I wish everyday is weekends! My favorite day of the week is Saturday because the next day is Sunday! Gives me an ample time to bake and lazy about in the house. Normally during Saturday night I go about indulging myself rifling through my extensive collection of cookbooks and finding that perfect recipe that inspires me to recreate in my own kitchen. During one of my spur of the moment, cookbook shopping expedition, I saw this book Essence of Chocolate by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger. I quickly grabbed it and made a dash to the cash register. :D
I heard of John and Robert through Food Network. Years ago I chanced upon the food network show called Follow That Foodand in this case they where featuring American artisinal chocolate called Sharffen Berger created by Chocolatiers John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg. The show tells the story on how that company started and it showed that Robert and John are so passionate about their chocolates that they are after the quality of the chocolate that they create not the quantity so they are no way competing with chocolate giants like Nestle and Hershey's although the time when the show aired years ago, Sharffen Berger chocolates was just starting out but now it seems they have been quite successful and people love their chocolates specially bakers I think.
Unfortunately, Sharffen berger chocolates are not available in my local supermarket or in any specialty food store. For the meantime, I have to settle on using locally available chocolates. Thankfully the cake still taste great! I bet it would taste better if I use imported chocolates which I would try next time. I love the fact that I was able to do this without dirtying up too many bowls. I didn't even need to bring out my stand mixer. I use just as whisk and a rubber scrapper in making the chocolate cake batter and use a hand mixer for the ganache icing. The cake turn out to be this dark intense chocolate which my family loves and the icing is thick, sweet, stick to your mouth whipped chocolate ganache icing! Love it!
Adapted from Essence of Chocolate
For the Cake:
- Unsalted butter and flour for pans
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 tsps. baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsps. baking soda
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 8 tbsps. (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment and the sides of the pans.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing on low speed. Min in the eggs, oil, and milk.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the water. The batter will be soupy.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the layers out onto the rack and cool completely.
- When the cakes have cooled, check the frosting. It should have the consistency of mayonnaise. If it is still too thin, allow it to cool longer.
- For the frosting: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Pour into a bowl and stir in the vanilla.
- To frost the cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread the frosting with a hot palette knife or icing spatula to give the frosting a beautiful shine. Run the knife under hot tap water and dry with a towel. Spread about ¾ cup of the frosting over the top of the first layer. Top with the second layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, heating the knife again as necessary.
Serves 8 to 10