Sunday, June 16, 2013

Beatty's chocolate cake


My husband's birthday falls on Father's Day once every few years. Last year they happened to fall on the same day. This year, they are a day apart (his birthday is tomorrow). I offered to bake two separate desserts for my husband, but he told me to make just one item. This year he chose a recipe that I've been wanting to try for a while - Beatty's chocolate cake from Ina Garten. I already have my tried and true chocolate cake recipe but was curious to see how this one tasted in comparison.
The chocolate cake itself was very good and moist. The addition of the hot coffee made the chocolate flavor very intense, and I could barely taste any coffee flavor at all. The frosting was a bit strong for our tastes, but it was still very good and extremely smooth and buttery. I had a difficult time dissolving my coffee granules for the buttercream and probably would just use a bit of room temperature coffee instead of the hot water/coffee granule mixture.  If you are looking for a coffee-flavored frosting, this one is quite excellent, but if you want a plain chocolate frosting, then do not use this one. You can use the frosting recipe as-is and omit the coffee or try this frosting instead.

All in all, this was a really good chocolate cake, and I understand why bloggers love it. I am very glad that I tried this cake, but my favorite remains this Perfectly Chocolate Cake from Hershey's. This one is a close second, though, and I certainly would make it again.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there (especially mine and my husband), and Happy Birthday to the best husband any woman could ever ask for.

Beatty's chocolate cake
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate buttercream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 TBSP instant coffee powder
Directions
For the cake:Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 8x2 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Then generously grease the parchment paper and add a bit of flour to coat the pans. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt on low speed until all the ingredients are combined. 

Keeping the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients in the medium bowl to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer. Slowly pour the coffee and mix until just incorporated - do not over mix. 

Evenly divide the batter and pour into the two prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn off the oven, remove the pans from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 30 minutes. Then flip them out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
 
For the buttercream frosting: Melt the chopped chocolate it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Alternatively, you can heat the chocolate in a microwave oven in 30-second increments (be sure not to overheat or the chocolate will burn). Stir the chocolate until it is just melted and set aside until it comes to room temperature.

In the clean bowl of an stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed until it is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 

Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix for an additional 3 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low speed, and slowly add the powdered sugar about a half cup at a time until it is fully incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium and continue beating the frosting until it appears smooth. 

Mix the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of super hot tap water and allow the granules to fully dissolve. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the melted and cooled chocolate and coffee to the frosting until just incorporated. Do not mix on high speed or overmix.

To assemble the cake: Place one cake, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. Using an offset spatula (or a butter knife), evenly add a layer of frosting. If desired, you can also add some fruit jam. Place the second cake on top, with the rounded side up, and frost the cake with the remaining buttercream.  

Yield: About 8-10 servings (more or less, depending on the size of your slices)

Source: Ina Garten, via the Food Network

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