Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Friday, August 5, 2011

The BEST chocolate cake recipe EVER!

Baking truly is an art form. I find that some people can bake and it comes naturally to them...and for others...well...they go through a few batches of burnt cupcakes before perfecting a recipe.

I fall in the first category where I change recipes I find in cookbooks and websites all the time and very very rarely do they ever fail. Don't get me wrong, when i first started baking there were a few cakes that fell, or had about 25 toothpick holes in them from me checking to see if they were done. But now...I can say I am pretty confident with my baking skills!

I like to cook...and cooking food is something that I always find I need practice in, but baking is my niche. If I could...I would bake everyday...but my co-workers, husband and butt would all hate me forever. So for now, I will just bake on occasion and make super tasty amazing goodies!

I don't own too many recipe books. My main reason is that I own a few staples that have fantastic recipes in them, or they are given to me as gifts, and I just tend to refer to these same books. This one, is one of my favourites!

This woman is such a fantastic cook (and she has a love affair with butter!)

Her chocolate cake recipe in this book has got to be the best one I have tried to date. It is moist, really chocolaty and pretty easy to make. This time I used this recipe to make cupcakes, only thing I altered was the cooking time and I made a different icing.

In a stand mixer combine all your dry ingredients. You will need 1 3/4 cups of Unbleached All-purpose flour, 2 cups Sugar, 3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder, 2 Tsp Baking Soda, 1 Tsp Baking Powder and 1 Tsp Salt. Make sure your baking soda and baking powder aren't 10 years old..I find it to be key in baking that you use fresher active ingredients.
In a separate large bowl combine your wet ingredients. This recipe calls for buttermilk. Now buttermilk is not something that I keep in my house. Other than the odd baking recipe I never use it. A perfect substitute is 1 Cup 2% milk and 1 tsp White Vinegar. Works like a charm every time! You will need the full 1 cup of substitute Buttermilk (or real if you have it), 2 extra large eggs, 1/2 Cup vegetable oil and 1 tsp Vanilla. Whisk to combine.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the mixer with the dry ingredients and mix until combined, scraping down the sides to make sure everything has been mixed in. Only mix for a couple of minutes...over mixing your batter will result in your cake falling.
Lastly add 1 cup of hot coffee. I just made a cup of instant coffee and it worked great. Once the cake is cooked you don't taste the coffee..it just gives depth to the chocolate flavour in the cake. If you are feeding this cake to children, use a decaffeinated instant coffee. As I mentioned earlier, this is a cake recipe, so if you are making a cake out of this, butter and flour 2 cake pans and pour the batter into both. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.
But I made cupcakes!! I still baked these at 350F but for 12-15 minutes.
Yum!! Once out of the oven allow the cupcakes to cool in the pans for about 15 minutes. Then remove from the pan and allow to cool further before frosting.
I decided that the best frosting for a super chocolaty cupcake would be one with peanut butter. Who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter? In your mixer combine 1 package cream cheese with 1/2 cup smooth organic peanut butter, 1 cup icing sugar, 2 tbsp milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. You really want to use a peanut butter that is just 100% peanuts and does not contain anything else in it. Trust me.
Mix on high until combined and fluffy.
Pipe the icing on your cooled cupcakes and devour!
These were a hit and even the ones I left without icing were all gobbled up!
These can also be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week....if they last that long ;)

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