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? for scratch bakers re: chocolate cake recipe preferences - Page 3

post #31 of 281
Thread Starter 
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.


I'll definitely try this one too. I've been meaning to try adding brown sugar to a chocolate cake recipe to see how it went. In my mind it would give a really nice flavor! This one seems very similar also to the epicurious recipe although at first glance the ratios of ingredients are a little different. Lorien I think you were the one that turned me on to the scratch white cake recipe that I use and love!

Oddly, after all this complaining, I carved my atv cake this afternoon and it went fairly well. The cake was definitely sticking to my fingers and knife but as long as I dipped it in hot water frequently it did okay. It woudl have been difficult to carve any really fine details. Then I took the cake scraps over to my in laws house for dinner and realized how much people really do love that recipe! And its such a dark color, it looks great next to white buttercream.

The only other thing I want to know about regarding the epicurious recipe is does it sink in the middle for the rest of you? It does for me which results in shorter layers because i have to level below the center dip.
post #32 of 281
Originally Posted by Maria925

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.

It enhances the flavor of the cocoa...I could not taste the coffee...but the chocolaty taste was fantastic :O)
post #33 of 281
Maria I can tell you from experience the coffee just enhances the chocolate flavor you can't taste it in the epicurious recipe!
post #34 of 281
This is the recipe i use its very good! And good for carving!

For cake layers:
13/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
13/4 cups boiling water
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
one 8-ounce container sour cream
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 sticks (1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 350° F. and line 2 buttered 7- by 2-inch round cake pans and 2 buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pans with rounds of wax paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.

Put cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk in boiling water in a stream until smooth. Stir in chopped chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Stir mixture until smooth and chocolate is melted and cool mixture. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla.

Into a bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl of a standing electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down side of bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until batter is combined well.

Pour 2 cups batter into each 7-inch pan and smooth tops. Divide remaining batter between 9-inch pans (about 33/4 cups each) and smooth tops. In middle and lower thirds of oven arrange one 9-inch layer and one 7-inch layer on each rack, putting 7-inch layers in front part of oven. Bake 7-inch layers 25 to 30 minutes and 9-inch layers 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto racks. Peel off paper and cool cakes completely. Cake layers may be made 2 days ahead and kept at cool room temperature, wrapped well in plastic wrap, or 2 weeks ahead and frozen, wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil. Defrost cake layers (without unwrapping) at room temperature.
post #35 of 281
Thanks...I will have to try the coffee. I've been using a Martha Stewart Devil's Food recipe (slightly altered) and it is very good chocolate cake, & moist, but it could use a little "kick" icon_smile.gif
post #36 of 281
Confections it doesn't sink in the middle for me that's weird! I agree about the color being great! It's a beautiful color cake!
post #37 of 281
Thread Starter 
Yeah i don't know why mine sink in the middle. Linda?
Revel, that sounds like a great recipe too! I want to try it. Chocolate cake anyone?
post #38 of 281
post #39 of 281
Originally Posted by LorienSkye

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!

Even better! I think I need to make some today! But I just put myself on a baking diet for 5 lbs. I have better get running this morning so I can bake sooner!

Cindy -

I have put coffee in cake. It doesn't overpower it, just enhances the chocolate flavor. I also think it depends on the coffee used. Once I used a strong coffee and then made it stronger than usual to get a very strong coffee. You could subtly taste the coffee flavor. If I had used the coffee I drink, which is milder, than the one my DH drinks I don't think I would have detected a coffee taste at all. Another time I used some instant coffee from Starbucks and didn't notice a coffee taste at all. I have bought some flavored coffee to try next time and see if I get that flavor into the chocolate cake.
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post #40 of 281
my go to chocolate cake (especially for carving!!) is a chocolate guiness cake. i will post the recepie as soon as i get home tonight. it has a beautiful texture and taste, it's perfect for carving. it's what i used for my guitar cake and my ukrainian cake! But i would be interested in trying the Hershy's recipe! thumbs_up.gif
post #41 of 281
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

Yeah i don't know why mine sink in the middle. Linda?
Revel, that sounds like a great recipe too! I want to try it. Chocolate cake anyone?

I sunken cake or cupcake is the most disheartening thing for me. Seriously, it can ruin my whole day if that happens. I usually have to make another batch right away to lift my spirits. You think this is crazy, try being one my kids or hubby! icon_wink.gif

Usually there are two reasons why I get something sunken. Too much sugar in the recipe, or underbaked. I always make sure the sugar matches the flour in weight. However, if you have enough structure built in with eggs or use hi-ratio shortening in a cake, you can go higher in the sugar/flour ratio. I don't use hi-ratio shortening because I can't get it locally. Cakelove uses almost 200% sugar to flour but he has a nice structure built with the eggs. His butter cakes are dense also.

I have not made this cake recipe you mention. But two things stick out. The sugar/flour ratio is higher. It is made with oil and you are supposed to be able to use a higher sugar/flour ratio with oil. Oil is an emulsifier. But it also uses semisweet chocolate which is also sweetened and there is sugar in that also.

1. Back off on the sugar a bit? Not too sure how much, it will be trial and error. Maybe 1/3.


2. Use unsweetened melted chocolate and see if that makes a difference.

3. The way it is put together is different than your traditional creaming method or the two stage method. Make sure you really get the eggs beaten well to that thickened stage.

There are two things you experiment with and try.

First try putting the sugar and eggs together and beating them till they are nice and creamy and expanded. About 3 - 5 minutes ish. This is done in some brownie recipes and it makes a cake like brownie. I use this method to make a half moon cooking recipe that MIL gave me and I get a fluffier cookie.

Secondly there was another poster who had a problem with sunken cake in her recipe. I don't remember her name. But she said one day she accidentally forget to put in the sugar so having nothing to lose she put in last after everything else was done, just mixed it in by hand and her cakes stop sinking in the middle. Now she does for all her cakes. What the heck, try that and see what happens.

May you never have a sunken cake, and know that I feel your pain! thumbs_up.gif
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post #42 of 281
I forgot to mention there is a high amount of liquid also. This could be causing the sunken middle issue also. 3 cups of combined liquid with the coffee and buttermilk or 25.5 ounces. You could try and take out about 4 ounces and see if that helps. Btween that and the eggs the total weight is 30.75 ounces. As long as you keep the total liquid to match the weight of the sugar, you can change that out. The weight of the sugar is 21 ounces.

I read somewhere that the bigger the cake pan the less liquid you need. And I have found this to be true in my personal experience. So keep that in mind when choosing a pan size for the recipe.
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post #43 of 281
  2 cups stout (such as Guinness)
  2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  4 cups all purpose flour
  4 cups sugar
  1 tablespoon baking soda
  1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  4 large eggs
  1 1/3 cups sour cream
  2 cups whipping cream
  1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Bring 2 cups stout and 2 cups butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.
post #44 of 281
post #45 of 281
Oh, what am I going to do! People stop posting these amazing recipes before I have 10 chocolate cakes on my hands with nibbles out of all of them! :]]]

I don't know which one to try first! I guess I'll stick with Skye's because I am a sucker for brown sugar! :]

Linda, maybe the high level of liquid in the cake makes it sticky too? And if you make one of these, post results for us! I would be making mine right now but I've got to wait until the babies wake up and go to the grocery store! :]
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