Monday, February 13, 2006

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake

BHG.com had a slide show on chocolate desserts. One of them was called "Best Ever Chocolate Cake". That sounds like a challenge to me! I looked at the ingredients and couldn't imagine how this recipe could be "Best Ever". First of all, it's made with cocoa. My experience has been that anything made with cocoa is not very "chocolatey". And I LIKE chocolatey. The frosting is made with sour cream! I couldn't even imagine what that must taste like. I accepted the challenge. Hey, it's Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day is all about chocolate!

My problems with this recipe started with the pans. The recipe calls for two 8x8x2-inch square or 9x 1 1/2-inch pans or one 13x9x2-inch pan. The accompanying illustration shows three round layers! Were they three 8-inch layers or three 9-inch layers? I took a look at the frosting recipe and found a clue. It supposedly frosts the tops and sides of two or three 8- or 9-inch cake layers or halve it to frost the top of a 13x9x2-inch cake. I opted for three 8-inch round pans. Turns out that was exactly right! They baked up beautifully.

The frosting was not as beautiful. An 8-ounce carton of sour cream is way too much. The frosting was too runny and much too plentiful for my three layers. I probably could have frosted two three layer cakes with it! It did nothing towards holding the layers together. When I cut the cake, it fell completely apart.

The taste was definitely not "best ever". As I expected, it wasn't chocolatey at all and even worse, it was dry, dry, dry. I like my chocolate cakes to be moist and chocolatey. I didn't care much for the frosting either. I just don't like my frosting to taste of chocolate chips!

Verdict: What were they thinking???

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake
(source: BHG.com )


3/4 cup butter, softened

3 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1-1/2 cups milk

Chocoalte-Sour Cream Frosting

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease bottoms of two 8x8x2-inch square or 9x1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Grease and lightly flour waxed paper and sides of pans. Or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Set pans aside.

2. In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, cocoa posder, baking soda, baking pwoder; and salt; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined (3 to 4 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition (about 1 minute total). Beat in vanilla.

4. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan(s).

5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes for 8-inch pans and the 13x9x2-inch pan, 30 to 35 minutes for 9-inch pans, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Peel off waxed paper. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Or place 13x9x2-inch cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost with desired frosting. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting: In a large saucepan melt 1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocoate pieces and 1/2 cup butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream. Gradually add 4-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (about 1 pound), beating with an electric mixer until smooth. This frosts tops and sides of two or three 8- or 9-inch cake layers. (Halve the recipe to frost the top of a 13x9x2-inch cake.) Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator.

Recycle: vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

1 comment:

s.j.simon said...

lol. did you know that chocolate was banned in switzerland for many years. read this