I know what you think; making a chocolate cake is easy. I know, right? There are maybe hundreds of recipes available out there, but the ultimate best chocolate cake needs more than a handful of cocoa powder to start with. It should have the texture, the fudginess, the moist, and the bittersweet taste.
I’ve tried some recipes on how to make the ultimate chocolate cake, and I find that this particular recipe is the best – yet. I’m going to tell you why later, but first off, let me share my experience of making this cake.
Note: This recipe is for three layer chocolate cake. If you want to make only one, divide the ingredients into three.
- One block of small butter (for greasing the pan)
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ cups stout – I know, I’ll explain later.
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 2 ½ cups of butter at room temperature
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 4 oz of dark chocolate chunks
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 4-5 tbsp milk
How to make the ultimate chocolate cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius)
- Use 8-inches pan, grease the bottom and the sides using butter, and cover it using a parchment paper.
- Use a large bowl, and strain 1 ½ cup of flour, 1 cup of Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon baking powder. Stir until combined well. I’m going to call this the dry mix.
- Take another large bowl, and put in 1 ½ cup stout, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon espresso powder. Mix them using a tablespoon, stir well, and set aside.
- To make the batter, add 1 cup of butter and 1 ½ cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a stand mixer, scrape the bowl, and mix until they evenly creamed in together.
- Put in 3 eggs one at a time into the mixture.
- Put in ½ cup of mayonnaise
- Add the dry ingredient gradually. Put half of it, the continue by putting the wet ingredient by half.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredient and followed by the rest of the wet ingredient. This gradual process is important.
- Once it combined well, add 4 oz of dark chocolate chunks, stirs well until everything is mixed.
- Put the batter on the pan, and bake for 35 minutes. To check if the chocolate cake is set, use a toothpick and see if there’s any sticking.
- After 35 minutes, take out from the oven and cool it down for 10-15 minutes before taking out.
- Flip the cake on a plate and take another resting process until the cake is completely cool.
- While you wait for it, make the chocolate buttercream.
- Put 1 ½ butter, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 5 powdered sugar, and 4-5 tbsp milk. Stir it well, until you get a nice, creamy texture.
- Put the cake on a plate, cover it with the buttercream and decorate as you wish. You can sprinkle on choco chips, coconut, or berries to add more texture.
If you decide to make a three-layer cake, take one on the plate, cover the top with buttercream, and stack the second cake. Continue the process until you get the layers done.
Now you have the best chocolate cake to serve (in my opinion), and I’m going to tell you why.
First, the recipe tells you to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder. This is the darker version – a LOT darker, a super dark – than the natural cocoa powder. It’s less acidic and helps you get the nice, bittersweet flavor from the chocolate.
The second, I use stout instead of just water in the mixture. Why? The stout is to lift the interesting depth of flavor you cannot get from the water. It will add more richness, a kind of nutty sweetness and build up more flavor. I think its role is similar to bring out the umami in savory dishes.
The next trick of the trade is using the espresso powder. Don’t worry; your chocolate cake won’t taste like a coffee. Instead, it will enhance the chocolate flavor of the cake.
I also use mayonnaise in the recipe because mayonnaise will add a more creamy texture, making the cake moist, rich, and delicate.
Oh, and the thing about putting the eggs in gradually to the wet ingredient is because the butter and sugar can only absorb liquid at a time.
There you have the best chocolate cake recipe to make at home. Happy baking!