Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cowtown Chocolate Cake

Cowtown Chocolate Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 78.

It has been awhile since I've made a chocolate cake. That is an odd statement since I absolutely love chocolate cakes (or anything chocolate for that matter). A few weeks ago I made this cake which hails from Fort Worth, Texas (aka "Cowtown"). It is wonderfully dense and fudgy and the icing is a wonderful soft icing that stays soft. 

Watch your baking time carefully. When I took the cake out of the oven (about 20-25 minutes) it looked dry and I was sure I had overbaked. However, it just appears that way and it was fine and actually quite moist. 

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. powdered (not granular) instant coffee or expresso
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 and adjust the rack to the middle. Butter or spray two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Dust with fine dry bread crumbs.

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and coffee (or expresso). Resift again and set aside.
Beat the butter until soft. Beat in the vanilla and brown sugar.

Remove and reserve 3 tablespoons of the sugar.
Beat the remaining sugar into the butter mixture.
Add the egg yolks and beat well.
Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth.
On lowest speed, add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions with...
the buttermilk in two additions. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold a soft shape. Gradually add the 3 tablespoons of sugar that you reserved earlier. Increase the speed and beat until the whites hold a point when the beaters are raised.
Add about 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in. Add the remaining whites and fold in until incorporated.
Divide the batter into the two pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until the tops barely spring back when gently pressed. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to stand 5 minutes before removing from the pans. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
Pinch of salt
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into slices
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, stir the cream and sugar over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Add the salt, butter and vanilla and stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Place the pan in a large bowl of ice water and scrape the bottom constantly for a few minutes with a rubber spatula until the icing is cool and slightly thickened. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer at high speed for a few minutes until the icing is thick enough to hold its shape.

Spread the icing between the cake layers and around the sides.


Jen said...

Ooooh. I'm making this cake asap. 1) Fort Worth is my hometown, and 2) I want a new cake recipe for my daughter's first birthday, which we'll be celebrating at the end of the month! Perfect timing, Philip!

Kate said...

This recipe looks great although you're missing a few ingredients! I figured it by cross referencing with another recipe, but it would be extra awesome if you amended your post.

Phillip Oliver said...

Thanks Kate and sorry about that. I will review it now.

Nancy Bartlett said...

This is my "go-to" chocolate cake recipe; I've been making it for years to raves from everyone who takes a bite. However, I'm in the process of building a new house and all of my cookbooks are packed away! So glad I found this recipe on this site. Thank you!!!