Oh how I heart to bake. Especially cakes. Especially when they turn out and are beautiful and taste delicious… those are great days. Thursday was a great day.
I baked for The Whalesbone’s 5 year anniversary party. I was given carte blanche… however was informed that Josh hearts all things chocolate. The more chocolate — the better.
Done. I knew exactly which cake I was going to make. I’ve baked this specific cake recipe twice already; once with a peanut butter butter cream and covered in chocolate ganache (yes… you should moan). The second time with a cherry whipped cream filling and then covered in a chocolate fudge frosting (again… sighs or moans are acceptable).
I decided to hit it up with a fresh raspberry butter cream filling and then cover it in the chocolate fudge frosting. Double the chocolate impact, with the bright, tartness of the fresh raspberries to liven it up. S-U-C-C-E-S-S!
I played around with the original recipe (from smitten kitchen) since I was making 3 x 9-inch rounds and not 8-inch rounds. I love love love how this cake turns out… it is so moist (it puts a Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cakes to shame) and rich… one thing, watch out, it’s a little delicate. But don’t let that put you off. It’s awesome. I promise.
super moist chocolate cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (the richer the better)
3 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. neutral vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil)
1 1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. water
3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray the base and sides of 3 x 9-inch round pans with some non-stick spray. Set aside.
Sift (yes, I’ve started sifting…) together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of your stand-mixer. Use your paddle attachment to combine well.
Add the oil and sour cream and continue to blend. Gradually beat in the water (I added it half a cup at a time) and then add the vinegar and vanilla. Grab your eggs and whisk them in a small bowl. Once whisked, add to the batter. Make sure that your batter is well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Divide the batter evenly between the 3 pans. Bake for between 35 – 45 minutes… a wooden toothpick should come out almost clean: remember, this is a moist cake. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans on a wire rack (I let them sit for about 30 minutes). At that point, take them out of the pans and allow them to cool completely.
my trusty timer
Simple eh? Yep. Now… you can either decide to wrap each layer really well in plastic wrap and stick them in the freezer to firm up OR you can work with them as they are. Your choice. If you freeze them, then take them out as you start on your butter cream — that will give them a chance to thaw a little before icing them. Do whatever you are comfortable with.
I played around with my raspberry butter cream frosting, using fresh raspberries since I could pick them up in the market ;0)
the raspberries for the buttercream… so lovely
I like to stack my cake layers before making the fudge frosting. It gives them a chance to sit a little… but that’s just my preference.
Now for the chocolate fudge frosting. Probably the easiest thing ever. You only need two ingredients… sour cream and chocolate. That’s it.
the original recipe
chocolate fudge frosting
13 oz bitter and semi-sweet chocolate combo, finely chopped
500 ml (one large container) of full-fat sour cream
Melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, stir until smooth. Once melted, allow it to cool until it is just warm to the touch.
Grab a large spatula and fold in the sour cream — only until no white streaks remain… otherwise the frosting becomes too thick. You know it’s ready because it’ll look really silky. Best to use it right away… but I’ve heard it’s pretty awesome for dipping cookies in ;0)
piling the frosting atop the cake
At this point your cake should be filled with butter cream and staked. Grab your spatula and spread your frosting evenly over the entire thing – start at the top and spread out, the frosting will naturally slip to the sides for easy coverage.
I then “dressed” it up a bit by grabbing a small spoon, dipping it in water and making swirls all over it… super easy and everyone will be really impressed.
my dressed up frosted cake
A perfect cake to celebrate some awesome people. oh… and the decorative strawberries are thanks to Kshonze :0)
the final, pre-served cake