The perfect chocolate cake does exist, and I think this is it. Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and I wanted to make a something with chocolate because who doesn’t love it? This cake is moist, rich, not too sweet and pretty easy to throw together during an afternoon. Caveat: I’m not a baker, I don’t really enjoy the process that much. I’m much more a cook; I tend to throw ingredients together on a whim, usually with no measurements – a little of this, a little of that. Baking is much different – everything is exact, but I still often wind up leaving dustings of flour, dropped icing and more all over the kitchen counters. The results though? Divine. And this cake was the perfect way to celebrate my mom.
The recipe comes from Jessica Seinfeld. Yes, that Seinfeld . . . the other half to Jerry. It’s from her book, ‘Food Cravings,’ which is described as “125 delectable recipes perfect for the reality of the actual human experience; sometimes healthy, sometimes indulgent – delicious, either way. This recipe for her Chocolate Fudge Cake is definitely on the indulgent side, but oh so worth it.
Ingredients (for the cake):
- Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
Ingredients (for the frosting):
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven (with the rack in the middle) to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
For the cake, combine the butter and one cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the butter is melted.
Next, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in the warm butter mixture. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix until just combined. On medium speed, mix in the sour cream mixture.
Evenly divide the batter and scrape into the two prepared baking pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few loose crumbs attached. This is key to ensure a moist cake. Allow the cakes to cool for 25 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan and invert the cakes onto a wire rack, remove the parchment and let cool completely.
For the frosting, place the chocolate chips into a medium bowl. Over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until hot. Pour the warmed cream over the chips and let stand for one minute. Next, gently whisk until creamy and smooth.
Scoop out 3/4 of the chocolate mixture into another bowl and set aside. Let both icings cool for about an hour at room temperature. Stir occasionally until they are spreadable and creamy.
Place one cake on a serving plate, bottom side up. Spread the top with the frosting from the 3/4 icing you have set aside in the other bowl. Top with the other cake, bottom side up. Spread the remaining 1/4 icing mixture on top. Please note, it will not cover the sides of the cake, but you don’t need it. It’s perfect just the way it is, drips and all.
Once frosting is set, slice and serve. And…you’re done! (Ignore the holes above, my cakes were a tiny bit lopsided because of my oven so I had to place skewer sticks to keep it level until the icing cooled completely). Happiest of birthdays to you Mom. Glad this cake was a winner!