Chocolate Decadence

Happy birthday to me, and to all my fellow Leos!

This year Bryce and I made a decadent cake in honor of the occasion. This cake is not for the faint of heart, or for those who fear indulgence. This cake is symbolic of my 40 years, and as such I abandon all rules, restrictions and concerns for anything other than pleasure.

Don’t be fooled by its unassuming exterior.

Birthdays always inspire a bit of reflection for me, and this one feels weightier than most. They say the 40’s are the best time of one’s life and I’m excited to be here. I know how fortunate I am. I have great friends, a loving family and my health. I also have this cake, thanks to the Barefoot Contessa:

Decadent Chocolate Cake

Butter for greasing the cake pans
1 ¾ c all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
2 c sugar
¾ c good cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 c buttermilk
½ c vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 2 8-inch round cake pans. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low-speed until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and combine. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes in the pans, and then turn them onto a rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting

6 oz good semisweet chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ c sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place 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 and fluffy. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the sugar and then turn speed back up to medium. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

Dissolve the coffee powder into 2 tsp of hot tap water. On low speed, add the coffee and chocolate to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip it! Spread immediately on the cake.

Have a fantastic day!


3 thoughts on “Chocolate Decadence

  1. Wonderful looking cake, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY (although a bit belated)!
    On my birthdays, I like to make goals for myself for the coming year, and revisit my 10-15 year goals to make sure I’m on track. I might have to add more decadent chocolate cake to my list…

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