The other day, I was asked to make a chocolate birthday cake for work. I, of course, said “okay” in advance. Naturally, when the day rolled around, I was in no mood to be baking a cake- got home late, crabby baby, dinner wasn’t started. But I am nothing if not true to my word. So while bribing J to stay calm and quiet with Cheerios, I mixed up this cake and threw it in the oven.
Let me be clear. I have zero issues with box cake mix. I think it does a great job of allowing you to get the cake part done quickly while still retaining moistness and taste. The frosting is where its at anyway.
I’ve used this cake recipe the past couple times. I’m not married to it, and probably will still be trying other recipes in the future. The plus to this recipe is that I usually have all of these ingredients on hand and its relatively simple. If you make this cake, you will receive no “side-eye” from me if you choose to sub the cake part with a box mix. If I would have had one in the house, that’s probably what I would have done.
The title of this post comes from my lovely husband. I brought him a fair amount of cake home (he’s never pleased when baked goods leave this house). As he had a piece in bed that night, I asked him how it was, because I still hadn’t had any. He says to me, “You know, its good, but I think your ganache is a little dry. I’d give it three and a half glasses of milk out of five. That’s going to be my new rating system for your food.”
This man was eating nothing but KFC Snackers, Taco Bell, and pizza when we got together. He hadn’t even heard the word “ganache” in his life. Now he’s telling me that mine is a little dry. Seriously? This is a perfect example of someone who has completely evolved to his surroundings. No more is every dinner “so great!,” but its “yeah, it was good.”
I have created a monster. But I do think this new Rogers & Ebert system is kind of cute.
P.S. I had some later. It wasn’t dry.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache:
- 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I tend to not use unsweetened cocoa, I use either bittersweet chocolate chips, or a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet)
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray or butter wrapper.
- Mix together flour, cocoa and baking soda; in separate 2 cup measuring cup, mix together buttermilk and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together, gradually increasing speed from low to high. Beat on high for 3 minutes or until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with spatula. Reduce speed to low; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping bowl occasionally.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (for me, no longer than 30 minutes). Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire cooling racks to cool completely before frosting.
- Place chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl.
- Bring cream and sugar to boil in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Carefully pour hot cream mixture into bowl with chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Whisk until melted and smooth. Chill ganache until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour. Frost cake.