10 August 2009

Classic Chocolate Cake

Classic Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking

4 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
10 oz cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 pound granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven at 350 and prepare 2 or 3 9 inch round cake pans.

Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar, beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla, then beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating. Fold until just combined.

In a clean bowl, using a balloon whisk, beat the eggs whites until medium peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Pour the batter into prepared pans, dividing it equally. Bake the cake layers until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

1 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups unsalted butter
12 oz confectioners' sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler placed over but not touching barely simmering water. Heat, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate melt. Remove from over water and set aside to cool and thicken, about 10 minutes. Sift the confectioners' sugar into chocolate mixture and whisk in, along with vanilla.

If you are brave like me, you will allow your husband and 5 year old family friend to decorate the cake. You will end up with a LOT of thick gooey fudgey frosting and a messy tiered cake along with a lot of smiles.