In fact, it was even better! There was no more grittiness from icing sugar like before. For the other frosting, I used a meringue one from Dorie's devil's food white-out cake. The main idea was to use no butter at all since I was running low and because I have a fear of frostings using too much of it. I can't say I like it that much since it's practically devoid of richness but it's a good recipe to have on hand if you're cutting down on fat.
By the way, I have this irritating problem. When I use only-whites recipes, I would usually plan on how to use the yolks. But at that very point of time I want to use yolks, I completely forget which recipes to bake! And vice-versa. So now because of the meringue frosting, I have 2 yolks sitting in the fridge (I halved the whole recipe). Does anyone have any ideas on how to use up the yolks? And if you know how to finish up those whites as well, please do tell!
Beatty's chocolate cake
butter for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee *I used 2 teaspoons of instant coffee in 1 cup of boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable—don't try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it's really better to use it right now.