As I’ve stated before, I’m really not the biggest fan of cakes or cupcakes. When I have a sweets craving, I’ll usually go for some ice cream or cookies. I tend not to make foods that I don’t want to eat myself but, as an aspiring chef I realize I’m going to have to move away from that attitude.
Anyway, last weekend I was in a cooking mood and I decided to make Japanese croquettes and a chocolate cake – interesting combo, eh? I’ve never made a chocolate cake before so it was a good 30 minutes of perusing before I found a recipe that I liked. Instead of using cocoa powder, the particular recipe I found on thekitchn.com used hot coffee to melt the chocolate in order to flavor the cake batter. A cake with a full cup of coffee in it? That’s my type of cake.
Tasting this cake was one of those top moments where I was so impressed at how amazing it turned out. I think I’ve only had that feeling once or twice before since I started this website. The texture, the taste, the frosting – everything about this cake is absolute perfection. If you have a chocolate lover in your life, make this for them. Whether it’s their birthday or just because.
Remember, this cake can either be made as a two-layer round cake using 9-inch cake pans or as one Bundt cake using a 10-inch Bundt pan. I made a Bundt cake so I would only have to prepare one pan, but if I were making this as a birthday cake, I would do multiple layers using round cake pans.
Ingredients Adapted from The Gift of Country Cooking
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 baking soda
1/2 tsp. table salt
4 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease your cake pan with butter and sprinkle some flour over it (dust off any excess flour).
**Pam among other brands makes a nonstick cooking spray that contains flour, specifically for baking purposes and this will save you time**
- In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Put your 4 oz. of chopped chocolate in another bowl and whisk in your hot coffee until the chocolate is completely melted.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla until mixture is combined and smooth. Stir the melted chocolate into the egg mixture until combined. Add the flour mixture to the bowl in three batches, stirring after each addition with a large wooden spoon just until the batter is free of lumps (you want to do this by hand, not with the mixer).
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Depending on what size/type of baking pan you are using, times will vary. Remove the cake from the oven when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While you are waiting for the cake to bake, you can clean up and start preparing the ganache.
There are many different ways to make ganache and for a cake like this I would have liked to use heavy cream, but I was all out so I had to use butter instead. I know what you're thinking - what a travesty.
- Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small saucepan.
- Once melted, pour the butter into the chocolate chips and allow it to sit for a couple minutes.
- Stir with a fork until you have a smooth ganache.
And that's it! You can use this ganache for so many different desserts including chocolate dipped fruit.
After you remove the cake from the oven, let it sit for about 15-20 minutes before turning it out onto a plate. There's no strategic way to ice this cake with the ganache - I literally just pour it over until it drizzles down the sides and middle.
You need this cake in your life.