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Big Chocolate Cake

From Comfort Me With Apples: More Adventures at the Table

Cake layers:
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch Process)
3/4 cup whole milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (1-1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whipped cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt


To prepare cake layers: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter 2 (13-by-9-by-2-inch) baking pans and line bottoms of each with wax paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together the boiling water and the cocoa in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in the milk and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Beat together the butter and sugars in the large bowl of a standing electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in flour and cocoa mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (the batter may look curdled).

Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops. Bake in the middle of the oven until a test comes out clean and layers begin to pull away from the sides of pans, 25 to 35 minutes.

Invert cakes onto racks, remove wax paper and cool completely.

To prepare frosting: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until melted. Cool to room temperature.

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.

To assemble: Put one cake layer, rounded side up, on a cake plate and spread with 1-1/4 cups frosting. Top with another cake layer, rounded side up and spread top and sides with remaining frosting.

Yields 20 to 25 servings.


(Updated: 10/01/08 SN)

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