Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Chocolate Cake In The Universe Recipe

Ok.  Before I give you this recipe in all it's awesomeness, I must confess it took me a long time to decide to share it.  Let me put it this way.  You could schlep the batter into bowls and serve it and it would be a hit.   But let me warn you.  DO NOT make this cake for a small group.  Your butt will need it's own zip code after eating all the leftovers.  Seriously.  And one more have to promise to not try to butcher my recipe to cut calories!  It was meant to be enjoyed and savored in all its richness.  Nuff said?!?


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups water
1 cup canola oil
4 cups sugar
1 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar


 4 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate,
    chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup* (see note at end)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  To make the cake:  For a 3-layer cake, place one baking rack one-third from the bottom of the oven and the second two-thirds from the bottom.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of three 9-inch or two 10-inch pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour (or spray with Baker's Joy).

  Combine the butter, water and canola oil in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  In a large owl, stir together the sugar, cocoa and flour.  Pour the butter mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk.  Whisk in the baking soda, salt and vanilla all at once.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pans.  For a 3-layer cake, stagger the cake layers on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another.  Set two layers on one rack and the third on the other.  For a 2-layer cake, stagger the layers on the middle rack with one placed more toward the front of the oven and one toward the back.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each layer comes out clean.  Monitor the layers carefully for doneness, each one may be done at different times.

Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on racks for about 15 minutes before inverting onto backing racks.  Cool the cakes completely, at least 2 hours, before frosting.

To make the frosting:  Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream in a large bowl on high speed until soft peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and whip until thoroughly combined.

Place one cake layer on a platter and spread some of the frosting over the top.  Top with the remaining layers, thickly coating the top and sides of each with frosting.  Refrigerate the cake until the whipped cream frosting has stabilized, at least 1 hour.

  To make the glaze:  Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is very hot and just beginning to steam.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until it has melted completely.  Stir in the syrup and vanilla.  Pour the glaze into a medium measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes.  Do not let the glaze sit longer because it will stiffen and become difficult to pour over the cur the cake.  Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring that it covers the top of the cake entirely, but make sure some of the cream frosting shows through the drizzles on the sides.  (If the glaze doesn't flow easily over the edge of the cake, don't be afraid to add an extra tablespoon or two of syrup.)

  Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set and the whipped cream frosting is firm, at least 1 hour.  Slice the cake with a long serrated knife, dipping it in a tall glass of hot water between each slice.  The refrigerated cake will keep for about 2 days.

Yield:  12 to 14 servings.

TIP:  Whipped cream usually begins to separate shortly after it has been beaten.  The secret to this frosting - and its stability - is the powdered sugar.  Powdered sugar has added cornstarch, which stabilizes the cream.  This cake sat on my counter on a warm spring night for more than 20 minutes and still looked as good as it had just after icing.

* Lyle's Golden Syrup, imported from Britain, is a pure cane sugar syrup with a mild camel flavor.  It is widely available in grocery stores or online at Amazon.  You may substitute any light corn syrup.

I hope you LOVE this cake as much as I do!  If you have any questions, let me know.  Please come back and let me know how you like it.

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