Win Like A Baby
Honestly, a baby could make this cake—and win an all-ages baking contest! I will not be shy about the excellence and easiness of this cake. This cake makes up quick and it’s the best regular-style chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten or made. You could make it every other day, every third day, depending how fast you eat cakes–and it won’t impact your schedule much. It’s like getting a fast pedicure or stopping at a dog shelter to quickly visit, but not adopt any dogs.
Let me say this: It takes a loooooong time to adopt a dog. Put that on the agenda for your next private Russia meeting, Mr. President.
I almost changed my mind 5 times during the hours it took to adopt my dog What if I had torn my application to bits, thrown those bits in the air and screamed: WHAT IS THE HOLD UP? IS SENIOR ADVISOR TO DONALD TRUMP, STEPHEN MILLER, BACK THERE TEACHING MY DOG ENGLISH?!
Turns out they were grooming and vaccinating my dog (she’s not autistic—yet). The long wait was worth it. I brought home what would become a beloved housemate, Birdie. As chance would have it—she’s just as politically liberal-leaning as I am.
“Be quiet Stephen Miller and SIT. You nasty coward. You act like someone abandoned you under a bridge because your hair wasn’t as fluffy as your brothers and sisters. You act like you were brutally attacked by a one-eyed Pit Bull, repeatedly. You act like you’ve been housed in the back of a warehouse in a small cage. Oh wait, that’s me. You were granted every advantage—typical. Basic Bigot. All your life you’ve sought Bullies to stand behind while you crouched, yipping your hateful little rants. Pathetic . . .”
What else do you say to a guy like that? Certainly not, “Would you like me to make you a delicious cake?” Never gonna happen.
The Best Real Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine ground dark roast coffee or espresso
- 2 eggs plus 1 yolk
- 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (avocado, sunflower . . .)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup hot water (about 175 degrees or like hot coffee/tea)
- BEST REAL CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO FROSTING
- 2 salted 8 ounce bricks Kerry Gold butter (if you cannot find this butter, use a salted European style butter with 84% butterfat and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons half and half
- 1/2-1 teaspoon fine ground coffee or espresso
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously butter two 8 inch, round cake pans or use whatever pan you want--adjust cooking time accordingly.
Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. If you don't have a sifter, use a whisk and combine ingredients well.
Crack 2 eggs into a medium bowl. Separate a third egg, adding just the yolk to the medium bowl.
Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used avocado) and one half cup 1/2 and 1/2.
Whisk eggs, oil and 1/2 and 1/2 until well blended.
Add 1/2 cup each, melted butter and hot water to the wet ingredients, whisking immediately until well blended.
Slowly, in about 4 pours, add wet ingredients to dry. If you are using an electric mixer (I'm not) keep the mixer low and slow. I use a large wooden spoon and slowly turn the ingredients over until combined. You don't want to over-work cake batter. You also don't want pockets of dry ingredients. I smash the little lumps of dry ingredients against the edge of the bowl as I stir.
Pour equal amounts of batter into well buttered pans. Place pans on the middle rack of your 350 degree oven and bake for 28 minutes.
Cool your cakes a few minutes. They should pop out of the pans easily but run a blade around the edges to loosen sides. Flip onto a wax paper covered board or plate and tap the bottom of the pan to release the cake.
Cool cakes at room temperature at least 10 minutes then chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes before frosting and decorating.
Cakes should be COLD for frosting.
BEST REAL CHOCOLATE FROSTING
Soften butter. I usually put butter and the 3 tablespoons 1/2 and 1/2 in an oven proof glass bowl and pop it in the oven for a minute or two while the cake is baking. You could also set the bowl in the blazing sun on an outdoor table.
If you are using a food processor, add melty butter and 1/2 and 1/2 to the processor. If mixing by hand, combine softened butter and 1/2 and 1/2 well.
Add 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup cocoa and finely ground coffee to the food processor OR . . .
If you are mixing by hand:
Sift cocoa, powdered sugar and fine ground coffee together VERY well. Sift 2-3 times. In 4 stages, sift dry ingredients into warm (but not melted) half and half and butter. Stir well until smooth. This could take a while. Be patient. Keep your spirits up. Soon you'll be eating a cake 🙂
Chill well blended frosting in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes--until set but still spreadable.
Frost cake by placing a little less than half the frosting onto the first layer (the middle of the cake). Spread slightly, not to the edge. Leave about a 1 1/2 inch outside ring un-frosted.
Place the top layer gently over the frosting. press slightly to stick together.
Dollop the rest of the frosting on the top center of the cake. Spread gently, leaving about a 1 inch ring unfrosted. The frosting will spread a bit. Chill a few minutes in the refrigerator until frosting has set a bit firmer--but not cold butter firm--then decorate.
I decorate my cakes with edible or non-toxic flowers and plant leaves: lavender, herbs, fern leaves, nasturtium flowers and leaves, rose petals, rose hips. Do not use poisonous or toxic flowers, plants or other items to decorate cakes (rule of thumb).
*Every oven is different. Check your cake after 25 minutes. If it has risen and looks good and a toothpick or knife blade comes out clean after testing the center, your cake is done.
*I like to leave cake sides unfrosted sometimes. It looks interesting and enticing to me. Frost your cake however you like. Measure out frosting accordingly. Use less in between cakes etc . . .