Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chocolate Cocoa Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Ganache

I don't really need an excuse to eat cake, but I'm always looking for one.  A couple weeks ago my friend, and fellow Yankee fan, John, told me he was going to have a birthday.  I told him I would fix him a cake, just let me know what he wanted.  He left for Anchorage without letting me know what he wanted and I almost made him these pineapple upside down mini cakes.  But I decided they didn't look much like "birthday" so I settled on this chocolate cocoa cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and a topping of chocolate ganache.  It was a good choice.

I made the cake, frosted and decorated it on Sunday, brought it to work monday morning, the agreed upon celebration day, and HE DIDN'T SHOW UP!  He called in sick.  Something about the stomach flu...yea right.  I left the cake in our IT department and they devoured it, after taking pictures and texting them to him.

Well, if you have a birthday, anniversary, retirement, pot luck, or any other reason to make a cake (Thursday is a good reason), this is the cake to make.  It is moist, chocolatey, and delicious.

Chocolate Cake
adapted from the Hershey's Cocoa Can
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round or square baking pans.
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Add to sugar mixture.   Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
3 cups confectioner's sugar, plus more

Beat butter with 1.5 cups of powdered sugar, add vanilla extract and heavy cream.  Add the rest of the sugar, adding more if needed.  Mix until smooth.  Frost cake, using about 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers.

Chocolate Ganache
3 oz. dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
2 Tbsp. heavy cream, more if needed

Place broken chocolate and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir.  Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each time, until chocolate is melted and cream is completely stirred in. If texture is too thick, add 1 tsp. cream, heat for 15 seconds, and stir.  Repeat until desired consistency is achieved.  Pour over chilled, frosted cake.

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