Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebratory Chocolate Overdose Cake

When something amazing happens, we all know that the best way to celebrate is by baking something delicious, decorating the heck out of it with colorful sprinkles and icing and giving them to a friend...or stuffing our own faces. So, as the end of the year draws nearer, I'm sure we all have plenty to rejoice and be thankful for. The end of finals, for one thing. Maybe the end of college for others, or the start of a summer internship. Whatever it is that you're celebrating, you can be sure that this cake will taste every bit as good your victory feels.

This cake is a bit of work, but it's worth every bite...

Broken down, you'll have three recipes. One of the chocolate cake, one for the chocolate ganache filling, and one for the chocolate buttercream icing. It's a triple threat, so get your aprons on, and get ready for...


Ingredients for the cake:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sifted cake flour (regular flour is acceptable)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa and the water, set aside. In another small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the sour cream by stirring them together. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, gradually mixing the sour cream and cocoa mixtures in alternatively as well as the dry ingredients. Beat until fluffy. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into batter with the vanilla extract. Grease a large 9 x 13 pan or two small rounds and pour the batter in. For the large pan, bake at 300 F for 50 minutes, or for the rounds, around 30 minutes.
*You can check the cake's status by sticking a toothpick in it while it's still in the oven. If the toothpick comes out with sticky batter on the end, the cake's not done. If the toothpick looks clean, the cake is done baking!

Now, on to the filling.

Ingredients for chocolate ganache:
8 ounces semisweet or bitter chocolate chopped into pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat the cream and butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Bring just barely to a boil, do not over-heat! The cream will get scorched and burnt. Place a damp towel on your counter, place the pan of hot cream on the towel, and then add the chopped chocolate to the cream. Let it stand for five minutes, then stir with a whisk until smooth.

*When you take your cake out, you can simply use the ganache as the topping, pouring it on the top, or you can get fancy and get the cake in half and pour it into the middle, replacing the top half of the cake after, and making it the filling. If you prefer the later, continue on for the icing!

Ingredients for chocolate buttercream icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
cocoa (optional-how much you use depends on how chocolate-y you want your icing. Plain buttercream tastes delicious too!)
*if you're making plain buttercream icing, you can add food coloring!

Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, or by hand with a spoon until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. (If you want chocolate flavor, add your cocoa now) Pour in milk and beat an additional 3-4 minutes. Add food coloring if you're using it, and beat an additional thirty seconds. Ice cake and enjoy!

Enjoy...and feel free to overdose on the cake (;

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