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The big 5…2?

May 11, 2010

Last week it was my dad’s 52nd birthday.  Obviously this special occasion called for chicken fajitas and the glossiest, most decadent cake..ever.

Now, let me give you some backround on my cake-making experiences.  I used to work in the bakery at a local food store, wrote on cakes all the time and loved it.  Then my mom and I decided to do a cake-decorating class that was held at mccal’s baking school.  There, we learned how to decorate an entire cake, including those delicious hard flowers you loved to eat as a kid (or at least I know I did).  So I’ve attempted to use all of this cake knowledge to make something spectacular and out of this world, but the truth is I never grease the pan enough, or let it sit enough, or don’t tap it ‘the right way’ and my cake always falls apart when I flip it out of the pan.

It sucks.

So this time, I was extra careful and used probably half a stick of butter to grease my 2 round 10″ cake pans.  IT WORKED! Well, almost.  The bottom layer came out in 3 pieces but was easily patched together with chocolate icing (whew).  The top layer was successful! Maybe it was because I used a silicon pan? Quite possibly. Regardless, the top layer came out clean.

This cake was very rich and the icing was super chocolate-y, which is right up my alley.  The cake calls for coffee and buttermilk which may seem a bit weird at first but the combo is just… superb.

This recipe was from Gourmet in March of 1999

3 oz. fine quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 c hot brewed coffe
3 c sugar
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)<- not sure what this means so I bought ghirardelli cocoa powder and it was good
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla

1 lb. (16 oz.) fine quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 c heavy cream
2 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. light corn syrup
1/2 stick of unsalted butter


1.Preheat oven to 300 and grease 2 10″ round baking pans all the way to the top
2. Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour hot coffee over top. Whisk and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk again until mixture is smooth. Set aside
3. Sift sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt into a large bowl
4. Beat eggs with an electric mixer until lighter in colour (3 or so minutes) then add oil, vanilla, buttermilk and chocolate mixture
5. Add sugar mixture on meduim speed until just combined
6. Divide batter into the 2 prepared pans and bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out dry (an hour to an hour and 10)
7. Cool layers completely in the pans, then overturn and hope for the best

1. Bring cream, corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a saucepan over low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved
2. Remover from heat and add chocolate.  Whisk until chocolate is completely melted and icing is smooth
3. Cut butter into icing and whisk until consistent and shiny
4. Cool frosting on the counter until is has the desired consistency.  It may be necessary to chill in the fridge
5. Ice your cake and enjoy

Look at that, so excited (:

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