During high baking season, aka all the days leading up to today, I'm a time management fiend. Even when I'm not actually in the kitchen, I'm thinking about what I need, how much of it, when I can get it all done, and what needs to happen. It's all choreographed in my head before I even get up in the morning. So it's a good thing I love to bake or I'd be really stressed right about now, lol.
I hadn't planned to specifically make this cake a couple of weekends ago. Matter of fact, it's been in my files for awhile and I could've sworn I've made it already because it was so familiar. So either I have made it but don't remember it (and the search function on blogger wasn't working every time I tried to search my blog for it), Lisa Yockelson's recipes are so similar that I've made something like it but not this exact one, I've had this recipe so long and have become so familiar with it that I think I've made it but actually haven't or some combination of all three.
In any case, this still turned out pretty well. The crumb was tender but not too light, just sturdy enough to hold up the weight of the frosting. The frosting was almost like a fudge layer as it did set once it had cooled. That could've been my fault though as, like I do with all the frostings I make, I didn't use all the powdered sugar the recipe called for and just kept alternately adding the sugar and the milk until it was the consistency I wanted. The butter did separate out a little once I spread it over the hot cake and that was partly due to not using all the sugar but also partly because of the heat from the cake causing it to melt. I blotted it with paper towels until it stopped glistening with melted butter while it was still warm then let it set as it cooled. This was a good chocolate cake although I admit, I'd done so much baking last weekend when I made this that I could only handle a sliver for the taste test. But this is a good crowd pleaser cake to make, especially if you're making up care packages and goodie bags for 23 people. I cut the pieces fairly small so it stretched to make it into most of the goodie bags.
¼ cup unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons or 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream whisked with ½ cup buttermilk
Fudge Cake Frosting
6 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unsifted confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Line a 9 x 13” baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift the cake flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.
3. Cream the butter in the large bowl of a freestanding electric mixer on moderate speed for 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar in 3 additions, beating 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Blend in the melted unsweetened chocolate and vanilla extract, mixing until the batter is a uniform color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to keep the batter even-textured.
4. On low speed, add the sifted mixture in three additions with the sour cream-buttermilk blend in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
6. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until set and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
7. Have the frosting ready 10 minutes before the cake is baked. Place the confectioners’ sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, melted unsweetened chocolate and vanilla extract. Blend the ingredients well to create a smooth mixture.
8. Pour and scrape the chocolate mixture over the confectioners’ sugar. Add the milk. Using an electric mixer, combine the ingredients together on moderately low speed until thoroughly mixed and very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to keep frosting even-textured. The frosting should be smooth and creamy; if it’s too dense, add a tablespoon of milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency.
9. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Carefully place generous spoonfuls of the frosting over the surface of the cake, and gently spread it over the top of the cake, using a flexible palette knife. The frosting will smooth out as the heat of the cake softens it. As the cake cools, the frosting will set.
10. Cool the cake completely before cutting into squares.