We are sharing our most beloved Quintessential Chocolate Cake recipe. This is a chocolate-lovers dream!
There are certain things every good cook should know. A culinary artillery belt, of sorts.
- How to perfectly sear a steak so that the outer layer is crusty and the interior is pink and juicy.
- Where to buy the freshest produce.
- How to hand-whisk fluffy whipped cream and glossy meringue (although you’d rather use a mixer!)
- How to work a knife.
- How to make chocolate chip cookies that still taste incredible three days after baking.
- The earth-shattering importance of salt and pepper.
- How to prepare a basic cream sauce, wine sauce, and bolognese.
- The makings of a good chocolate cake.
Every good cook should have a reliable recipe for an unforgettable chocolate cake, don’t you think?
You never know when you are going to need it!
Friends coming over for movie night and pizza? Chocolate Cake!
Asked to bring a dessert to a party or shower? Chocolate cake!
Chocolate cake is the answer to many of life’s dilemmas.
We all have our ideas about what makes a good chocolate cake. Think about yours.
Is it light and airy, or dense and fudgy? Is it extra-sweet, or just barely sweetened? Is it teddy bear brown or the color of dark soil? One solid slab, or layers? How many layers??? And the frosting… The most important consideration of all.
Drizzled with chocolate glaze, covered in thick, rich ganache, or slathered with buttery chocolate frosting?
When I close my eyes and think about the perfect chocolate cake, my rendition is light and moist, not too sweet, and dark in color. There are layers… Lots of layers.
The icing is the only conundrum. I love both classic chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache equally. Chocolate frosting is nostalgic. When I taste it, blissful memories of childhood birthday parties and church picnics flood my mind. Ganache on the other hand is… There’s nothing like good ganache! It melts into warm pools of molten chocolate the moment it touches your tongue. How can you beat that?
I guess my quintessential chocolate cake needs to have both.
The recipe that I’ve adapted as my Quintessential Chocolate Cake started as the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake recipe on the back of old Hershey’s cocoa tubs.
Don’t snub the Hershey’s recipe before you’ve tried it! It is a delicious classic chocolate cake recipe with big flavor.
I made two alterations to the cake recipe…
1. I substituted buttermilk for regular milk, to give it a twangy quality that balances out the richness of the ganache.
2. I substituted 1 cup of scolding hot coffee instead of boiling water. Other than that, it’s the same cake. The buttermilk and coffee give this cake serious depth, but leave the light, moist texture just as it was meant to be.
My Quintessential Chocolate Cake has both ganache and frosting… I couldn’t choose.
I made a two layer cake, then cut each layer into two thin disks to make a cake with four thin layers. More layers means more room for ganache!
Then I frosted the outside with buttery chocolate frosting. I added coffee to the frosting to enhance the flavor.
My idea of what chocolate cake should be. Moist, tall, rich, dark, and creamy. It’s the Quintessential Chocolate Cake.
Warning, This cake must be consumed with vanilla ice cream or a cold glass of milk.
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