Saturday, June 10, 2017

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake - made May 7, 2017 from Southern Bite
One of the common themes on my blog for the recipes I try is to use up an ingredient I have before it expires. That’s often a dairy product like milk, buttermilk or sour cream. Sometimes it feels like 90% of the time I post a recipe that uses buttermilk is because I’m trying to use up buttermilk. I’ve heard of the tricks like freezing it and only thawing when you need it but I’ve never done it. I don’t know why. I used to use powdered buttermilk and just rehydrate however much I needed when I had to but that version never seemed as good as fresh buttermilk. But now, I just try to plan ahead and when I do buy buttermilk to use in a recipe, I line up several more recipes to use up the rest.
This is one of those “use up my buttermilk” recipes. Pinterest is a treasure trove of such recipes since you can search for what has the ingredient in the title or the recipe. Pictures say a thousand words and I liked how this looked on the original blog that I got the recipe from so it was an easy decision to try this out.
This is almost like a standard Texas sheet cake recipe that yields an easy-to-make chocolate cake that’s then frosted with an easy-to-make icing. Both of which are delicious and easy to serve to a crowd. I cut the original frosting recipe in half since I don’t like a lot of frosting. You can see from the pictures the thin layer of frosting coating my cake. Yup, that’s about as much frosting as I like. If you’re not me and prefer a thicker layer, make the frosting recipe below as is.
The cake texture on this one was fluffy and soft and the (thin layer of) frosting complemented it perfectly. I gave some of this to my parents and brought the rest into work. The highest accolade from my mom and several of my coworkers? “I like this; it isn’t too sweet.” Almost verbatim from at least 3 different people. Although I laughed when my coworkers said it since they matched my mom’s tone of praise and sincerity, I know what they mean. Chocolate desserts often aren’t “too sweet”; chocolate triggers a different flavor signal than more sugary desserts. Even though you use sugar in chocolate desserts too. Thanks to the Pernigotti cocoa I used in this cake and frosting, the dark rich cocoa offsets any sweetness from the sugar to provide a full-bodied chocolate flavor.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6-8 tablespoons buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13" baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together four, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the cocoa powder, oil and water. Heat  to a boil and let boil for 1 minute.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. 
  5. Pour the heated mixture over the flour mixture and stir. Add the eggs and buttermilk mixture and stir until well combined. 
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool for at least 30 minutes before icing.
  7. Make the icing: Combine the butter and cocoa in a small saucepan. Cook until the butter is melted completely. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  8. Pour the confectioners' sugar into a large bowl and pour the hot mixture over the sugar. Stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk at a time until you get the icing to a pourable consistency but not too thin. Pour over the cake and spread to coat.

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