I have a confession.
As a child, I hated cake. The only part I liked was the royal icing flowers on top. I think I still ate funfetti cake and the like, but that was it. Whenever we had birthday cake, I would just turn up my nose and eat my royal icing roses (which, by the way, my mom/aunts had to always ask for a specific number of those so there wouldn’t be fighting among us cousins).
Oh – and I also didn’t like chocolate.
Whew. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders. Feel free to throw words at me like “are you insane??”
Now I’m normal and like both chocolate and cake (a little too much for my own good, in my opinion). I guess that’s one of the good (bad?) things about getting older, your tastes changing.
When we had the double baby shower at work this week, I knew one of the women was a chocoholic, so I decided to make the same cake I made this past weekend for the christening cake.
One of my favorite memories of high school was Market Day. Does everyone remember that? That “grocery” service through the school where you paid a semi-crazy amount of money for what was basically a bunch of junk food? Mmmm Italian Dippers. My favorite thing we got were these frozen Chocolate Puddin’ Cakes. They were slices of a super moist but not super chocolatey cake, riddled with chocolate chunks. Sometimes I wouldn’t even let a slice thaw – I would just eat it still frozen (and it was still amazing).
Due to that memory, when I made this chocolate cake, I decided to make it a chocolate chocolate chip cake. I figure the chocolate chips in a chocolate cake make the cake just that much better for a chocoholic… and add some texture to the cake itself.
I still haven’t 100% perfected this recipe – but man, it sure is delicious. Even my dad, who doesn’t like chocolate cake, really enjoyed this one.
The first time I made this cake, I used regular chocolate chips. The batter for this cake is beyond runny – it’s honestly just like a hot chocolate. Which means you can’t put the chocolate chips in the batter, because they just fall straight to the bottom of the pan. In order to fix this and get those darn chocolate chips IN the chocolate cake, I baked the cake for about 10 minutes, then opened the oven and sprinkled chocolate chips over the pan. The batter had started to thicken, and the chips just kind of sank in slowly. Worked out pretty well!
Until I cut the cake.
Chocolate chips (in case you don’t know) are designed to stay solid and not really lose their shape. When you are trying to cut cake layers and run into tons of chocolate chips, it creates quite a situation. We’ll just say that my cake layers had some chocolate-chip-shaped holes when I finished my cake layers.
So this time, for the baby shower, I came up with the brilliant idea of using mini-chocolate chips, because those wouldn’t be hard to cut through – they would be too tiny for me to really even hit with the knife.
If only it were that easy.
Again, the mini-chocolate chips were too heavy for the batter and sank right into the pan. I decided to do the same thing as last time – bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the chips. Except mini-chocolate chips basically weigh nothing, and unfortunately just kind of sat there on the top of my cakes staring at me like “what? you want us to sink? I don’t think so!”
Sooo…. I ended up with some cakes that had chocolate chips on the top and bottom and none in the middle. In order to remedy this, when I made the baby shower cake, I sprinkled the mini-chocolate chips on top of each buttercream layer, and that worked VERY well.
Like I said, I am still perfecting this recipe, and want to play around this weekend. I am thinking that in order to use the mini-chocolate chips, they might need to be added around 3-5 minutes into baking, as opposed to 10 minutes. Once I figure this out completely, I will post an update!
This cake was frosted with the Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream and went over VERY well. Again, covered in a homemade fondant recipe (Michele Foster’s Fondant) that tasted pretty darn yummy. The little monkey guy was made out of fondant, and then I painted by hand using the picture I cut out as a guide.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake
- 7.5 oz all-purpose flour
- 14 oz sugar
- 2.3 oz good cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 8 oz buttermilk, shaken
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 oz freshly brewed hot coffee**
- 2 cups chocolate chips or mini-chocolate chips
** if you don’t like the flavor of coffee (it is merely there to enhance the chocolate flavor) you can just use hot water.
Preheat the oven to 350. Either grease and flour two cake pans or spray with Pam w/ Flour (I love that stuff). Place a parchment circle in the bottom of each pan. (I used 7″ rounds for the baby shower, and 10″ for the christening – but for the christening I made 1.5 batches of this recipe)
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl, then mix with a paddle attachment until the dry ingredients are an even color all the way across.
In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients except coffee. Beat with a whisk to mix the eggs into everything else.
Turn the mixer to low speed, and slowly add the buttermilk/egg/vanilla mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
With the mixer still on low, pour in the hot coffee slowly. About halfway through the coffee, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of your bowl, then continue mixing in the coffee. Mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into your prepared pans, and bake for approximately 5 minutes. Open oven, and sprinkle chocolate chips over baking cakes, allowing them to sink into the batter. Close the oven and bake for an addition 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the pan for approximately 30 minutes; then turn the cakes out a cooling rack and cool completely.
Attempt to share with others – promise me, it’s very difficult.
Oh, I KNOW this was an awesome tasting cake! Pretty, too. I made a chocolate sheet cake once and added chocolate chips to the top after baking all the way, then put it back in the oven for them to melt. What was so neat was how they stayed melty.
I’m trying to figure out what kind of birthday cake to make in a few weeks, Lord willing. Was going to make a banana cake (well, it’s banana bread, but uses a ton of flour and tastes much more like cake to me) and just spread nutella between two layers. But I might want to frost the outside, too…or mix other things with the nutella. What do you think would go together well, if you don’t mind?
Hmmm…. Personally I’m not a big banana fan, but one of my friends just made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting that apparently went over very well.
I like to deconstruct things and then figure out how to make them – like a chocolate covered banana deconstructed into banana cake and chocolate filling/frosting (or in your case nutella… yummmmmmmmm). Or a banana split would be banana cake with strawberry filling and chocolate coating?
Maybe if you wanted to do nutella you could make a nutella frosting for the outside, but then for the inside mix some nutella with whipped cream so it’s much lighter. Then it wouldn’t be an overdose of chocolate hazelnut… although in my opinion that’s not a bad thing!