Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Serves 12 to 20    

Source:  Adapted from Hershey's Cocoa Can

This is Verna's standard chocolate cake.  Very basic, but very good.  The ganache makes it so special but very rich.  For a lighter version, use the chocolate buttercream instead.

Cake:

cup

butter

 

 

170

grams

1

cup

sugar

 

 

350

grams

large

eggs

 

 

 

 

1

tsp

vanilla

 

 

5

ml

1

cups

water

 

 

335

ml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

cups

unsifted flour

 

 

285

grams

cup

cocoa (in Europe, see note below)

 

 

65

grams

1

tsp

baking soda

 

 

6.2

ml

tsp

salt

 

 

2.5

ml

Preheat oven to 350F [175C]. For ovens with fans, heat to 325F [155C].
To prepare pans:  Cut piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit bottom of pan.

Cream butter & sugar until light.
Add eggs & vanilla; beat until light & fluffy.
Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl & mix well.
Add dry ingredients alternately with water to the creamed mixture. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake:

2

8"

round pans 

35-40

minutes

[20 cm]

2

9"

round pans

30-35

minutes

[23 cm]

3

9"

round pans

20-25

minutes

[23 cm]

2

8" x l2"

rectanglular pans

22

minutes

[20 cm x 30.5 cm]

1

12" x 18"

rectangular pan

22-24

minutes

[30.5 cm x 46 cm]

Cool on rack in pans for 10 minutes.
Remove from pans & coot completely on racks.
(Or cool completely in pans & leave in pans until ready to frost).

Instructions for filling and frosting follow at bottom of recipe.

Chocolate Ganache

Makes enough to fill 8"x12" [20x30.5 cm] sheet cake; double the recipe to frost the cake too.

This is an ultra-rich chocolate cream that is used to fill and/or frost cakes, serve as the center of truffles, or use as a decadent  fudge sauce over ice cream!  It will make any cake special.

1

cup

heavy whipping cream - preferably the "natural" kind, not the ultra-pasteurized kind. In Europe, use 30% cream.

 

 

250

ml

1

cups

semisweet chocolate chips (bittersweet chocolate)

8

ounces

227

grams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

If using less than heavy cream, add 1/8- cup chocolate chips or it will be too thin. In Europe, I use one 200 gram container of heavy cream and 200 grams chocolate, as these are proportions that are readily available.

 

 

Bring whipping cream to boil.
Meanwhile chop chocolate finely in food processor.
Pour boiling cream over chocolate & process several seconds.
Scrape sides of work bowl and let set for about 3-5 minutes (to melt completely).
Process again for 1-2 seconds.
Pour into container & refrigerate until set (several hours or overnight).
If too firm when ready to use, warm gently in microwave until stirable, but not melted (less than 1 minute).

If you don’t have a processor, place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Boil cream, then carefully pour over chocolate.  Stir until the chocolate is all melted and the mixture is smooth.

Notes on using ganache:

  • Once ganache is soft, it will spread easily.
  • If it gets too soft, chill to firm.
  • If too firm, briefly warm in microwave to soften (watch - it's easy to overdo it!  For small amounts, 15 seconds is sufficient)
  • It needs to be fairly firm (but not hard) to pipe (this takes some practice to get the right temperature!).
  • If piping, use small amounts at a time as the heat from your hands will overly warm it.
  • Use soft ganache as the base coat before the final frosting.
  • Swirl on soft ganache, or melt ganache to just pourable (it should still be thick and about at body temperature), then pour over the prepared cake.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

                                                                   Hershey's Cocoa Can

This is the standard American chocolate buttercream frosting.  You can vary the degree of chocolate, depending on your taste (see options below).  I find the medium or dark to be the most satisfying.  The dark may be too bitter for some people's taste (especially children).

6

Tbs

butter, softened

 

 

90

ml

2

cups

unsifted powdered sugar
(icing sugar)

9

ounces

255

grams

cup

milk

3

fl ounces

100

ml

1

tsp

vanilla

 

 

5

ml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocoa, depending on desired strength:

 

 

cup

Cocoa                    (light)

 

 

85

ml

cup

Cocoa                  (medium)

 

 

125

ml

cup

Cocoa                    (dark)

 

 

190

ml

Cream butter until light and fluffy.
Add cocoa & sugar alternately with milk, beating until smooth and glossy.
Blend in vanilla.

Instructions for Cake Assembly:

Place bottom layer on cake plate.
Spread with a " [.75 cm] layer of ganache.
Chill until firm (or 5 minutes in freezer).
Spread with a thin layer of raspberry jam (stir first to smooth), keeping "  [.75 cm] clear of outside edge. Place second layer on top.
Frost with buttercream or ganache.  The richest cake will be one filled and frosted with ganache.

Note for users in Europe:

The original recipe was intended for use with non-alkalyzed cocoa, not Dutch-processed. Because only the Dutch-processed is available in Europe, you may want to add 1/4 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to adjust. This seems to “brighten up” the flavor just a bit, although it is absolutely not necessary.

Additional Notes:

February, 2009; I didn’t have whipping cream on hand, so made a “faux” ganache which turned out very well, although softer so I reduced the amount of liquid:

cup

evaporated milk (canned)

4

fl. ounces

125

ml

1

cups

chocolate chips

10

ounces

300

grams

2

Tbs

unsalted butter

1

ounce

30

ml

2

tsp

cocoa (Hershey’s Special Dark)

 

 

10

ml

If you find typographical errors or have any other problems when looking at the site please send the Webmaster e-mail describing the problem and the page involved.