baking therapy: a double chocolate birthday cake

Posted on March 1, 2011

We celebrated Jordan’s birthday this past weekend. On Friday night, we went over to our friends Alexa and Matt’s house for a delightful dinner party. It was also Matt’s birthday and so we were doubly celebrating. We took turns making cocktails and ate delicious baked risotto and scallops. I brought the cake.

Jordan’s Favorite Chocolate Cake, adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

This cake is one of Jordan’s favorites. The coffee in the batter really makes the dessert. The cake is super moist and has a really delightful texture. I made it with a chocolate buttercream frosting, but I think just some whipped cream, a vanilla buttercream or even a peanut butter frosting could also be really excellent.

For the cake:

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 inch round pans.

Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir to combine. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Add the coffee. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Cool before frosting.

For the chocolate buttercream:

6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks butter, softened
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 cup powered sugar
1 T instant coffee powered, dissolved in 2 T hot water (we didn’t have this and so I omitted it, but Jordan thinks it really makes the frosting – so add it if you can)

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Let cool to room temperature. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat to combine. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the chocolate and coffee. Mix until blended. Spread on cooled cake.