Monday, February 20, 2012

Chocolate Cake


Makes two 9-inch cakes or 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for unmolding the cakes
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup melted unsweetened chocolate (such as Baker's)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 F (360 F for cupcakes)
  2. Put flour, sugar, butter, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed just until the ingredients are blended together, a few seconds, then raise the speed to low-medium and continue to mix until smooth, approximately 1 additional minute.
  3. Stop the mixer and pour in the chocolate.  Mix for 1 minute on low speed.  With the mixer on, pour in the hot water.  Add the eggs, one egg at a time, adding the next one after the previous one has been absorbed.  With the mixer still running, pour in the buttermilk.  Stop periodically and scrape from the bottom with a rubber spatula to be sure all the ingredients are fully integrated, and return the mixer to low-medium speed.  Continue to mix for 1 additional minute to ensure the eggs are full absorbed. Before baking, be sure the batter is between 70 and 73 degrees, or the cake will crown.
  4. Grease two 9-inch cake pans (2 inch deep) and flour them.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl and get as much batter as possible out.
  6. Bake until the cakes begin to pull from the sides of the pan and are springy to the touch, 25 to 30 mins.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes, preferable 1 hour.  The cakes should be at room temperature before you remove them from the pan. Put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and turn the cakes out onto parchment; the sugar will keep them from sticking.


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