Monday, March 12, 2012

Basic Chocolate Cake

Over spring break my roommate came to visit me down on vacation island. Her birthday a couple days before so what better excuse to make a cake! She LOVES chocolate so I decided to make a triple chocolate cake. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, covered in .... chocolate.

This chocolate cake recipe is my go to. It isn't the best recipe I've ever made but it is a. easy and b. only uses one bowl. It is also super easy to adapt and add different flavors to make different kinds of cake. The best part is it is really hard to mess up. You pretty much stick all ingredients in a bowl and mix. 

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk***
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9" cake pans. (This is how I made the cake above but the recipe is also perfect for cupcakes)
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the wet and mix until completely combined.
3. Divide batter between the three cake pans. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pans then bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.
4. Remove from oven at let cool COMPLETELY on wire racks before decorating.

Chocolate Buttercream
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted chocolate

1. Beat butter until soft. Add sugar a little at a time until frosting reaches the desired consistency.
2. Add in the chocolate and beat until combined. If frost becomes to thick add a splash of milk.
Before Chocolate
After Chocolate

Chocolate Ganache (Topping)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Bring cream and syrup to a simmer on a low heat. Pour cream hot cream mixture over chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Let the chocolate chips melt for about a minute, then whisk the mixture together until smooth.

Putting it all together..coming soon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mug chocolate cake!

Today I was craving me some chocolate cake. I didn't have the energy or the calories to make an entire cake so I made the next best thing; a mug cake. This is a cake that takes less then 5 minutes to make and its baked in your microwave.

If you do a simple google search you will find soooo many different recipes for microwave cakes. I use this particular one because there are no eggs. The last thing you want is to worry about fully cooked eggs when your making a cake in the microwave. This isn't the best cake you've had but its still delicious.

Microwave Mug Cake
this is not my recipe but I have no idea where I found it

4 tbs flour
4 tbs sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs water
2 tbs oil

1. Combined all ingredients in a mug and mix. Microwave for 1:30, the center should still be a little liquidy. 

Yes. Thats it. Eat it warm right out the microwave. I've never been patient enough to eat it cold but I've heard its best not to do that.

Here are some adaptations you can play with :

  • add some chocolate chips or nuts or both! to the mix
  • replace the water with coffee for a richer cake (this is a must for me)
  • mix in some chili powder or cinnamon for a little kick (both delicious)
  • stir in some flavored extracts to make a mint chocolate or orange chocolate cake
  • top with ice cream or whipped cream
  • poor carmel or chocolate syrup over the top of an extra decadent treat!
  • or just skip the whole cooking process it tastes just like brownie mix without the fear of raw eggs
Hope this helps satisfy some cake cravings!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oscar Cupcakes! (pics to come)

It has been awhile since I posted but life has been a little to busy for baking.  But I'm back with some delicious cupcakes!

I was invited to a little get together for the Oscars and decided to bring some cupcakes, of course. Now, it was a hard choice on what kind to make but I decided on Stout chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream. They are rich, chocolatey, and delicious! I made this as a full sized cake for my brothers birthday and it worked out really well.

Now I ran into some bumps in the road on this one. First off, I no longer have a car (RIP Frankencar!!) so getting the ingredient was quite an ordeal. I managed to get the chocolate, butter, cream, etc. in one trip in my roommates car (thanks!) but was unable to find Guinness or the Starbucks Via, which are key ingredients. So I was freaking out, trying to figure out what cupcakes I could make now or how I was going to get the ingredients. Luck was on my side and I ended doing a liquor run for a party that night so I got the Guinness. I found the Via the next day at school so all seemed good to go.... I thought.

I made the cupcakes, no problem. Then I went to make the ganache and the cream had expired... on Valentines day... which was over a week ago. So I was stuck with a pan full of expired, chunky, smelly, cream and no car to go get more. So instead of ganache, I made a chocolate shell over the cupcake, not as good but you do what you do.

SOO enough of that heres the recipe!!!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
(adapted from smitten kitchen)

1 cup stout (I used Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a saucepan, bring butter and stout to a a simmer at medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder till smooth. (resist the urge to taste the heavenly chocolatey looking mixer, it tastes terrible)
3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixture, beat together eggs and sour cream. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Hand mix until completely combined.
4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way with the batter. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

Coffee Buttercream (this may be my favorite frosting I've ever made)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (slightly softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Starbucks Via packet (I'm not a big fan of this stuff but it makes the BEST frosting)
A dash of milk

1. Beat butter for a minute, until soft. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, beating as you go. Stop when frosting is at the desired consistency, you may need a little more or less powdered sugar. Add in the Via packet and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes to fully incorporate the coffee flavor. In the end you may want to add a dash of milk to smooth out the frosting.