You know how some words just make you wrinkle your nose? I’ve found that among my friends and acquaintances, the most cited “nails on a chalkboard” word is moist. And I can kind of understand it. Moooiiiisssst. It’s not the most appetizing word. But I don’t think I can describe this cake without using it – Damp? Dewy? What other word works to describe the perfect lush crumb of this deep dark chocolaty cake? So, moist it is. Or if you prefer – as a friend of mine exclaimed while eating a cupcake, “This cake is so freakin’ M-word in the middle!”
I’ve made this cake a number of times and it’s always wonderful. Most recently it appeared as cupcakes at my sister’s baby shower, but before that it was also the bottom layer on her wedding cake, cupcakes at a PartyLite party and 2 birthday cakes. The first time I made it, I failed to read the recipe thoroughly and used an 9″ cake pan instead of the 10″ called for. Do not make that mistake! I was scraping chocolate cake off the bottom of my oven for some time, but the cake itself was great after some drastic leveling. It goes particularly well with chocolate ganache to take it into the next level of chocolaty goodness, but it’s also excellent with peanut butter frosting or caramel. Check out this post for for the frostings I used at the shower.
Since then I’ve made this cake in so many different sizes that I finally just made a conversion spreadsheet so I didn’t have to resort to long division on the margins of the recipe card. Yep, I’m a dork. But, I’ve saved it here as a Google doc if you want to check it out. Change the blue highlighted numbers at the top to match your pans and then follow the light blue measurements. Don’t worry too much about the odd decimals. Just eyeball it as best as you can; it’s worked so far for me.
M-Word Double-Chocolate Cake from Epicurious
Makes a 2-layer 10″ cake, which translates to about 40 cupcakes but see spreadsheet linked above for other sizes.
- 3 oz good semi-sweet chocolate*, chopped
- 1 1/2 c. hot coffee (I’ve used super weak coffee before for coffee haters. You don’t really taste coffee, it just amps up the chocolate)
- 3 c. sugar
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 c. buttermilk**
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and grease 2 10 inch cake pans, line with parchment paper and grease paper. If you are making cupcakes use liners , and skip the greasing.
Pour the hot coffee over the chocolate in a small bowl, and let it sit until the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth.
Sift together all the dry ingredients. (Or use my lazy method and dump them into a bowl and then whisk for a minute to break up any clumps) Beat eggs with a mixer until they lighten in color and thicken up. (3-5 minutes). Slowly add the rest of the wet ingredients and the melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat on medium until just combined. (absolutely no streaks of dry left).
Pour into pans and bake for ~1 hour. A tester inserted into the center will be mostly clean, but may have a couple of clingy crumbs.
Let cool and then frost as desired.
*No chips. No Hershey’s. I like the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bars, which are great quality for the price, but if you don’t have a TJ’s any good quality bar chocolate will do.
**I never have buttermilk on hand so I always use the handy dandy milk+lemon juice substitution. Put 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice in your measuring cup, fill up with milk to the 1 1/2 cup line and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Stir well before adding to the recipe.
Note: Vanilla cake recipe to follow. 🙂 And excuse my terrible piping. One of these days I’ll get a jumbo tip and a steady hand and actually learn how to turn out pretty cupcakes.