Best Chocolate Cake : A Birthday Dedication

5 years ago, we have never met each other, let alone know each other. 4 years ago, we would never have known each other had we not enrolled into the same school and been assigned to the same class. 4 years on now and who would have thought we would have still be in the same school though belonging to different classes but our friendship still going strong.

Ask me how I met my best friend in secondary school, I forgot. Question me what's a few of his favourite things, I could name a few. But only a few. Demand to know if I cherish this friendship, yes I do.

Needless to say, this post is special and, this cake's a keeper.

Happy birthday bro, I hope you do treasure our friendship as much as I do. I like the way you share things ever so generously; I like how we have so much common grounds and we could just talk nonsense; I like the way we roll - doing the things we love and looking at every avenue possible to 'lepak' (malay word for chill).  Wishing you a very blessed birthday!
Ever since my schoolmates found out my love for baking, I've been pestered to bake and a cake would appear on most of my classamtes' birthdays. I'm not complaining though, since these are such good opportunities to hone my baking skill and to try out bookmarked recipes. Brilliant. People often say photography is an expensive hobby. But oh, wait till they try baking and sourcing for excellent ingredients because they appreciate the quality of their baked goods. Coupled with food photography? I'm a man on the verge of bankruptcy.

I was contemplating on a tiramisu cake but couldn't figure out where to get the liquors required so I went for a chocolate cake instead. Verdict? Best decision ever made.

Moist and not overwhelmingly chocolatey, this cake is divine. I suppose it's only right and not too demanding of me to ask that it comes out tasting like heaven in a cake tin since it has been raved about by many and garnered over a thousand plus positive reviews on

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, March 1999 

*I'm going out on a limb to say that this cake should be on every baker's repertoire if he or she is either a chocolate cake lover themselves or baking for someone who appreciate chocolate cakes. The cake stayed moist and would crumble away in your mouth just the way it should. However, I don't recommend you following the ganache frosting as I felt it didn't complement the cake very well. I would glaze the cake with a simple milk chocolate ganache and top with some pretty looking chocolate curls.

For cake layers

3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut (I Used Lindt 70%)
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting and filling
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Special equipment: two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers: 

Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. 

Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting: 

Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). I found that stirring this over a bowl of ice water did a great job of cooling it off quickly and evenly.

Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.


tessa sim said...

We love you nigel <3

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