Saturday, May 5, 2012

the only chocolate cake recipe you'll need. ever.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I hope you got to celebrate with plenty of good food and fun.  I started my day with a croissant and the Bollywood dance workout.  I'm definitely planning to buy more of Hemalayaa's DVDs- if they're anything like this one, I know they'll be great.

This evening we had a low-key get-together with some friends from church and the family of one of my best friends to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  We set out a big buffet with tortillas and tostatas and taco salad bowls, and all the fixings and fillings.  There was also lots of guacamole and salsa.

It may not be true Mexican food, but I love the fresh and informal flavors and combos.  Dinner was delicious, but I was beyond excited for dessert.  I've been dreaming about this cake since I made it for the birthdays of some tennis girls, and tonight was my chance.  It is, without a doubt, the best thing I've made in 2012.  And probably most of 2011.

I saw a pin the other day on Pinterest that said, "Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels".  The first thing that came to mind was this cake.  Being fit is important, and feels completely amazing.  But there are some things that just don't mesh with a "fit" lifestyle, and this cake is one of them.  Once in a while, I think an indulgence like this is just as important to a healthy lifestyle as a workout.  Everything in moderation, and above all- love yourself!  If you feel strong and healthy, that's all that matters.

Rosie's Famous Chocolate-Sour Cream Cake Layers

from The Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book

makes three 8-inch layers

6 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/8 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee or 2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 1/2 cups hot          asdasdasdasdasdasdwater
3/4 cups sour cream, at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork, at room temperature (keep each egg separate)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 345 degrees.  Lightly grease three 8-inch layer cake pans with vegetable oil or butter or line them with parchment circles or pan inserts (I used parchment paper).

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water, then turn off the heat.

Sift the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt together into a large mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer and sifted them into the bowl of the mixer).

In a separate bowl, blend the hot coffee, sour cream, and vegetable oil with a whisk.

With the mixer on low speed, add the coffee mixture in a stream to the dry ingredients and mix until blended, 35 to 45 seconds, depending on how many layers you're making.  Stop the mixer several times to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium-low speed after each addition until smooth, about 15 seconds.  Scrape the bowl each time.  Add the melted chocolate and mix until the batter is uniform in color, 10 to 15 seconds more.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.  Bake until the cake springs back to the touch and a tested inserted in the center comes out clean (do not wait for a crust to form), 35 to 38 minutes.

Let the layers cool completely in the pans on a rack before frosting.  Frost with Fudge Frosting.

Fudge Frosting

from The Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book

(Since the original recipe made enough for two layers, I one-and-a-halved it.  The amount was perfect for a three-layer cake, so here are the quantities I used.)

9 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups plus 4 Tbsp evaporated milk
2 1/4 cups sugar

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water.  Let cool slightly.

Place the evaporated milk first, then the sugar in a blender and blend on medium speed for 3-4 seconds.

Add the chocolate to the sugar mixture in the blender and blend on high speed until the frosting is thick and shiny, 1- 1 1/2 minutes.

Spoon the frosting into a bowl and allow it to set at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the frosting to set until firm, anywhere from several hours to overnight, depending on the weather.  Do not refrigerate the frosting, even if you don't plan to use it for a few days.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Have a great rest of your weekend.


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