Recipe by Heather U.
I found this recipe by Sarah Phillips at http://www.baking911.com. Delicious, and lovely topped with the chocolate fudge icing included here, or with a coconut pecan frosting such as you'd find on a German Chocolate Cake. I love being able to enjoy all the goodness of rich chocolate without as huge a toll on my caloric intake! This is in part thanks to the use of part cocoa instead of all chocolate. Don't be alarmed by the length of the instructions...Sarah Phillips provides a lot of detail, and I've embellished a bit too, but the technique is really simple.
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream or 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1⁄2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder or 1⁄2 cup natural cocoa powder (can be used interchangeably in this recipe)
- 1 cup hot strong coffee or 2 teaspoons instant espresso or 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (dissolved in 1 cup hot water)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (added last)
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder or 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder (plus a scant pinch of baking soda)
- 1 1⁄2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk (skim is fine)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions See How It's Made
- FOR THE CAKE:.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F; Grease and optionally dust with cocoa powder (best used with"flouring" chocolate cake pans), two 8-inch round nonstick cake pans; The batter is very soupy and will stick to the pans unless properly prepared.
- Melt the chocolate squares over a double boiler or in the microwave; Don't allow any water droplets to get introduced into the chocolate while it's melting otherwise it might"seize" (not a pretty sight); Let cool until tepid.
- In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it resembles coarse bread crumbs, and scraping down the sides of the bowl often, about 2 minutes; Beat in melted chocolate; Add the buttermilk, eggs, egg whites and beat until smooth; I found that a food processor works well for this step.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa until well combined; (if the cocoa is lumpy, sift it, after measuring, onto a piece of waxed paper); With a large mixing spoon, add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, scraping down the bowl often; Mix until smooth; With a cup held over the mixing bowl, dissolve the baking soda in a cup of hot coffee; The mixture will bubble up and may spill; Add to the batter and mix until smooth; The batter will be very thin; Divide it equally between prepared pans.
- Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 30 minutes; The tops should still be shiny; Do not overbake; Do not open the oven until the last 5 minutes of baking; Cool in the pans on wire cake rack for 10 minutes; Invert onto racks.
- Turn right side up and cool completely.
- Place one cake, flat side up, on a serving platter; Spread with 1/3 of the Fudge Frosting; Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remainder and serve.
- FOR THE FROSTING:.
- Melt the chocolate squares (1 minute on high power in the microwave); Let cool until tepid.
- Beat together ingredients (food processor works well); If this is too runny or dry, add sugar or milk to correct; Best used when applied to the cake at room temperature.
- ADDITIONAL CHEF NOTES:.
- For the cake, Sarah recommends using the sour cream as she says the result is moister; I used powdered buttermilk prepared in plain nonfat yogurt and was very pleased with the outcome.
- I had good results using 1 whole stick of light butter in place of 1/2 stick full-fat butter; I also whizzed up about 3 T of oatrim in with the liquid ingredients; Oatrim is hydrolyzed oat bran, and it's useful for helping to retain that oh-so-yummy fatty mouthfeel in reduced-fat baked goods.
- I didn't have bittersweet chocolate, and didn't feel like making a run to the store, so when I made this the other day, I used dark chocolate in the cake and semi-sweet chocolate chips in the frosting; worked great!
- I ended up using some xanthan gum (1/4 tsp) to thicken the frosting as I didn't want to add too much sugar; I recommend adding half the called-for amounts of liquid to the frosting, and then slowly adding more.
- When I prepared this, I doubled the cake recipe and the yield was 24 cupcakes plus 1 small rectangular cake prepared in an 8x4" loaf pan.