Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Rich Chocolate Cake and Sweet Vanilla Buttercream


My brother was in town from Maryland for his birthday this year. We usually don't see each other on our birthdays -- mine is just two days after his -- one year and two days apart, but this year he was in town for my grandma's 95th birthday party, the same day as my birthday -- we have a lot of late June birthdays in my family.

My brother asks every year for a chocolate cake with white frosting and this year I was able to oblige him. I made my favorite dark chocolate cake and a variation of my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting -- a wonderful combination. I split my cake batter up into three pans for a super tall cake -- makes for great presentation. I piped a pretty edge around the top and bottom, shaved some Lindt dark chocolate on top and studded the bottom edge with dark chocolate covered espresso beads. It was a sight to behold if I do say so myself. ;-) Fortunately it tasted just as good as it looked.

My house was nice and cool so the cake sat on the dining room table awaiting the singing of the birthday song, but if it's at all warm in your house you will want to make room on a refrigerator shelf -- this buttercream frosting is very soft and will not hold up to heat.


Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 c. sugar
1¾ c. flour
¾ c. cocoa
1½ t. baking soda
1½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
2 t. vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour two (or three) round 9” pans.
In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed for two minutes.
Stir in boiling water by hand (batter will be thin).
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes for two round pans about 20-25 for three (toothpick test).
Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Cool completely before frosting.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
milk as needed to make frosting of spreading consistency

2 oz dark chocolate for grating
dark-chocolate covered espresso beans or other decorative candy

Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.

Reduce the speed to low and gradually add all of the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, adding milk by the tablespoonful and scraping the bowl as needed until frosting is fluffy and spreadable.
Frost cake (using a crumb coat first because the chocolate crumbs will show on the white frosting). Using a grater, grate a layer of chocolate shavings over top of cake. Pipe a scallop around top and bottom edge if desired and stud bottom edge with coffee beans.



Kelly said...

Oh. my. goodness. This sounds out-of-this-world delicious! Chocolate, buttercream, and espresso beans!?
It looks so beautiful, too! I'm saving this one for my birthday in August.
...why does August seem so far from now? ;)

Strawberry Cupcakes said...

Wow dark chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting - what a wonderful combination. Looks so yummy!!