February 9, 2012

Cake it Pretty: Chocolate Valentine's Cake





Ok, so I have a confession to make. I'm a chocoholic. And so are my offspring...
So what better way to say "I ♥ you" on Valentine's than with a (big) slice of the good stuff??!


The recipe is very slightly modded from Ina Garten's Double Chocolate Fudge Cake at the Food Network. Ina is somewhat of a legend in our home. Every day at 18:00 my kids and I sit down to dessert in front of Ina and dream up what we'll be baking on the weekend together. This is how this cake cake into being...

When Ina baked this is one of the episodes, my son literally jumped off the sofa yelling (and drooling), "Mama, let's make the Ina cake!" - And so we did! And now it's called "The Ina Cake".


Ingredients:

21/2 cups all-purpose flour
11/2 cups good cocoa powder
21/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar , packed
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
3/4 cup greek yogurt, at room temperature (Ina used sour cream originally)
3 tablespoons brewed coffee


For the Ganache frosting:

24 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used a  choc bar broken into pieces, but you could use chips)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons agave syrup (I used this because I had no light corn syrup that Ina used in her recipe version)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
Heart sugar sprinkles
Heart party toppers from our Sweet Valentine's Day Printable Kit

Love is...a paddle covered in chocolate! :)

How to: 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda , and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light, approximately 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla and mix well. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before frosting.
5. Place the chocolate chips  and heavy cream  in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature.
6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.
7. Spread the frosting evenly on the cake.


TIP: The chocolate ganache frosting also works well when it's at room temperature and "runnier", so you frost at the end of step 5 above, and skip steps 6 and 7 altogether.

Yes, "Be mine!"

For our Valentine's twist, we topped our cake with heart sprinkles, some cute heart toppers from mama Bird's Sweet Valentine's Printables, and a dollop of Greek yogurt. 

But feel free to bathe your slice of love in whatever lushness you like!

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