I can't help myself, when valentine's day is near- I go into a chocolate baking frenzy.
Here is the latest frenzy:
If using a Wilton baking pan use shortening to grease the pans. After greasing, sift quality cocoa powder into pans, covering sides and bottom. Tap out excess. Preheat oven to 350, and put baking rack in the middle of oven.
1 and 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup cream (or use 1 cup of buttermilk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh coffee, or 1 tsp expresso powder with 1 cup of water
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl combine the buttermilk and cream, oil, eggs and vanilla. Put mixer on low speed and slowly add the wet to the dry. Add the coffee and stir to combine. Make sure you turn the batter over from the bottom. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 mins.
Start checking the cake with a tester at about 35 mins, if it comes out dry, remove from oven. Cool in pans for 30 mins. then turn out onto racks.
When its time to frost, cut a little off the top of the bottom layer to make cake level for top layer.
8 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I like to put 7 oz of bittersweet and 1 ounce of unsweetened in mine.)
3 TBS of really good cocoa powder
2 TBS of boiling water
12 TBS of unsalted butter, room temp
1 and 1/2 cups of confection sugar
1 tsp of chipotle pepper powder
1 pinch of salt
Melt your chocolate in the microwave very slowly, a minute at a time, stirring in between. (or you can do it the traditional way, double boiler.)
Remove chocolate and set aside to cool, 30 mins (or in fridge it takes about 10 mins if you stir a couple of times)
In a small bowl, stir together cocoa and boiling TBS of water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, confectioners sugar, chipotle powder and salt until creamy. Beat in melted chocolate until well combined. Mix in cocoa mix until smooth.
This will frost a 2 layer cake or 12 cupcakes.
Now a shortcut if you don't really like to bake:
Get triple fudge cake mix from duncan hines, and add expresso powder to it. Works just as well. Its really the frosting that makes the cake taste heavenly!
Open a bottle of a dark merlot and have cake with your husband!