>> September 24, 2009
september was cake month, and i am not complaining about it (there's still a tiny, tiny sliver of the birthday cake on our counter -- no one wants to be the evil person to eat the last slice and make all the roommates jealous).
i've never been a huge fan of chocolate cake (unless it's dark, fudgy, and actually a brownie, not cake), but i've never met an ina recipe i didn't like. i assumed this one would change my mind. i was right. since i was planning on making them into hostess-like cupcakes, i opted just to use the leftover frosting from the birthday cake and not attempt the one associated with her recipe. it seems rather fantastic, though.
my problems with depth perception leach into my baking periodically, causing me to overfill cupcake tins (remember the epic guinness cupcake failure of july 4th?). and it happened again. though no one else really gets to enjoy the cake, lyss and i thoroughly enjoy sampling all the goopy bits that end up all over the pan. like broken cookies, messed up globby cupcake overflows have no calories. if these weren't going to the tailgate, i wouldn't have cared that after i cut them the cupcake papers were brown. but i couldn't bring surgically demented cupcakes to the tailgate, so i had to start over. as you saw in the previous post, my batch of hostess look-a-likes turned out just fine.
somewhere in all of the mess that happened in my oven, one, lone little cupcake decided to defy the man and stay within his boundaries. he was defiant, not breaking ranks to join the sloppy party of crazy kids. i like this one. he doesn't go out on tuesday nights or dye his hair on a whim. he drinks espresso and reads books and likes good beer. he ties his shoe laces and zips up his coat and combs his hair. if you find him in real-life form, and he's 21 and single, please send him my way. for now, i'll just be friends with an inanimate object made of flour, sugar, and chocolate. sigh.
beatty's chocolate cake
chosen by mary of passionate perserverance
also found in Barefoot Contessa at Home on pages 165-166
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken (i made my own with milk + vinegar)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (extremely strong, because my roommates and i are addicts)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. (i used paper cupcake tins in 2 pans)
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. (if cupcakes, cool them upside down on the rack. no soggy bottoms!)
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
i hope yours are full of perfectly buttoned up little cupcake boys, and not rowdy over-flowers =)