Recipes :

Chocolate Cake

I had to end this week of recipes with one of my favorite things on the planet: Chocolate Cake. (Chocolate Cake makes everything better. For reals.) And according to Molly, (of “Orangette”) she will be “shocked and horrified” if you don’t find her “Near Disaster Chocolate Cake” recipe to be “the most deeply-flavored, moist-yet-fluffy chocolate cake you’ve ever tried.”
Sounds like a good enough endorsement for us!


Far-from-Disaster Cake

Summary: Deeply flavored, moist, yet “fluffy”. Adapted from


  • 3 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate, such as El Rey or Callebaut
  • 1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. If you’re making cupcakes, line the wells of your pans with fluted paper liners, or grease and dust them with flour or cocoa. If you’re making larger cakes, grease pans and line bottoms with rounds of wax paper. Grease paper.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another (very) large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thickened slightly and lemon-colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).
  5. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.
  6. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed, bracing yourself against puffs of cocoa-and-flour dust, until just combined well.
  7. Divide batter between pans.
  8. Bake in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes, or 50 to 70 minutes for larger cakes, until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks.
  10. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and remove cupcakes, or invert larger cakes onto racks.
  11. If making larger cakes, carefully remove wax paper.

Quick notes

Cakes may be made one day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.


Ganache Frosting

Summary: Adapted from


  • 1 lb fine-quality semi-sweet chocolate, such as El Rey or Callebaut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs light corn syrup
  • ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter


  1. Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 ½- to 2-quart saucepan.
  2. Bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted.
  4. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
  5. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable.
  6. You may want to place the bowl in the fridge for a bit, but stir it now and then until it cools to your desired consistency.
  7. Spread.

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