Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Icing

This is my second attempt at a chocolate cake from scratch.  The first one I just didn't like.  This one I found on the net somewhere, I was looking for something with more eggs and less baking soda.  I'm hoping more egg yolks will make it moister.

Scratch Chocolate Cake

1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the Vanilla and eggs. Sift and beat in the dry ingredients.  Add the milk. Bake at 350º 35-45 minutes.

I used two eight inch round pans.  I turned a pan upside down to use as a guide and cut a round of parchment paper for the bottom of each pan. Then I sprayed oil on the sides of the pans and coated them with flour.  Then I put the round parchment in the bottom and poured the batter in. To get the cakes out of the pans I only had to run a butter knife around the edge and the cake fell out of the pan. Be sure to take the paper off before icing the cake!

This cake had only two layers so I didn't need all that much icing.

Buttercream Icing.

1 cup soft butter
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk

Cream the butter, which means beat it till it becomes soft and creamy. Slowly add the sifted sugar/cocoa     so the mixture remains creamy.  Once all the sugar and cocoa powder is in add the vanilla and drip milk in till it's a spreadable consistency.  If it's too thick it will tear the cake instead of spreading.  If it's too thin it will run down the cake and look terrible. Experience is the best teacher here so I just do my best. This is also my first attempt at decorating.  There are actually four roses on the cake as well as the swirls. The roses drooped a bit because my icing is just a touch too thin.

The cake was nicer than the last one but still a bit dry.  I'll research a bit and see if maybe adding 1/4 cup of oil will moisten it up.

Update: I just researched it a bit and the ratio of butter/sugar to flour/egg is already as far to the moist range as it should go. So the most likely reason that it was a bit dry was that it was over baked.  I tested it with a toothpick at 35 minutes and it came out with a few crumbs so I baked it 5 minutes more. What I didn't know was that the cake will continue to cook after it comes out of the oven. If I had taken it out at 35 minutes it would have finished cooking out of the oven and not become dry.

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