A 00Q Chocolate Cake worth coming home to.
good chocolate cake is worth its weight in gold, and its true value
is in its dual ability to taste as decadent and sinful as James looks in a
Tom Ford while touching that spot in you that longs for something soft and domestic. The one you feel when you and your quartermaster lean together, mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted, against the kitchen counter post-mission, hours before dawn. Wearing only pajamas, in silence you eat mouthfuls of cake straight from the platter, sharing the only clean fork in the flat. Every heavy bite pulls you closer to much-needed sleep, and you soften a little, knowing you won’t have to sleep alone. It tugs at that spot in your chest that reminds you you’re safe – someone’s looking after you. It’s not glamorous, not one bit. But it all tastes like home. Novel, that.
For the cake you’ll need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole milk, or whatever milk you
have on hand
- ½ cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- A ~*splash*~ (roughly 1 ½ tbsp if the
vagueness of that gives you hives) of hot, freshly-brewed coffee OR 1
tsp espresso powder
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 350F degrees,
or 325F if you’re using a convection oven. Butter and lightly flour
two 9” cake pans and set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients
(flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and
espresso powder if using instead of coffee) in the bowl of a stand
mixer or a large bowl if using an electric mixer. Use the stand
mixer’s paddle attachment to combine, or a whisk if using an
- Add the milk, oil, eggs and
vanilla. Mix at a medium speed until combined.
- Lower the speed and add the hot
coffee and boiling water so you don’t burn ya self.
- Distribute the batter between the
two pans and tap on the counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for
30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let them cool in the pans on a
cooking rack for about 15 minutes before turning out to cool
Follow with chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe below).
Note: This is a REALLY thin batter, so don’t panic if you feel like you just made chocolate soup. It sets up just fine. Also, I hate to go all Ina Garten, but the quality of the cocoa powder in the cake AND frosting really makes all the difference. It needs to be Dutch-process to reach its dark, deadly potential.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
For the frosting you’ll need:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 ½-ish cups confectioner sugar
- ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (you
can use either the paddle or the whisk, but I like fluffy frosting
so I always use the whisk) beat the butter for a minute or two until
- Add the salt and vanilla and beat
- Add the confectioner’s sugar until
combined, and then the cocoa powder.
- Add your heavy whipping cream one tbsp at a time until it’s the consistency you like! Beat it in on medium for a minute.
Note: If you like enough frosting to bathe in, be sure to double this recipe. It’s plenty to cover the cake (and very rich), but if you’re looking for a solid inch of coverage on each side… yeah. Double it.
I spent a lot of time imagining what sorts of bizarre upgrades Q would give a KitchenAid stand mixer while making this.