It never fails that when I don't have buttermilk, I come across all sorts of recipes I want to try that use it. Then once I do buy some buttermilk, I can't find those recipes again and the recipes I do come across use milk, sour cream, heavy cream and every other ingredient except buttermilk. Someone tell me that doesn't just happen to me. Even if you have to lie to me.
Fortunately, after some exasperated flipping through the remaining baking books in my baking challenge, I did zoom in on this recipe that uses buttermilk and a whole cup of it at that. This bakes into a simple 9 x 13 cake which is the easiest for me to cut up and give away. I was meeting my friend Emily for lunch so it was a good excuse to share it with her to take back to her office/my old company. This came out pretty well, although a bit more dense than your average box-mix cake but not as dense as a pound cake. It did have a rich dark chocolate flavor due to the Pernigotti cocoa I used. But that was nicely offset by the sweetness of the chocolate frosting. I omitted the walnuts from the frosting (of course) and instead of lemon juice, I used milk. I added more than a tablespoon because the frosting was too stiff. I didn't measure exactly how much milk I added but you can adjust to the consistency you want your frosting to be.
2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (150 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup (125 ml) strong cold coffee
4 ounces (125 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (90 g) butter
2 ½ cups (375 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used milk)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
2. Stir the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
3. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.
5. With mixer at low speed, gradually beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk and coffee. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.