An Extreme Chocolate Cake
Chocolate lovers rejoice! This is the recipe for you, there may actually be enough chocolate in here for you. This is truly an extreme chocolate cake.
Many cake recipes will claim to be the best cake in the world. Of course, they are all wrong. This is the best cake in the world. It’s very moist, loaded with chocolate and frosted with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate buttercream frosting. This is the type of dessert that you dream of. Luckily this recipe is so easy you can move from your dreams to your kitchen.
It Starts With The Chocolate
First, let’s talk about chocolate. This cake obviously is designed around chocolate, specifically unsweetened cocoa powder. Cocoa powder comes from cocoa beans which are fermented, dried and roasted. The remaining nibs are then pressed to remove the chocolate liquor that remains. This liquor is then dried and then ground into the chocolate powder that you are going to use. Yes, there is a lot of work to making chocolate.
Now, let’s make it a bit more confusing. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder. One type is dutch processed, the other is natural. Don’t let the word natural fool you, it has nothing to do with being organic.
Dutch processed cocoa is made from beans that have been rinsed and washed in an alkaline solution of potassium carbonate. The reason for this is to neutralize any acidity in the powder. From a baking point of view, this means that dutch processed cocoa powder won’t react with baking soda. It usually (but not always) is then paired with baking powder.
Because the cocoa beans were treated with the alkaline solution the final result is a cocoa powder that is generally darker in color, a little less bitter and dissolves much easier in liquids.
Natural Cocoa Powder
The other type of cocoa powder is labeled natural. This powder comes from beans that were not treated with an alkaline solution. The end result is a stronger flavored powder, more bitter and acrid. It’s taste will be of a stronger chocolate flavor. Natural cocoa powder works very well in recipes that call for baking soda, it allows the soda to work and make your baked items rise.
The two most popular brand names for natural cocoa powder in the US are Hershey’s and Ghirardelli. There are other brands and each company has a bit of a different recipe, you may notice a difference in taste. Be sure to read the label carefully, both Hershey’s and Ghirardelli have dutch processed products.
Let’s Make A Cake
Grab your stand mixer and two 9″ cake pans. I always sift the flour I am using in any cake recipe, I think it makes for a better texture.
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup butter
5 1/3 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
- Use the first set of ingredients to make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 3 minutes with an electric stand mixer. Stir in the boiling water by hand. Pour evenly into the two prepared pans.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, use the frosting ingredients. Cream butter with your stand mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the cocoa and confectioners’ sugar alternately with the milk and vanilla. Beat to a spreading consistency.
- Split the layers of cooled cake horizontally, cover the top of each layer with frosting, then stack them onto a serving plate. Frost the outside of the cake.