Hey, all! New to the site, so bear with me, please.
I am an affirmed chocoholic. There is no cure, but the condition can be managed with cake; dark, fudgy, and moist.
My best-loved recipes turn out delicious but too heavy for a kid's birthday, which is what I get called upon to bake for most, and none of the under-12 set that I know is a gourmet-foodie type (yet). These are the most important people in my life, so I feel they deserve better than just "good enough." Hence, my quest.
My criteria for the "PERFECT" chocolate cake are:
-from scratch; I don't like all the artificial stuff and rarely buy food in boxes anymore
-chocolate-y enough to stand out from frosting, ideally not even need it
-firm enough to carve / layer / decorate, with proper support
-light enough to lift easily in a finished 2-layer 9x13 size, travels well
I suspect that the butter-coffee-buttermilk version of Hershey's perfect chocolate cake (which I've used before) would be much improved if I used better cocoa powder (suggestions for brands/kinds VERY welcome) and maybe one or two other tweaks, though I have no idea what they need to be.
I've made this cake, too, as the bottom of a vanilla-on-chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday last month:
Result: Too dense for a 2yo birthday. Probably better as a bundt cake, as in the recipe. Sinfully delicious and fudgy, didn't even need frosting IMO ... just not ... perfect. I know, I''m a lil bit obsessed. ;)
Thanks for reading and in advance for sharing your experience and wisdom with me, an experienced home baker, but by no means a pro.