Back to recipes! Very Good Chocolate Cake
Regular readers have probably noticed that since the early fall, there’s been a decline in my frequency of recipe posting. This has been due in part to my slacking off on the blog front, and in part to the fact that when Liz is teaching in Williamsburg 2-3 nights a week during the week, I often creep into bachelor mode, eating either leftovers, or making a sandwich or the ever-popular “pasta with red sauce.”
That said, it’s time to pick up the recipe train again (“Toot! Toot!”) with this delicious chocolate cake that Liz concocted for Becky’s 30th Birthday Party (which also involved duckpin bowling in Baltimore)!
We are generally huge fans of the Chocolate Guinness Cake, but as we’re not afraid to branch out, this “Very Good Chocolate Cake” was a new adventure. Like the Guinness Cake, it came to us via Kim O’Donnel, formerly of the Washington Post, and now writing for True/Slant out of Seattle.
Here’s the recipe — the applesauce and sour cream make it both dense and delicious!
Very Good Chocolate Cake
Adapted from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup hot (not boiling) water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sour cream (alternatively, use plain yogurt)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Note: This makes more than enough frosting than is necessary, plus it’s so rich that you don’t even need a coating inbetween cake layers. I have halved the amounts below in the past, approximating amount for sugar.
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325. Butter, flour and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
Sift together sugar, flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. In another bowl, pour hot water over chocolate, allowing it to melt completely. In a third bowl, whisk eggs and applesauce, then add sour cream, vanilla and chocolate mixture. Fold wet mixture into dry, by thirds, incorporating after each addition. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans.
Bake 30-40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer cake pans to racks and allow to rest for five minutes before turning out of pans. To unmold, run a flat-edged knife between cake and sides of pans. Turn pans facedown onto rack and carefully lift. Allow cakes to completely cool before peeling off parchment and frosting.
Frosting: Heat cream, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan until butter is melted. Add chocolate, cooking over very low heat, until just melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and blend in water and vanilla. Transfer frosting to a bowl to cool, stirring only occasionally, until it is spreadable — about an hour. Do not refrigerate.
Assembling cake: When frosting is ready, put one cake layer on cake plate and frost from center, thoroughly covering surface. Top with second layer and frost the top and sides. Allow cake to sit two hours before slicing.
Check out more of our favorite dessert recipes here.
And more of our favorite recipes (overall) here.