Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Perfect Chocolate Cake

This cake is reminiscent of a cake my mother use to make for me that I loved growing up. I love the whipped cream, it is moist, chocolaty but still light and fluffy.

Cake Batter
* 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 cups boiling water
* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 2 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1/2 C applesauce
* 4 eggs
* 1 C chocolate chips
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Frosting
* 1 pint heavy whipping cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Buttercream Frosting
* 1/3 cup butter
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 or 3 (2 if you want a thicker cake) 9 inch round cake pans. Stir together the cocoa and boiling water from the first set of ingredients. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder) Mix only until combined. Divide evenly between the three prepared pans, and spread the batter out flat.
3. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool cakes on a wire rack. Remove only when cooled completely to avoid tearing of cake.

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and vanilla. When the cream becomes thick, add the confectioners' sugar and continue to whip until stiff but not too grainy. Divide into three parts and spread onto two of the cooled layers. Stack the layers onto a nice plate, putting the two creamed ones on the bottom. Place the plain layer on the top. If there is a hump on the top of the cake, trim it off with a long serrated knife. Frost the top with the remaining whipped cream (my favorite) or if you are in the mood for more chocolate you can frost the sides with chocolate buttercream frosting (direction below) and then top with more whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING with dollop of whipped cream
To make the frosting, beat the remaining ingredients, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and cocoa until light and fluffy, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost sides of the cake, leaving a ridge that sticks up over the top edge. Spread the remaining cream filling over the top of the cake. Garnish with sprinkles, chocolate curls or seasonal fresh fruit.

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