I made another cake.
I know. Probably you will just have to buy bigger jeans, or start hitting up the yoga. Just a heads up: there’s going to be an alarming number of cake Fridays’s coming your way in the next little bit. I just signed up to compete in the Canadian Food Championships in, obviously, the dessert category; I won’t know if I’ve been chosen till April-ish, but how exciting! And you all can benefit from my practice runs :) Apologies in advance for any drooling that occurs.
Last weekend I again delved deep into my British baking book, and surfaced with a recipe for chocolate cake. This gave me the opportunity to revisit my long-rusty cake manhandling skills. As before, I baked two medium sized cakes instead of one big cake, but this time the recipe called for 4 layers so I found my longest knife and sliced each cake in half length-wise. If you’ve never done this, the easiest way is to put the cake on something you can spin – luckily my new cake plate is very slippy, plus I put the cake top-down so the dome was able to glide around.
The cake itself had some interesting bits: it called for buttermilk (I always, always substitute yogurt and milk, because who can be bothered with buttermilk), ground almonds, and egg yolks in the frosting. I enjoyed the texture of the almond bits but didn’t really feel like they added much flavour. The cake really could have done with a big spice boost from some cinnamon and/or other spices, so I included that in the recipe.
Also, I don’t know if I’m going to have a rude awakening the further I go into this baking odyssey, but egg yolks in frosting? Is this a thing? I ended up making up my own frosting, which was awesome for sandwiching the layers because it was light and silky and soaked into the cake, but wasn’t a thick buttercream sort of frosting. If that’s your jam, add more butter to the frosting recipe (lots more butter…).
So here’s a Fudgy, Fudgy Chocolate Cake, my way, complete with a soft frosting that holds the whole layered confection together:
Fudgy Fudgy Chocolate Cake
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, mixed with 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour, plus more (if available; if not, just use plain)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 – 1 tsp other spice of your preference (cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, etc)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened but not melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-2 tsp vanilla, depending on preference
- 1/4 cup yogurt (plain, obviously!)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup ground almonds, optional (the original recipe called for 1 cup of ground almonds but I don’t feel that it was very useful, flavour-wise. You are welcome to add it in if you want, but if you don’t, just be prepared that you may have to add some extra flour to reach the right consistency)
- Frosting: 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Add both sugars and cream together until light and fluffy; continue mixing for approx 3 minutes past when you think it’s done. Add in the cocoa powder/water mixture and the vanilla and beat until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix with a fork. In another bowl or cup, beat the yogurt with the milk.
3. In your butter bowl, add in one egg with a 1/4 cup of the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Repeat with remaining eggs, adding 1/4 cup of flour with each. Once all the eggs have been added, fold in the yogurt/milk combination in 4 additions, alternating with the remaining flour. The mixture should be very soft and thick, and easily spreadable. If the consistency is not right, add in more flour (I would suggest almond flour) until the batter is soft and spreadable.
4. Prepare your cake pans (I used 2 medium-sized tins, but you can use one big tin and make more layers, or smaller tins and fewer layers) by buttering them heavily: the more you butter, the easier it will be for the cakes to pop out. Plop the batter in the pans and smooth out.
5. Bake the cakes for approximately 35 minutes, depending on the size of the pan you use (this recipe makes enough for two medium cakes; if you put all the batter in one big cake tin, you will likely have to bake it for longer). Be prepared for the cakes to rise quite a bit, and to make a big dome; but don’t worry, this will fall as it cools. Test the cake for doneness with a toothpick; if it comes out clean with no batter sticking to it, the cake is done.
6. To make the frosting, melt the ingredients in a bowl in the microwave. To make this extra special, you can add some espresso, but be prepared to bump up the chocolate chips, or to put in some cocoa powder to thicken. The beauty of the cake is that it is not too sweet, which means you can go a little sweeter with the frosting.
7. If you intend to make a multi-layered cake, wait until the cakes have cooled somewhat and then slice them in half lengthwise (use a long sharp knife, and move the cake, rather than your knife, to ensure an even cut). Once the cakes have cooled completely, sandwich the layers together with plenty of frosting, making sure to save enough for the tops and sides (if you wanted to make sure you really had enough, plus maybe extra for dipping fingers and spoons, double the frosting recipe). This frosting is very silky and light.
8. Dress up the top with some chocolate shavings, using a vegetable peeler and your fav chocolate bar.
9. Eat all the cake.
If you have any suggestions re desserts, cakes, garnishes etc, I would looooove to hear about it in the comments!!