Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Ganache

It`s Hearts In My Oven`s 3rd Blogiversary!!!!! YAYYY!! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but I`m just so excited! :D My little internet space turned 3 this past Sunday. Of course, as tradition, I baked cake to celebrate! :)

I`m always excited every year for this, because I get to dream up, bake, and eat a yummy cake until I get a food baby. Who am I kidding, I always have a food baby! Haha! This might be a baking/sweets blog and cake does show up, but not cakes that take too much time. Bundt cakes, sure. Those are 1 pan, simple glaze or frosting cakes. But, cakes with more than 1 layer and frosted all pretty...well, I don`t have too much time for those. The baking, chilling, frosting, and more chilling process is a lot of work. Also, I don`t have enough people to eat the whole cake (my parents aren`t too fond of cakes).

This year, I knew I wanted to bake a chocolate cake as I discovered that I am a chocolate cake fan, but only if the cake is actually good. No, really, Lynna? It`s because a chocolate cake from the grocery store does not cut it with my taste buds. For the past 2 blogiversaries, I`ve made a lemon cake and a berry cake. Both were lighter flavors so I wanted to change it up a little. Plus, the Brown Betty Cookbook hasn`t disappointed me yet! I`ve loved everything I baked from it!

At first I was going to fill the cake with caramel, but decided it might be too sweet (plus, sticky-ish) as a filling. I wanted to make those large, circular dollops to decorate the cake, as I`ve been seeing them everywhere. I had to decide between making them as meringues or just dollops of frosting. I didn`t have that much time on my hands, so I did the latter. I`ve also been seeing a lot of nudie cakes or cakes that are barely frosted, so I went with that look since I`m not too big on loads of frosting. With less frosting, the cake isn`t so heavy! I love a good cream cheese frosting and this might be my go-to frosting from now on.

Thank you so so much for visiting my little internet food blog! Thank you for taking time from your days to read my posts that are ridden with horrible grammar, typos, and weirdness. Thank you for not poking out your eyeballs from looking at my (mostly, bad) food photos!! Thank you for making my day with your comments. :) I appreciate and love you all. ♥

I wish I could post more often, but I`m preparing for two big exams for grad school, and making just a single post takes hours, so bare with me! Trust me, I rather bake and share goodies with you, rather than freak out about failing at life!!! So, for this week, let`s have some amazing chocolate cake. Because, this chocolate cake deserves to be devoured and my blog turned 3!

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted: The Brown Betty Cookbook | Yields:  1- 2 layer cake (20 servings) | Level: Easy | Total Time:  2 ½  hours

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake:
-          2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
-          1 ½ cup granulated sugar
-          ½ cup brown sugar, packed
-          ½ cup + 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
-          ¾ teaspoon baking powder
-          ¾ teaspoon baking soda
-          ¾ teaspoon salt
-          ¾ cup buttermilk
-          1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
-          2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-          2 large egg yolks, lighten beaten
-          1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
-          ¾ cup boiling water
Cream Cheese Filling & Frosting:
-          1 - 8oz block cream cheese, softened
-          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-          ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
-          3 ½ cups powdered sugar
Chocolate Ganache:
-          1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip
-          ½ cup whole milk
-          4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1.       Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans well. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
2.       In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, mix together flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
3.       In another bowl, mix together buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla until just combined.
4.       Add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, etc) into the dry ingredients (flour, etc).  Mix until combined. Increase the mixing speed to high until mixture is smooth.
5.       Reduce the speed to low and gradually pour in the boiling water.
6.       Transfer batter into prepared pan, dividing between the two evenly.
7.       Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
8.       Allow cakes to cool in pan for 15 minutes, before removing and allowing them to cool completely on cooling racks.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
9.       In a bowl with electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and vanilla slowly to incorporate. Then, increase speed to high until light and creamy (3 minutes).
10.   Next, add in butter and beat until combined.
11.   Beat in some powdered sugar on low speed and gradually add more as you mix. When you're doing adding powdered sugar, increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy (1-2 minutes).
To Assemble Cake:
12.     When cakes are completely cooled, place first layer of cake, bottom side up (on plate, or cake cardboard, etc). Using an offset spatula, add a large dollop of cream cheese frosting in center. Spread evenly to cover the top. It should have to height, about 1cm, or so.
13.   Place second cake layer on top of frosting, bottom side up.
14.   Do a crumb coat: Place a large dollop of frosting on top of cake, work your way around the cake.  Chill cake in fridge until ganache is made.
Chocolate Ganace:
15.   In a saucepan, heat milk and butter until butter is melted.
16.   Increase heat to medium until scorching hot, stirring occasionally.
17.   Turn off heat, add chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes without touching. Then, stir until ganache comes together.
18.   Pour ganache over cake. Garnish as desired.

-          For buttermilk, I used scant ¾ cup whole milk with 1 ¾ teaspoons lemon juice stirred in. Let it sit for 15 minutes before adding into batter.
-          For the crumb coat: You should still be able to see cake underneath as this is a very thin layer of frosting. You can make double batch of the frosting if you want to coat the entire cake completely.  Still, chill cake until frosting has harden slightly before frosting again.

-          To garnish/decorate the cake, I filled a piping bag with a large circle tip and squeezed dollops of frosting on top. I also added some chocolate toffee candy.