Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

Are you guys sick of cake yet? I have liked making and tasting these cakes - it has been nice to be able to compare so many recipes so I will hopefully have one that I want to use when I really need a good cake. The last cake was a yellow cake - now onto a chocolate cake.

This recipe seemed very different to me. It is kind of surprising how different recipes can be and still make the same basic thing. The recipe uses a lot of liquid for the amount of solid ingredients and the batter is very runny. I re-read the recipe a few times to make sure I didn't screw up. It was the complete opposite of the last cake I made which had to be spread into the pans.

I had a few disasters while making this cake. My buttermilk was bad so I ended up using some of the dry buttermilk substitute I had. I was a little concerned about this - I don't like making a substitution like this on a cake. My second problem occurred ten minutes into baking. The cake started overflowing like crazy. This one could have been prevented if only I had read the recipe comments on food network. There were a lot of people that had this issue. Sounds like the way to fix this is to either use a 9 inch pan instead of the 8 inch pans or to use a deeper 8 inch pan. I slipped a pan in quick to catch the mess but not quick enough - I have a big mess to clean up now.

Despite the overflow the cake was fantastic. I had to trim the cake a little because of the overflow and it ended up being very crumby and hard to frost. The frosting recipe didn't make any extra so that didn't help either. You can see a few of the crumbs peeking through in my cake but it wasn't to bad. The cake was very moist and chocolaty. The coffee flavor didn't really come through in the cake but it did in the frosting. I am not a coffee drinker but I still liked it in this. My wife and at least one other person didn't like the frosting because of the coffee so keep this in mind if you are serving it to non-coffee drinkers. You could always reduce or eliminate the coffee in the frosting. The frosting had a very good texture and was not too sweet - it went very nicely with the cake. I will definitely use this recipe again.

Thanks to Mary at Passionate Perseverance for this recipe. Her blog is one of the first barefoot blogger blogs I have seen that is not predominantly a food blog. Looks like she has a lot of different topics she blogs on.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
Serves 8

  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Directions (Chocolate Buttercream recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 8-inch (use deep 8 inch or 9 inch pans) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  2. 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. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. 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, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  3. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  1. Chop the chocolate and place it in a 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 medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. 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. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


Penny said...

I had some of the same problems you had with this cake, although it did not overflow because my 8 inch pans were deep. It seemed thin when I put it in the oven and was very crumbly.

Kathy Walker said...

Your cake looks great! Mine didn't sunk. I made a concave cake!

I agree with the ladies, the frosting is not on the top of my list. This is one moist cake, though.

Unknown said...

You can also add 1 TB white vinegar to 1 cup milk to "make" buttermilk!

Foodiewife said...

I'm a coffee drinker, so I didn't even notice the coffee taste. However, I'm not wild about a lot of chocolate. Still, my cake turned out moist. Fortunately, I only have 9-inch cake pans! Great job on the other cake for BB's September picks!

BMK said...

Looks like your cake turned out great despite all the obstacles. I really love this cake recipe.

Olive said...


your cake looks scrumptious! and your birthday sheet cake too :)

DeltaWhiskey said...

I didn't do the frosting on the cake. I'm so picky about frosting anyway... as for the buttermilk, unless it was moldy... the older it is, the better.

jenny said...

i'm glad (well, not glad, but relieved that it wasn't just me) that you also had overflow issues. that makes me feel a LITTLE better.

perhaps i should have read the comments, too. but yours looks fab! recovered nicely =)

Eva said...

overflow is not too uncommon in my oven. i line the bottom of my oven with foil so that I can get the bulk of the spill cleaned up relatively easily. the self clean cycle is my friend.

your cake looks great! i really liked this one, really moist and rich.