Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Dad!

Whew, this post just barely made it in before it's no longer even my dad's birth MONTH. As it is, it's 3 weeks since it passed and I made this cake, but better late than never, right?

One of my favorite things about baking is being able to create something special for the people I love - my friends and family. My parents are hands-down my biggest fans, and my dad lately has been known to start telling complete strangers about how his daughter is attending the French Culinary Institute. When it came time for his birthday, I was excited to make something extra special and new just for him. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of asking him what kind of cake he'd like, to which he replied he had been hoping for red velvet. I'm sort of sick of red velvet, and I had wanted to make something just for him.

Chef Cynthia had given our class the most awesome chocolate cake recipe that our class devoured the scraps of when they were set out. I knew I wanted to use this as my base, and decided to also use chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries as filling and chocolate Swiss buttercream to cover the cake. In short, this cake was awesome. My dad really liked it too, hopefully even more than the red velvet.

I haven't really shared a recipe in a while, but you MUST make this chocolate cake. I'm not a huge chocolate fan (although my classmates who have seen me eat pounds of chocolate might disagree), and this has become one of my absolute favorite cakes. It's so moist, so delicious, and so easy to make.

Chocolate Cake Recipe

2 1/4 c cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter (1 stick), room temperature
2 1/4 c light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c sour cream
1/2 c hot brewed coffee
1/2 c hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8" cake pans and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add brown sugar, better well until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix well.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating at low speed until blended after each addition.
5. Pour hot coffee and water over chocolate. Stir until all chocolate is melted. Whisk in sour cream until smooth.
6. Alternate adding the dry ingredients (3 additions) with the wet (2 additions), starting and ending with the dry mixture.
7. Pour in prepared pans. Bake at 350 until cake tests done (Cake should start to come away from sides of the pan and a skewer inserted should come out dry).


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