Mocha Chocolate Cake

Posted by Vanessa in Cooking, March 22, 2010

I get migraines.  Terrible, wretched headaches that you really can’t understand what it’s like unless you have them too.  And last week, the day I needed to make this cake, I had one of the worst ones I’ve ever had.

And The Phoenix wonders why in the world I still decided to bake, when he could have picked up a dessert from the store on his way to our friends’ house.  Why?  Now you’re probably thinking the same thing…

Well, I’ll tell you why.  First of all, I am entirely against store-bought baked goods.  More like baked bads, if you ask me.  Yuck.  I’ve never had any dessert prepared at a store that I enjoyed.  Ever.  I mean, you can buy a boxed cake mix for a dollar and throw it together yourself in a few minutes and it’s a million times better than what you can buy.  How they mess them up so badly, I don’t know.  But I really, really don’t like ’em.

And, it’s not like moms get sick days.  I can’t call in to my kids and say, “Hey, Mommy’s not feeling that great today so I’m gonna stay in bed.  Oldest bird (who is only 2), you’re in charge.”  It just doesn’t work like that.  I have to be up and at ’em tackling the day, so I might as well do something I would normally enjoy, right?

Now the reason I tell you that I had one of the worst migraines I’ve ever had that day is because I barely sampled the cake.  I had absolutely no appetite so I’m not really sure how great it was from my own experience.

But The Phoenix came home with rave reviews from our friends and I’ve already had requests to make it again.  One guy has asked for it for his birthday.  In July.  So, yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and back this one and say it’s worth a try.

Mocha Chocolate Cake

recipe from Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes.
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes.
  • Ready in 1 Hour, 5 Minutes.
  • Makes: 10 Servings
  • butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
  • 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 toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake stand. 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 Buttercream

recipe from Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes.
  • Ready in 15 Minutes.
  • Makes: 10 Servings
  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 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.
  • 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 powdered 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.

One Response to “Mocha Chocolate Cake”

  1. Kim says:

    Love your site!!! 🙂

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