Rich, dark, moist with an intense chocolate flavor, this cake is always popular. It is a large enough cake to serve 12-16 people and is a good choice to serve as part of a dessert buffet. I have given the recipe to many people and often take it to friend’s homes as my contribution to a dinner party.
3 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (Medaglia de Oro)
2 and ¼ sticks unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
2 and 2/3 cup sugar
5 extra large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups water
Extra butter or margarine for greasing cake pans
Extra flour for dusting pans
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease three 9 inch round cake pans or 2 ten inch pans. Line pans with parchment paper cut to measure.
To measure trace the base of cake pan onto parchment with a pencil and cut out the circles. Grease parchment paper as well. Dust pans with 1 tablespoon of flour, then shake out excess. Only grease bottoms, not sides of pans.
Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl and set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes on medium low.
Crack eggs in a glass bowl and check them for shells or blood spots. Add eggs to creamed butter and sugar and mix for an additional 3-5 minutes until pale yellow in color and thick. Add vanilla and blend. Add dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with water and blending in between each addition until just combined. End with last addition of dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
Over mixing cake batter, makes for a tough cake.
Divide batter equally among prepared cake pans.
Bake on a rack in center of oven until just done about 30-35 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Poke toothpick in center of cake layer and when you pull it out it should be dry with no moist or wet crumbs clinging to it.
Remove cake layers from oven and place on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each pan and invert pans on to another cooling rack. Carefully remove pan and remove the parchment paper (it peels off in one piece). When the cake layers are completely cool you can proceed. Use cake layers immediately or wrap and freeze them individually until the day you need them. I place them on foil wrapped cardboard rounds for support. They sell the round cardboard at supply stores like.
If you are going to use cake immediately, place first layer on your lined serving platter. Trim top of layer you are going to start with so top is flat.
Trimming cake layers flat with a long serrated knife allows cake to be even when you assemble it. The frosting recipe below makes enough to fill and frost cake. The chef gets to eat all the cake trimmings.
Using an icing spatula, scoop about ½ cup of frosting ontofirst layer.
Spread evenly to edges. Place second trimmed cake layer on top.
Repeat same thing with frosting. Place third layer on top and frost top. Use remaining frosting to cover sides of cake.
Decorate by swirling spatula or using a cake comb. You can decorate cake with chocolate espresso beans, candied violets, chocolate curls, or just leave it plain. Store cake in a cake keeper in refrigerator.
This makes a big cake, great for birthdays, holidays, and tastes great made non dairy with unsalted margarine.
1 and ½ sticks butter or parve margarine
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
5 and 1/3 cups of powdered sugar
2/3 cup milk or non dairy like soy or almond
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process mixture until it is smooth and silky. Stop one time to scrape down bowl and incorporate everything.