Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting


This recipe, adapted from the Joy of Baking, is just about the quickest and easiest way to get a fix, when you’re craving chocolate cake.

It’s been a fave since I was very young, and will always be in my top 5. Yes… right up there with most any dessert made with lemon… as well as gelato, of course.

Just thinking of chocolate cake takes me back to being mesmerized by the sight of a double layer, chocolate frosted, chocolate cake. At the time, it was one of the most perfect things I’d ever seen, magnificently perched on a silver pedestal stand, on the food counter of the department store my mom shopped at. Just looking up at it had me totally in awe. Was that one of the first signs that food would become my life??!!

 

You can literally have the cake batter ready by the time your oven is warmed up. You could also, quite easily, make this in the afternoon – and serve it the same night. This one… is meant for a lunch date that I have tomorrow! Much like many soups & stews, I find chocolate cake improves with an overnight stint in the fridge. So. Make your cake. And eat it too. Life’s too short to do otherwise~

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

This recipe is embarrassingly easy and involves mixing the cake batter, right in the baking pan. Because of this, you also serve the cake from the pan. If you’d prefer to remove the cake, mix the batter in a bowl and prep the cake pan like you would for any other recipe. Me… I’m in the
camp of doing it as written. It’s a great little cheat and also makes it easy to store in the fridge.
 
Ingredients for the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter melted (or use a nice fruity olive oil)
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 
Ingredients for the Frosting:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
 
Preparation for the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350º and place rack in center of oven.
 
In an ungreased 8 inch square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter or oil, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork, carefully mix all the ingredients together until well blended – being sure to get in the corners.
 
Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
 
Preparation for the Frosting: 
Place the chocolate, cream, and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, to melt until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand at room temp for about 2 hours, until it starts to thicken. With a mixer or vigorously by hand, whip the chocolate mixture for several minutes, until it’s of spreading consistency. This makes a very generous amount to top the one cake layer – you could always keep some back, covered and stored in the fridge, for another use.