Monday, September 28, 2009

Beatty's Chocolate Cake - Better Late Than Never

I saw a quote this morning that made me laugh: "Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday". So on that note, it is time for me to make up for my absence for the last week and give you a very very wicked chocolate cake, which I should have posted a few days ago. Ironic indeed, since I spent most of the last week detoxing (who knew I even needed to?) and generally chilling out at a health retreat. You won't be surprised to hear that no one at this retreat served me even a sliver of cake, let alone an enormous wedge of the chocolatiest cake I have had in a long time.* I made it just before I went away, and my father declared this the best cake he has ever eaten, although he is prone to exaggerated enthusiasm at times. I am not sure this would be my pick as the very best, but it was extremely scrumptious with a lovely crumb. The icing is very rich too, so if you lean towards intense indulgence, you will lap it up.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake comes from "The Barefoot Contessa at Home" and was this month's second Barefoot Blogger pick. Thank you and happy birthday to Mary from Passionate Perseverance, who chose the cake for us. Incidentally, I have no idea who Beatty is.

* I suspect that the one item in the ingredient list that you would find in my retreat's spa kitchen are the eggs. Don't let that get in your way.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
from "Barefoot Contessa At Home" by Ina Garten

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups plain flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
Chocolate Frosting:
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


spike. said...

looks lovely, glad you got a chance to make it!

Kate said...

Your cake looks lovely! It is really delicious! My cake sunk for some reason...yours is beautiful.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

We loved this cake. Funny my dad loved it the most. He actually ask if I would make it again for him. Must be a dad thing. I did love the cake too but I'll trade it for a spa retreat anytime.

Patty said... kids will love this...hope the detox was good!

Would you be interested in doing a guest blog for me one week? Starting a Meat Free Monday thing...would love a wonderful veg recipe. xxx

Debinhawaii said...

It looks chocolaty, decadent and good!

Sophie said...

I was expecting to see lots of butter in the recipe because of how moist the cake looks! Looks like the secret is buttermilk, aha! I'll have to try making a chocolate cake with buttermilk, yum!

Melinda said...

This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it out. So glad to have another chocolate cake for my repertoire!