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The Perfect Chocolate Cake

If you love chocolate this is the cake for you! It's light, tender and the addition of brewed coffee heightens the flavor of the chocolate. Samin is one of my absolute favorite chefs and cookbook authors for the way she incorporates the 4 elements of taste: salt, fat, acid and heat. I always learn something when I read her recipes and I'm constantly referring to her book.

Her Netflix show based on her book is one of my favorites and, if you haven't watched it, you should absolutely add it to your list.

It's a quick cake and, even though you'll use more than one bowl, the extra clean up is SO worth it!

Recipe from Salt Fat Acid Heat, Samin Nosrat

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup high quality Dutch cocoa powder (I love using Ghirardelli or Valrhona)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly brewed strong coffee (save some from your morning pot or brew a new pot)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly whisked
  • 2 cups Vanilla Cream
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place your rack in the upper third of the oven.

2

Grease two 8 inch cake pans and line them each with parchment paper. Grease and sprinkle each parchment lined cake pan with flour. Tap out the excess gently on the edge of a bowl or your kitchen sink, so the flour doesn't go all over your counter or floor.

3

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, flour and baking soda. Gently pour into a sifter you've placed over another bowl, and sift ingredients into the larger bowl. You can also add ingredients straight to the sifter, but I've found doing a quick whisk first incorporates them better when you sift them.

4

In a medium bowl, stir the vanilla and oil together, then stir in the coffee.

5

With the back of a spoon or with a spatula, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.

6

Gradually whisk in the water/oil/coffee mixture until incorporated. Slowly whisk in the eggs and stir until smooth. At this point the batter will be thin which is perfect for this stage.

7

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. To release any air bubbles, gently drop the pans a couple of times on the counter.

8

Bake for 20-30 minutes. The cake should spring back when you touch it and begin pulling away from the sides of the cake pans. When you insert a toothpick it should come out clean.

9

Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack. Once they are completely cool, invert them onto a clean counter or board and gently remove parchment from the bottom.

10

Place one cake on a cake pan, spread 1/2 the vanilla cream evenly with an offset spatula. Place the second cake on top and spread the remaining cream on the top. Chill up to 2 hours before serving.

11

Before serving sift a bit of cocoa powder over the top.

12

Other options: Spread the vanilla cream in the middle only and leave the top naked, use your favorite icing, slice strawberries and place them in the middle with the vanilla cream, decorated the top with raspberries or candied orange peel, leave off the cream or icing and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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