Chocolate cake made with oil as opposed to butter always turns out so well for me. I have it in my mind that butter is better and I certainly have made some wonderful cakes using butter but using vegetable oil results in the most moist and best textured cakes I have ever made. Butter always gives baked goods wonderful flavor but since chocolate cake has such a strong flavor as it is, the butter flavor is not missed. This chocolate cake recipe is similar to a few others that I have made. I have not looked but maybe it's the identical recipe that is on Hershey's website. Where ever it comes from.....it's delicious. I found it on a blog yesterday via tastespotting. I had been trying to think of a good dessert to make for a dinner party I was having and I instantly decided on this cake. Seemed easy, I had all the ingredients, my kids would love it and it's just a good old fashioned chocolate layer cake - nothing fancy, just good chocolate cake. I highly recommend this recipe. Just the right amount of chocolate. It didn't specify the type of cocoa powder to use in the recipe so I used my Penzey's dutch process powder. Good choice. I made a double recipe because I wanted a nice tall triple layer cake. It made 3 pans - 9 inch layers and one 8 inch pan that I used for a tester. It didn't dome in the center so I did not have to trim the top and I removed the cake from the oven when very moist crumbs were still on the toothpick.
As for the icing, I had just bought my new "Flour" cookbook on Friday and I was itching to make something from it. I chose the "Crispy Magic Frosting". The book claims that if the frosting sits for awhile, it will develop a slight crispness on the outside. I don't know if it's because I covered my cake with a cake dome, but my icing did not get crisp at all. I made it last night and the icing is still is as soft and smooth as when I frosted the cake. This icing is like a true buttercream made with egg whites & sugar cooked over the stove and then whipped in a mixer while butter is added. Get this, I doubled the recipe for this icing and that means that I used SIX whole sticks of butter just for the icing!!! Wow!!! And I used all but maybe 1/4 cup of it. I cannot get over that 6 sticks went into the bowl!!! The icing was so wonderful. Silky silky smooth with a slight whipped texture. Not too sweet and NO grittiness whatsoever. Nice vanilla flavor - would have been great using vanilla bean I bet. It was kind of fun to make. Not as quick as an American buttercream (softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and a touch of milk) but the results are so special and so silky that you need to try this icing recipe at least once. VERY highly recommended.
Stay tuned for more recipes from "Flour"!
Chocolate Birthday Cake
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder, plus for dusting
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and dust two 9-inch baking pans with cocoa powder and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Stir to combine.
In a steady stream, add the liquid ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water and stir on low to combine. (The batter will be thin.) Pour the batter into prepared pans. Rap the pans lightly on the counter-top to release any air bubbles inside.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pans to the racks.
Crispy Magic Frosting
•2/3c granulated sugar
•2 pasteurized egg whites
•1 1/2c (3 sticks) of room temperature butter, very soft.
•1 2/3c confectioner’s sugar
•1/4t kosher salt
•1T vanilla extract
In a heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar and egg whites. Fill a saucepan half full with water and bring to a simmer. Set the bowl over the water but do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water. Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will thin as the sugar melts, and will also get slightly foamy and lighten as you whisk.
Pour the mixture into a standing mixture and beat at medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and white like a meringue and is cool to the touch. It will be white and glossy. At medium speed, add the butter a few chunks at a time, beating for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is all incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat until smooth and satiny. (If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight