Posts Tagged 'chocolate cake'

Pipe Dream #194: To Be Easily Amused – Chocolate Cake + Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

almond cake 3

In -depth layer cakes are for Saturdays. A girl’s gotta commit to something. Unless it is a no-commitment weekend. My dear friend suggested this recipe to me, and I couldn’t resist.  SALTED CARAMEL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. Say that again.

Plus, I’ve been meaning to try Ina’s chocolate cake recipe for two years. It’s an internet standard, straight up chocolate cake. About this cake: it comes together in a cinch, and it’s really tasty. A little less dense than the super moist chocolate cake I’ve raved about before, but a little more flavorful than this one-bowl chocolate cake. Try it, you’ll like it.

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I will say. I did try and make my own caramel for the salted caramel frosting (which is why this recipe counts as “in-depth.”)

It wasn’t ultra-successful. The original recipe wasn’t super clear about the cooking time, which I realized, but I was just too lazy to look up a more detailed recipe. I decided to try and feel my way through it, but given my track record with caramel, this was an unwise decision. Will I never learn?

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The caramel lacked flavor; I didn’t cook until it reached a “deep caramel color.” In my defense, look at the above picture. Would you call that a “deep caramel color?” What is a “deep caramel color?” I’m making caramel. I knew I was sunk after the heavy cream I added didn’t foam up either, instead pooling like so many tributaries. But the end result, even though not as toasty as I would have liked, was still yummy. I mean, if you poured it all over my ice cream and/or quesadillas, I would still eat it.

P.S. When is the last time you had a quesadilla? Seriously, it has probably been, like, 11 years.

almond cake 1

The caramel frosting is also the reason I didn’t spend too much time dressing this cake up, except for the retro almond crusting. By the time I was finished slogging through the emotional highs and lows of failing caramel once again, I was in no mood to toast almonds and meticulously smooth out every crack and crevice like a plastic surgeon. Plastic surgery and cake should never go together. They are like the two positive ends of a cow stomach magnet. That is, they are not attracted to one another.

(What, you didn’t play with cow stomach magnets as a kid? You are so strange. I am easily amused, apparently.)

Hoo-ee this has been a post for the analogies. Sorry.

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I was also clearly not in the mood to wait until the cake was cool/the frosting firmed up before slicing into this baby. No regrets on this point.

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Impatient always,


Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten

1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup hot, strong coffee
1 1/3 cups  flour
2/3 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8″ cake pans with parchment. Grease the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir until just combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula a few times to make sure that everything is well-incorporated.

Divide the batter into the two pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Salted Caramel
Adapted from life on blackberry farm

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher

Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil, swirling (not stirring!) the mixture until the caramel turns amber-colored. Note: I’m not sure how long this should take (maybe 5 minutes?). I didn’t do mine long enough, and the caramel flavor wasn’t strong, but at least I didn’t make crunchy candy caramel.

Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 seconds. Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Stir the mixture, then add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.

Pour 1/2 cup of the caramel into a measuring cup cup and allow to cool until just warm, maybe 20 minutes.

Salted Caramel Frosting
Adapted from life on blackberry farm

1 stick butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup salted caramel

Beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine, then add 1/2 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the correct consistency. If you find that the frosting is still too soft, you can set it up in the fridge for a few minutes.

To assemble to the cake, frost as desired and decorate with about 2 ounces of sliced almonds, toasted if you want.

Pipe Dream #48: To Do More RAKs

I made a wickle cake for mes amies downstairs a while back. It was an impromptu birthday cake. A random act of kindness if you will.

Though perhaps some of the downstairs girls wouldn’t consider it a kindness. My comm prof last semester tried to impress upon us the Platinum Rule: Treat others as they would like to be treated. Ha. That’s probably true.

Anyway, they look happy enough in this picture, even though I couldn’t get a clear shot to save my life. Ain’t they pretty? Pretty and they put up with me all year. Amazing specimens of their kind, full of unrandom and consistent acts of kindness.

Git a-way.

This cake was teeny because I was using leftovers. Chocolate cake, peanut butter cream cheese filling and chocolate icing. Actually, the icing may have been sort of chocolate but mostly just colored brown. Either way, it was tasty.

If it is your birthday today, happy birthday.


I Got It Right: Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cake

This cake.

Ok, this cake.

Excuse me for a moment.

Thank you.

Ok so this cake is tremendous. It is so rich. And so moist. I am somewhat ashamed to say that I kept these cake crumbs for a full week unrefrigerated just to see if they would dry out. They showed signs of dryness on Day 7, but were still highly passable. Highly. And I would know. Because I ate them.

The recipe really threw me for a loop because it is made with butter. That wouldn’t be weird, except that every chocolate cake recipe I’ve seen recently uses oil. Every one that claims to be super moist, that is. Now I’m no expert baker, so I don’t know what combination of ingredients or method of mixing makes this cake so fab, but I do know that I will keep using this recipe for forever as an amateur.

For some reason, a lot of other chocolate cakes add water. This one is no exception, except that it adds cooled coffee in place of the water. Plus, there is a bit of cinnamon thrown in for extra flavoring uniqueness. Flavor sensation on the tastebuds.

This is the cake I used for the Orchard wedding. I mean, not the cake pictured above; that was just a practice cake. I was a bit nervous for the real thing, but as you can see, it turned out fine. Incidentally, I used this practice cake to figure out how I was going to frost the real thing. By the time I was finished with it, the frosting had been scraped off and reapplied twice and looked different from every angle. Needless to say, it was still delicious. It just keeps going and going and going and going and going…

Makin’ it or breakin’ it,


Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes

Makes one 8-inch square, three layer cake

3 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups freshly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch square cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and buttermilk and blend on low until moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk the eggs and coffee together, and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only until blended after each addition. Seriously, you gotta scrape down the bowl a lot. I hate pouring the batter into pans and finding butter nibs at the bottom of the mixer bowl. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans; each pan will take about 3 1/4 cups of batter.

Bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully turn them out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. Remove the paper liners only when they are cool. And do wait until they are cool. It will make you happy.

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