Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Cake

Add finely grated rind of one orange to give the cake a chocolate orange flavor or replace the vanilla extract with one tablespoon of instant coffee powder for a mocha flavor.

This can also be turned into chocolate cupcakes. The recipe will fill 12 paper liners in a cupcake or muffin tray, and will take about 18 to 20 minutes to cook. Ice them generously with the chocolate buttercream and decorate.

Ingredients for the cake:
10 T butter, softened, plus more for greasing
7 ounces all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
3 T milk
5 ounces caster sugar (superfine)
3 eggs
1 T cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
cocoa powder or icing sugar (confectioners'), for dusting, optional

* * * * * *

Ingredients for the chocolate butter icing:
6 T butter, softened
1 T cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces icing sugar (confectioners')
1 T cocoa powder

Preparing the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the sides of 2 8-inch cake pans, and line the bases with parchment.

In a bowl sitting over a saucepan of gently simmering water, not touching the bottom of the bowl, stir the chocolate and the milk together until the chocolate has melted.

Beat the 10 tablespoons butter until very soft, and then add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then fold in the melted chocolate.

Sift in the 7 ounces flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and the baking soda, and fold in gently to mix. Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 pans, and bake in the oven until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before turning them out of their pans, and placing them on a wire rack to cool.

* * * * * *

Preparing the chocolate butter icing:
Beat the butter, cream and the vanilla extract until very soft. Then gradually sift in the confectioners' sugar, and the cocoa powder, beating constantly, until it is all added. Continue to beat until very soft, and then whisk the mixture until it is light and fluffy.

* * * * * *

Assembling the cake:
Once the cakes are cool, sandwich them together, bottom to bottom, with the chocolate butter icing in between. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder or confectioners' sugar.

Serves 6


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