chocolate barometer cake – how to test your new kitchen

double dark chocolate cake 1This past weekend was my BFF’s birthday, so I thought I’d bake her a delicious chocolate cake. Not just any chocolate cake, one that (she said) reminded her of one from her childhood. Nevermind that she’s 2,000 miles away and wouldn’t get a slice, that’s no reason to not celebrate! Besides, Boyfriend and I just (mostly) finished our BRAND NEW KITCHEN, so I had to test it out! What better way to break in a kitchen than with a delicious double dark chocolate cake for my BFF!? Even if it meant I’d have to eat her slice for her… Remember that, BFF. These things I do for you … ;-)

As much as I’d love to devote this entire post to my BFF and her birthday and how she is the best BFF ever and I’m super sad I wasn’t on that side of the continent for her big celebration… I do have one little sidenote – THE KITCHEN! IT’S DONE! (almost)

Do we remember the old one?

the old one

has even changed since then, we now have a different fridge and three perfectly placed stools that would be right in your view, just waiting for little tooshes to adorn them

While remodeling the kitchen, our good ol’ oven got shoved around quite a bit. It seems to be having some minor difficulties now – I don’t have my oven thermometer anymore, so I couldn’t check the temperature, but it’s definitely not heating properly… or evenly. I discovered this conveniently in the midst of baking. So, despite being pretty much the easiest cake recipe ever, my cakes fell. Once they were frosted, though, you couldn’t tell. Besides, fallen or not, the cake still tasted great- I should have just left that whole part out and you’d have been none the wiser!

still looks yummy to me!

The BF wasn’t a huge fan – he’s more of a milk chocolate guy, but that could be easily remedied by using a milk chocolate frosting (or any sweeter frosting – to offset the dark chocolate flavor). Too bad this was in honor of BFF – and she loves DARK chocolate. Maybe next time, babe. ;-) Of course, that didn’t stop him from being sad when he saw me walk in the door with the empty cake carrier.

DOUBLE DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE – Adapted from Ina Garten

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  • 1 ¾ C all-purpose flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • ¾ C cocoa powder
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 C buttermilk, shaken
  • ½ C vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C hot coffee (I used espresso)
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans – Line with parchment, then butter and flour the pans (or I used “PAM for Baking”).

1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

2. In another bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla, gently whisk.

3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine – scrape up from the bottom to catch any pesky flour mixture hiding below.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to complete cooling.

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 6 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate (or chocolate chips)
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature (I omitted this because raw egg does not excite me)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 – 1 ¼ C confectioners’ sugar, to taste

1. Chop the chocolate and place it in a double boiler (or heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water). Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on med-high speed until pale and fluffy.

3. Add the egg yolk (if using) and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.

4. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Add chocolate and continue on low until blended. Don’t whip!

Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

*It’s even better the second day – so feel free to bake it ahead and store it in the fridge overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.


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18 thoughts on “chocolate barometer cake – how to test your new kitchen

  1. That kitchen is beautiful! And so is the cake! I made myself one just like that for my birthday. :) Yes, dorky, but necessary. I don’t trust a recipe like this to my husband! Plus, half the fun is scraping out the last drops of batter for “sampling”!

    • The cocoa is added into the dry ingredients for the cake, and at the end of the beating for the frosting – looks like somehow I skipped it when typing! Thanks for bringing it to my attention :) Good to know at least one person read the recipe! ;)

    • Of course I don’t mind! Sharing recipes is what blogging is all about <3 I'm glad that you enjoyed the cake recipe, and even though this is your new "go-to", I recommend giving this one a try as well. :) You don’t have to go all out with the frosting and ganache, any frosting will do!

    • Sarah, I’m sure you could make it in a bundt pan. I’d probably add about 10 minutes extra. If it looks like it might be done after the extra 10 minutes, poke it with a toothpick to be sure. The toothpick should come out mostly clean with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Good luck!
      If you’re not feeling so adventurous, I’ve got a delicious chocolate bundt cake recipe here > http://wee-eats.com/2013/03/30/reeses-cup-bundt-cake/ (you could technically leave the reese’s out)

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