I couldn’t help but hear the ongoing chant of “Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!” when I first took a bite of the chocolate cake I baked. Granted, the scene from Matilda where Trunchbull made Bruce Bogtrotter finish off a giant chocolate cake is slightly nauseating, but c’mon, the cake looked pretty darn good.
And I can bet Bruce would have another go at downing a whole cake if I put this one in front of him.
Ask any experienced baker what makes chocolate cake taste so good and they will say, “It’s all in the chocolate.” Callebaut is one of my faves, but Ghiradelli is a good, quick option if you’re at the grocery store.
It’s important to use a semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate when baking because it enhances the chocolate flavor without adding sweetness. And let’s be honest, there’s enough sugar in the recipe to make up for the bitterness unsweetened chocolate has.
You just can’t go wrong with a layered chocolate cake. It’s a classic. I used my nine-inch round cake pans per usual and slathered on the frosting. T
his recipe is a must-try. It is decadent, rich and undeniably packed with chocolate flavor. And if you down it in one sitting like Bruce Bogtrotter, shoot me a message. I’d like to hear how that turns out.
Decadent Chocolate Cake
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup plain cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounces semisweet chocolate I used Ghiradelli
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease two nine-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper or waxed paper. (or use Miracle Pan Release)
Combine the chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer at medium-high speed until creamy, about one minute. Add the brown sugar and beat at high speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
With the mixer at medium-high speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Reduce the speed to medium, add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, about 10 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, add about a third of the flour mixture, followed by about half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Do not overbeat. Remove the bowl from the mixer, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stir gently to thoroughly combine.
Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans and smooth the batter to the edges of each pan with a rubber spatula. Place two pans on the lower middle rack. Bake the caked until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Cool the cakes on wire racks 15 to 20 minutes. Run a knife around each pan perimeter to loosen. Invert each cake onto a large plate, peel off the parchment paper and reinvert onto the rack. Cool completely.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over the chocolate. Add the corn syrup and let stand 3 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Refrigerate 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until the mixture reaches a spreadable consistency. (Note: This frosting does not keep well, so it should be served within a day).
Use a long serrated knife level the two cakes. Place one of the layers on a serving plate. Spread about one cup filling over the cake half. Place second layer on top and use the rest of the frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake. Cut the cake into slices and serve.
Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated