Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dark, Dense Chocolate Cake

Makes three 9x2 inch round pans or 24 cupcakes.

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup all purpose cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups room temperature strong coffee
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9x2 round pans and line with parchment or wax paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Whisk to incorporate well.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, mix cream with vinegar and extracts and set aside.
  4. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in sugar and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. With the mixer on low, add in eggs one at a time.
  6. Stop the mixer and scrape bottom and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.
  7. Add in dry ingredients alternately with cream mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  8. In a thin stream, pour in strong coffee and beat until well combined.
  9. Divide batter evenly between pans and bake for 23-25 minutes. 12 minutes for cupcakes.
  10. Cool completely before removing from pan. Refrigerate before frosting.
  11. Frost with Easy-to-make Bakeshop Frosting.

Easy-to-make Bakeshop Frosting

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup shortening (do not use lard)
  • 1 cup confectioner's or powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • food color (optional)
  1. Mix cornstarch with warm milk and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cream butter and shortening in a medium-sized mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. In a thin stream, pour milk-cornstarch mixture at the side of the bowl. Add in three batches. Allow to thicken a bit before pouring again. (Sounds complicated? Post a comment so I can post a picture or a video.)
  4. Continue mixing until it looks like "frosting."

Frosting Disaster Cake Story

Last week, I made a batch of dark, dense chocolate cupcakes for my sister on her recital. The cakes were good but a cake is nothing without frosting. Well, at least most cakes... but not all.

I made a batch of Easy-to-make bake shop icing and it was a disaster! I didn't add the milk-cornstarch mixture gradually so I ended up with a soupy thing. It definitely didn't look like icing. I tried to "redeem" it by putting it in the fridge for a few minutes hoping it'll come together so I can whip it. When I took it out it was still soupy. I mixed it for another five minutes and decided to add more cornstarch to it then placed it back in the fridge. After 10 minutes, it wasn't soupy anymore but the mixture looked more like cake batter than frosting.

I placed the Cake-batter-looking frosting in the fridge and decided to make half a batch (I lost my confidence in making a whole batch so I had to divide the ingredients in half.) . This time, I added the liquid gradually and it turned out well. Whew! I tinted the icing light peach and the cupcakes were cute when decorated. Well, not THAT cute, as we were running late for the recital so they were a bit messy ha ha ha! Here, I'll show you a picture:

We're not really cupcake experts so we came up with these designs. My sister and niece (22 years old; older cousin's daughter) made these.

So going back to the disaster frosting, I thought about it the whole evening. Should I throw it away and charge it to experience? Should I feed it to the dog? No!

A lot of crazy ideas passed my mind until I came up with a good one. Remember when I said it looked like cake batter? Well I decided to make it into a butter cake. I added eggs, flour, baking powder and shaved chocolate into it and mixed it. Then I baked it for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F with my fingers crossed. Actually, I even asked my sister to pray for it before I put it in the oven.

The cake turned out well! It had a soft crumb and fine texture. The combination of shaved chocolate and buttery flavor was awesome. I'll definitely make that again. I'm glad I was able to formulate a good butter cake recipe out of a frosting disaster! :-)

Click here for the recipe ------> Frosting Disaster Cake Recipe


I decided to call it "Frosting Disaster Cake." It may not sound appealing but I'll stick with that name. Of course, every time someone hears that name, I will have to explain it to them why I came up with that. Or better yet, ask them to visit my blog so they would know the story behind it! ;-p