confectionsofahousewife Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 11:42pm
post #1 of

I use the double chocolate layer cake recipe from epicurious. Does anyone else use that? Do you offer another type of chocolate cake also? Do you modify the recipe at all?

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Double-Chocolate-Layer-Cake-101275

The reason I ask is because it is soooo chocolatey, rich, gooey, etc. I cringe when someone wants me to carve a cake out of it (which I am about to do so it prompted the question). And sometimes I feel like something a little less...chocolatey. I ended up mixing some of that chocolate cake batter with a yellow cake batter and liked the consistency a little better. But its not very practical to mix a batch of each every time I want a chocolate cake, nor did I measure how much of each I just had leftovers from making a marble cake. So I guess I am looking for thoughts from other scratch bakers on their go-to chocolate cake recipe.

280 replies
karateka Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 6:54am
post #2 of

I use a variation of Rose Beranbaum's recipe in The Cake Bible. I really love it. It is what I used to carve the golden retriever in my pics.

carmijok Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 7:37am
post #3 of

You just can't beat Hershey's chocolate cake. It's wonderful. And I add a pinch of cinnamon and a half tsp of instant coffee. It adds a rich flavor.

LisaPeps Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 7:56am
post #4 of

Carmijok is this the recipe?

http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=184&page=1&per=98&classics=1&ICID=KH1001&rectypecat=Cakes%20and%20Frostings

They have looooaddds of recipes on the website.

Thanks icon_smile.gif

LindaF144a Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 11:57am
post #5 of

In the book Confetti Cakes and Confetti Cakes For Kids there is a chocolate cake recipe that she states she uses for carving and has a great taste. I have used this recipe and it is good and moist too. But I didn't use it to carve with. I used it to make cupcakes. Not the same thing as you are doing, but the author uses it for her carved cakes.

Before I bought my copy I got one from my local library. Maybe you can get a copy through your interlibrary loan.

Tiffany29 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 12:29pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaPeps

Carmijok is this the recipe?

http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=184&page=1&per=98&classics=1&ICID=KH1001&rectypecat=Cakes%20and%20Frostings

They have looooaddds of recipes on the website.

Thanks icon_smile.gif




Yes that is the recipe. It is my go to chocolate cake recipe (my only choc cake recipe). I have made it for years. I like to add 1c of coffee inplace of the water. It turns out great all the time.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 12:35pm
post #7 of

karateka- I've used that recipe before but felt like it wasn't chocolatey enough. I remember it being pretty similar to her yellow cake recipe which I can never get to turn out right. Do you modify it any way?
I like the epicurious recipe because it contains coffee which I really think brings out the choclate flavor.
carmijok- i'll have to try the hersheys recipe. Thanks for the recommendation! I love the idea of adding cinnamon. Do you dissolve the instant coffee before adding it to the batter?
Linda- I'll look up the confetti cakes book. I've looked through it before but don't own it.

I think ultimately I'd like to try marrying the epicurious chocolate recipe to my yellow cake recipe but am afraid of throwing the ingredients out of balance. Its hard to find the time to experiment. When I have several cakes to bake in a week its difficult to make the time to bake an experimental cake!

Tea42 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 1:01pm
post #8 of

""http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Double-Chocolate-Layer-Cake-101275

The reason I ask is because it is soooo chocolatey, rich, gooey, etc. .......""


I have not used this recipe. That is a ot of cocoa powder, maybe a little less powder could be used?

JaeRodriguez Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:26pm
post #9 of

The Double Chocolate Layer Cake is my go to chocolate cake too! But I agree, I have been getting a *little* tired of the almost gooey texture it has. I can hardly torte the layers it's so crumbly. People love it though so I am hesitant to try any other but I will say that I have heard so many great reviews of the hersey's recipe that it will be the next one I try! :]

Sorry I can't help with your merging your two recipes, I know LindaF might be able to help you, she's very knowledgeable on the science of baking! Maybe she'll pop in!

BethLS Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:57pm

Another two thumbs up for the hershey's recipe! I use the dark chocolate though instead of the regular, and also sub the water for coffee. YUM!

(As I sit with 30 cupcakes in front of me icon_biggrin.gif)

fairmaiden0101 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 4:45pm

LOL I just checked the chocolate recipe that I have been using for forever, and compared it to the Hershey recipe and wouldn't you know it is one and the same! I too sub the hot water with one cup of fresh brewed coffee and then I fill and ice with whipped ganache-yum! It stacks well and I have never had a problem carving with it. HTH

confectionsofahousewife Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

The Double Chocolate Layer Cake is my go to chocolate cake too! But I agree, I have been getting a *little* tired of the almost gooey texture it has. I can hardly torte the layers it's so crumbly. People love it though so I am hesitant to try any other but I will say that I have heard so many great reviews of the hersey's recipe that it will be the next one I try! :]

Sorry I can't help with your merging your two recipes, I know LindaF might be able to help you, she's very knowledgeable on the science of baking! Maybe she'll pop in!




Yes! This is exactly my problem. Torting and carving is an issue but people LOVE it! I think I will try the hersheys recipe too. I am going to look up the confetti cakes one also and see how that compares. I am hoping I may be able to take bits and pieces of several recipes so I can come up with the texture that I want without losing the chocolatey-ness.

Linda- have you any thoughts on merging a yellow and chocolate cake recipe?

KristyDi Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:27pm

I'm a beginner and haven't carved anything yet, so don't know about that. But taste-wise I like this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It's pretty similar to the Hershey one, but in my limited experience, has a less gooey texture. It's also easy to scale up and down, which is nice.

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/project-wedding-cake-the-cake-is-baked/
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe.

Larkin121 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:34pm

I use the double chocolate layer cake, too...it's so yummy! I haven't tried carving it, but I do know what you mean about it being finicky even with just torting it. I freeze mine for a little while and it really firms up the chocolate and then I flip it all around and it's really sturdy. Perhaps you can just freeze it or refrigerate it over night and carve it while it's very cold. That's what I'd try!

confectionsofahousewife Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkin121

I use the double chocolate layer cake, too...it's so yummy! I haven't tried carving it, but I do know what you mean about it being finicky even with just torting it. I freeze mine for a little while and it really firms up the chocolate and then I flip it all around and it's really sturdy. Perhaps you can just freeze it or refrigerate it over night and carve it while it's very cold. That's what I'd try!




I'm glad its not just me. I do freeze before I carve but not before torting so I'll have to try that. The dang thing thaws so quickly that I have to keep putting back in the fridge during carving. It just makes the process take that much longer. Note that I'm on here when I need to be carving an ATV out of the gooey cake thats in my freezer!

JaeRodriguez Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:58pm

I freeze and then torte while still cold but it's still kinda a gummy texture when I do that! :[ Confections I have a chocolate cake due next week I'll let you know how it goes if I decide to do the Hershey's cake!

drakegore Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:59pm

my chocolate go to cake is also the epicurious double chocolate layer cake and i know what you mean about torting it. gawd, what a mess. i have found i have less mess if i don't fridge it before torting which is counterintuitive at best icon_smile.gif. when i fridge it, it gets even stickier. but still it is such a good cake and everyone loves it, so i just keep on with it.

i think i will have to give the hershey's cake a try!

confectionsofahousewife Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 6:12pm

JaeRodriguez thanks! I definitely want to know how the hersheys goes. Drakegore, I know exactly what you mean! Its fine when its still frozen but its like when it gets condensation on it from returning to room temp it gets even stickier!

...And we'll note that I'm STILL on here instead of carving the chocolate cake!

erincc Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 9:35pm

I love the Double Chocolate Layer Cake, but I don't use it for wedding cakes, just for "dessert-style" cakes because of the texture. I use the Whimsical Bakehouse's Chocolate Butter Cake for wedding cakes & carving.

crobbins18 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 10:15pm

i love the hershey cake...just replace the one cup boiling water for hot coffee and it is beyond delicious! very moist and great with peanut butter buttercream...yummm

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:04am
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

The Double Chocolate Layer Cake is my go to chocolate cake too! But I agree, I have been getting a *little* tired of the almost gooey texture it has. I can hardly torte the layers it's so crumbly. People love it though so I am hesitant to try any other but I will say that I have heard so many great reviews of the hersey's recipe that it will be the next one I try! :]

Sorry I can't help with your merging your two recipes, I know LindaF might be able to help you, she's very knowledgeable on the science of baking! Maybe she'll pop in!



Yes! This is exactly my problem. Torting and carving is an issue but people LOVE it! I think I will try the hersheys recipe too. I am going to look up the confetti cakes one also and see how that compares. I am hoping I may be able to take bits and pieces of several recipes so I can come up with the texture that I want without losing the chocolatey-ness.

Linda- have you any thoughts on merging a yellow and chocolate cake recipe?




Hi, sorry I thought you got your answer, so I stopped watching the topic.

The only thing I can tell you about merging a recipe, or in your case is taking a yellow cake and making it chocolate is you have to change two things.

First - However much cocoa you put into the cake, make sure you take out the corresponding amount of flour. Cocoa will act like flour in a cake recipe.

Secondly depending on which kind of cocoa, you will have to adjust the leavening. If you use natural cocoa you will need some baking soda to react with the acidity of the cocoa. Now how much depends. I find that if I stick to the strict rules for leavening, I get a tough chocolate cake. But if I over leaven it, I get a much more tender cake. Don't overleaven too much because then you get a soapy taste. Leavening is also a tenderizer. This function of leavening agents is not talked about as much as it rising properties, but it does tenderize.

Having said all that, there are some great recipes out there that will work for carving. The first one is the one I already mentioned. I have made that one and it tastes great and in the book it shows photos of the author carving a cake made from this recipe. It looks pretty good for carving to me.

The second one I have made is mentioned from OP and it is the Whimsical bakehouse recipe for their chocolate cake in the first book. I made cupcakes from that one. I can't attest to its carving ability. I got a pretty nice tender cupcake, but it wasn't so fluffy to fall apart.

There is a third one also. Check out Cakelove. His chocolate butter cake is delicious and dense. My son called it his favorite dense cake. It will work great for carving. I have made cakes and cupcake from this book. My kids keep asking for that one over and over, while I like to just try a new recipe over and over. I can say when I get around to carving a cake, I am going to try the Cakelove cake first.

I hope this helps. If I can think of anything else about merging the cakes I'll let you know. In the meantime if you can post the recipes you want to merge that would help a lot too.

Good luck.

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:30am

Haha Linda I knew you'd be good to help with that!

Drakegore- sticky!! That's exactly what that cake is!

I'll definitely sub coffee for the water and see how it does!

LorienSkye Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:35am

I just wanted to chime in on this because I truly believe I have an exceptional scratch chocolate recipe. I've posted it here before and others have chimed in that they love it as well. It is EXTREMELY similar to the Hershey's recipe that others here have commented on:

Divine Dark Chocolate Cake:

1 3/4 c Flour
3/4 c. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 c Granulated Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
1 1/2 T. Baking Powder
1 1/2 T. Baking Soda
1 t. Salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. Buttermilk
1/4 c. Vegetable Oil
1 T. Vanilla Extract
1 c. HOT Dark coffee (The darker the coffee, the more rich the chocolate flavor is what I have found)

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes for two 8" rounds. I nearly always double this recipe as it doesn't quite get two 2" layers (they generally come up a little short). This cake is everything it should be- rich chocolate taste, dense enough for carving and stacking, and super moist. My most popular flavor.

~Skye

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:36am
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

Haha Linda I knew you'd be good to help with that!

Drakegore- sticky!! That's exactly what that cake is!

I'll definitely sub coffee for the water and see how it does!




In the Confetti Cakes for Kids book she uses coffee also. It brings out the flavor of the cocoa and adds a depth of flavor. Great for adults and in the book she said the kids liked it too.

When you sub it out make sure you put the cocoa into the coffee, stir it to dissolve it and then let it cool. This helps also.

Funny story - today I was at a cooking store and the lady checking me out and I got into a conversation about emulsifiers. The lady said she didn't know how stuff like that helped in a cake. And without thinking I just started spurting out all this information while I was getting the money out of my wallet. I looked up at her and realized she had the deer in the headlights look in her eyes. Ooops! I'm so glad that you guys here like to talk cake. It is not always understood elsewhere! Or how this crazy lady likes to completely understand what is going on when she makes a cake!

LindaF144a Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LorienSkye

I just wanted to chime in on this because I truly believe I have an exceptional scratch chocolate recipe. I've posted it here before and others have chimed in that they love it as well. It is EXTREMELY similar to the Hershey's recipe that others here have commented on:

Divine Dark Chocolate Cake:

1 3/4 c Flour
3/4 c. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
1 c Granulated Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
1 1/2 T. Baking Powder
1 1/2 T. Baking Soda
1 t. Salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. Buttermilk
1/4 c. Vegetable Oil
1 T. Vanilla Extract
1 c. HOT Dark coffee (The darker the coffee, the more rich the chocolate flavor is what I have found)

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes for two 8" rounds. I nearly always double this recipe as it doesn't quite get two 2" layers (they generally come up a little short). This cake is everything it should be- rich chocolate taste, dense enough for carving and stacking, and super moist. My most popular flavor.

~Skye




I'm curious have you tried this in a cupcake?

I have read that cakes made with brown sugar are moist and dense because of the molasses in the sugar. I think it would impart a wonderful taste as well, but don't want dense in a cupcake. But moist yes! Thanks for sharing. I think I'll try it and see how it works out in a cupcake. That high of a sugar/flour ratio in the weight between the two could cause it cave in, but it's worth a try cause it sounds so yummy.

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:51am

Skye- can you specify how you mix please? That looks like a definite must try!

Linda, I'm just glad to know that when I have a science question I can come to you guys to help me understand what's going on in my cakes! Otherwise I may stay clueless! icon_razz.gif

LorienSkye Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:51am

LindaF-

Yes! I've never had any problems with this recipe in cupcakes. My favorite pairings are PB Buttercream, Coconut Pecan Frosting, and Creamcheese Buttercream. Yummmmm.

LorienSkye Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 1:56am

JaeRodriguez-
Sorry I didn't mention that. It's a "throw it all in the bowl and turn on the paddle" type of recipe. That's probably why I love it so much- I can't seem to mess it up! I will mention, this batter is extremey runny. You will definitely think you added too much of something, but I promise it will rise beautifully. Happy Baking!

JaeRodriguez Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:05am

Woohoo! I think I may try yours before the Hershey one!

Maria925 Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 2:18am

For those that sub coffee for the water...does it give the cake a coffee flavor at all or just enhance the chocolate? I'm just curious as I've never tried this.

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