Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009: Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

PB280178Every now and then, you come across a recipe that does multiple things amazingly well. This recipe for an Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake from Cook's Illustrated is one of those. This recipe answers that deep need to embrace chocolate. It also is one of those special recipes you file away and whip out only for the most deserving.

Although it's called "old-fashioned," this was not the chocolate cake I grew up with! Part of that was because I used bittersweet chocolate insead of semi-sweet for the frosting. A bite into this cake made you pause. You couldn't keep your eyes from rolling back into your head.

I am pleased to report all of this praise. I think I'd attmpted this cake twice before and I was defeated each time. You think old-fashion would be simple and easy. Notsomuch with this.

Let's do it:

You start out by making a melted chocolate pudding. Double-boiler, chocolate and cocoa powder. That's the above shot. Next, get the dry goods together; mix the vanilla and buttermilk (what good cake ain't got buttermilk?);

Whisk the eggs, egg parts and sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy.


Wasn't that lovely? That was an action shot too. Now, add said chocolate to the mixer. Add butter and alternately add the dry stuff and the liquid.


Pour into prepared pans and bake.


Here's where this gets worrisome -- the frosting. This stuff has to be chilled to a specific temperature and then whipped. It starts with melted chocolate, melted butter, corn syrup and vanilla.


Add cream, stir to combine. Place the bowl over an ice bath and stir until it hits 70 degrees. Seriously. Then whip it and get it on the cake. One last pic because I had to really concentrate on this part. Even my little helper got concerned as we waited to get to 70 degrees.


Most of the time, I leave you with a parting shot of something plated or plated with a few bites taken from it. Not today; I forgot to take pictures. There is one slice of this cake left in the freezer. Depending on how it looks when it thaws ...

Tools of the trade:

Later ...

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