Friday, May 3, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

My oven is off balance and I've asked my hubby to level it, but it never happens. As a result, I rarely make layer cakes as mine have to be babysat and turned every few minutes of baking in order to achieve a fairly level cake top. Besides, I tend to be on the lazy side and usually just make a sheet cake as they taste just as well. Yesterday was just the day to make this cake. It is truly delicious, without the metallic taste one finds in a boxed cake. And this one is so easy to throw together that it rivals the ease of a boxed cake mix.
I was able to find my buttermilk marked down (1 pint size) as it was almost outdated (most dairy keeps up to 10 days past expiration date), and so the cost was not bad at all
I have to admit, I am guessing some on the frosting as I am really not sure how much sugar or cocoa I used as I am a 'dump' cook, and just dump a bit of this and a bit of that together until it tastes like I want it to taste, which is what I did with the frosting I made. However, I did use about the amounts listed. I did use a stick of butter, and I did use a tsp of vanilla, but that is all I am sure of. I added about 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, added a 1/2 cup of cocoa, which was surely not enough for me, and then began to add more and more till it tasted the way I wanted it to taste, which was about a cup of cocoa. As for the milk, I never, never add a Tbls at a time as I just dump a bit in and add as needed. I've been making these things since my early teens and so I've learned to eyeball foods when I make them. I am sorry if this is confusing to some of you. Just start with the smaller amounts and add more as you taste test till you get what you want, too. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
                             Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 cups cane sugar
1 3/4 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp real sea salt*
2 large eggs*
1 cup buttermilk*
1 cup strong black coffee, cooled
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsps vanilla
Frosting, recipe follows

Grease a 15"x 10" pan, or three 9" pans, or place paper liners in muffins tins.
In a large bowl, add first 6 ingredients (dry) and mix well with a whisk.
Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.
Pour into prepared pan(s).
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for cupcakes, about 25-30 minutes for 9" pans, and 30-40 minutes for 15"x 10" pan. Check for doneness at earliest time posted with a toothpick, if need be, bake for a few minutes more, being careful not to over bake.
Cool in pan(s) for 10 minutes, then invert onto serving platter to continue to cool. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

3-4 cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use 3/4-1 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened to room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 Tbls milk

Add sugar and cocoa to a medium mixing bowl and mix well.
Add butter, vanilla, and 2 Tbls of milk and beat well with an electric mixer on medium.
If too dry, add a bit more milk at a time until spreading consistency desired is found.
If too wet, add bit more sugar until right consistency is achieved.
Use for cake.

*I used Hershey's cocoa as I think it has the best flavor.
*Use real sea salt, pink in color.
*Farm eggs are best.
*You can sour milk by adding a Tbls of white vinegar to a cup measure and then add enough milk to
   make a cup. Let sit 5 minutes. This works in a pinch; I prefer the real thing.