chocolate cake extravaganza. explosion of chocolate moist beauty, manageably rich, an appropriate celebratory HOORAY to the 24th birthday of our roommate john.

this cake may not be the most beautiful to look at. or perhaps it is– the sloppiness charms the PANTS off of me. to be sure. perhaps part of the problem with its aesthetics is that i overfilled the cake pins, and they  promptly overflowed the pans in the oven (look at the turds they pooped out! they were TASTY, gave me preliminary confidence in the cake as a whole):

a gray, damp december 2nd, we gratefully and whole-heartedly celebrated the birth of the one and only john thomas lacross.  he requested chocolate cake to complete our feast, and i smiled and began researching which cake to make. now i am not a huge fan of cakes, though i say this as (perhaps) a recent cake convert… i have been trying out different cakes because so often they sound so good, but usually i am disappointed and much prefer a crisp or pie or cookies or quick bread or ICE CREAM (i am never short on ideas for sweets). i think this cake has furthered my conversion. yes indeed.

i found the recipe on one of my most favorite sites, the site that did in fact act as my muse, encouraging me to begin a blog. well her book really began the inspiration. but nonetheless. my roommate, alanna, made the icing (SUPER DECADENT), and i will get that recipe up asap, though it was improv-ed. i can include the ingredients at least.

please try this cake out. it is lip-smackin, soul-finding, sloppily gorgeous. oh so amazing. i just enjoyed a serving and a half while writing this– and it is just as delightful today.

amazing chocolate cake
3 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate (i used bakers)
1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (it called for non-dutch, i used dutch and it’s still great)
2 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract (i probably used more like a full teaspoon)

1. preheat oven to 300.  grease pans.  i used 2 9 1/2 inch pans, this was NOT big enough. i would use 2 10 inch pans or 3 8 inch pans, or, if you’re me, 2 9 1/2 inch pans along with about 3 or 4 cupcakes…. also, be sure to dust them with flour or cocoa, i also forgot to do this. 

2. chop chocolate finely and place in a bowl with the hot coffee– stir occasionally and let the chocolate melt.

3. combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. in another large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thickened slightly, 3-5 minutes. gradually add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate/coffee mix into the eggs, beating continuously. 

4. add the dry ingredients slowly and mix with mixer until just combine. a POOF of cocoa an flour will grace your counter, mixer, and possibly hair (if you’re creative like me!), enjoy this!

5. divide batter between pans. if doing larger cakes, bake in middle of oven for 50 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick (or knife or whatever you choose to test with) comes out clean.

6. cool completely in pans on racks. use a knife around the edge to loosen an flip the first cake onto a plate. then sandwich a layer of icing (below) and repeat process with second cake, flip on top. 

ms. alanna’s icing
5 oz semisweet chocolate
1 stick of butter
powdered sugar

melt butter and chocolate on stovetop. add powdered sugar and milk until texture is “right”. i will try to do better and get some more details here. but i will say this: i would have never considered making icing with an entire stick of butter and 5 oz of chocolate (she said she would have used the whole container of chocolate if i hadn’t used 3 oz in the cake itself), but this icing rocked the socks off of a lot of icings i have tried in my 23 years. holy smokes.

chocolate, oh, chocolate goodness. greatness. delight.