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I would like your advice...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am planning to bake a cake for a friend of mine. Its for her birthday and she absolutely loves chocolate so i'll be baking a chocolate cake. However I have found two really good recipes for the cake and a few more good recipes for the Frosting.
Would you mind taking a look at them and suggest which one I should bake and what Frosting I should use. Please keep in mind the fact that she LOVES chocolate.

Oh did I mention that I have never baked a cake 'from scratch' before nor have I ever used frosting on any cake I have ever made... so I would really appreciate if you could also give me some helpful hints and tips in that regard.

Thank you!

Hershey's Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled or vegetable oil, plus more for pans
3/4 cup cocoa powder, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, room temperature
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate Frosting, recipe follows

Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, and dust sides with cocoa; tapping out excess. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup cocoa, the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter or oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and beat to combine (batter will be thin). Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

Bake until cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge of cakes to loosen them from pan. Invert on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place 1 layer, top-side up, onto a serving plate. Using an offset spatula, spread with 1 cup of frosting. Top with remaining layer, bottom-side up and frost with remaining frosting.

Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
6 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, more if needed
2/3 cup milk, more if needed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa and beat with a hand-held electric mixer to combine.
Alternately add confectioners' sugar and milk, beating on medium speed until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add additional milk or sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Yield: about 4 cups

Here are the two alternate frostings I am also considering


9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until well blended.


Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 30 min
1 1/4 lb fine-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
10 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt chocolates in a double boiler or a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat, then whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (frosting will become thick enough to spread). You must work quickly and spread the frosting before it becomes too thick. (If icing does become stiff, reheat over simmering water, then cool and try again.)

And here is the second recipe

Chocolate Raspberry Bavarian Cake

Raspberry Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur

Chocolate Filling:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

Raspberry Bavarian:
Two 10-ounce packages frozen raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup raspberry liqueur
1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy whipping cream

One 9-inch round Chocolate Genoise, baked and cooled (recipe below)

1 cup heavy whipping cream
Chocolate shavings
1/2-pint basket raspberries
Confectioners' sugar

You will need 1 10-inch springform pan.
For the syrup, combine the sugar and water, bring to a boil and cool. Stir in the liqueur.

For the chocolate filling, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, and allow to stand 2 minutes. Whisk in the butter until smooth and cool.

To make the Bavarian, combine the raspberries and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Use a food mill or a fine sieve to puree and strain away seeds. Cool. Combine the liqueur and gelatin in a small, heatproof bowl and soak 5 minutes. Place the bowl over simmering water to make liquid again, then whisk into cool puree. Whip cream and fold it in.

Slice the genoise into two layers and place one in the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Moisten with half the syrup. Whip the cooled chocolate filling to lighten and spread half over cake layer; pour on half the Bavarian. Repeat with remaining cake layer, syrup, chocolate filling, and Bavarian. Chill to set.

To unmold, run a small knife between dessert and mold and lift off side of pan. Whip the cream and spread over sides of dessert. Press some of the chocolate shavings into cream. Arrange raspberries on top in two concentric circles around the top rim, then sprinkle center with shavings and confectioners' sugar.

1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder
3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt

One 9 by 2-inch round layer pan, or a 9-inch springform pan, buttered and the bottom lined with a disk of parchment or wax paper Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Sift together the cake flour, cornstarch, and cocoa through a fine-meshed strainer over a piece of waxed paper to break up any lumps in the cocoa. Set sifted ingredients aside with the strainer. Whisk together the eggs yolks, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and continue whisking gently until the mixture is lukewarm, about 100 degrees. This should take only a minute or two. Whip with the electric mixer on high speed until the mixture is cooled and increased in volume, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer and sift in dry ingredients, in three additions gently folding each third in with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread the top even with a spatula. Bake the layer about 30 minutes until it is well risen and the center is firm to the touch. If necessary, loosen the layer from the side of the pan with a small knife or spatula and invert the cake onto a rack. Place another rack on the cake and invert again. Remove the top rack, so that the layer cools right side up, still on the paper. Yield: 1 round layer, 9 inches in diameter by 2 inches deep
post #2 of 20
The first cake recipe will be a lot more moist than the second, and the creamy choc. frosting will be easy to do, and tasty too.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you Momoreg, can you recommend a brand of semi-sweet chocolate that I can use?
post #4 of 20
My first choice is Callebaut, but I occasioanlly use Nestle chips in a pinch. They melt quickly and taste just fine.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks again Momoreg :)
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have one last question, I found Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate and Cadbury's Cocoa powder... the recipe calls for Cocoa powder. I was wondering if I could substitute the the Drinking Chocolate for the Cocoa pwoder to make the cake more chocolatety (is that a word :D )... do you think I can and would it make the cake more more chocolatety or should I stick with the Cocoa?
post #7 of 20
The cocoa powder is pure chocolate. The drinking powder contains
sugar and other ingredients. Recommend you stick with the recipe.
post #8 of 20
Chocolate Truffle Icing...
equal parts chocolate + heavy cream + icing sugar (how much, I forgot, I don't have the recipe with me) + vanilla flavoring and alochol flavorings (optioal).
Chop chocoates into chunks
Bring heavy cream to scolding hot then pour over chocolate
Mix until thick and add flavorings
Sift in icing sugar
Cool to firm up

I remember making this and you can really get the decadent nature of the chocolate but take into consideration, I used an 80% chocolate.
That Hersey's Classic chocolate cake recipe, I've tried it years ago and its very moist and excellent. It was my first attempt at cake before I got into baking.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
We have something in common Headless Chicken :D This is my first attempt at baking a cake from scratch. I just did it. It looks really wierd though. First of all I followed the recipe to the letter yet I only had enough batter to fill one 9-inch cake pan half-way. The recipe said I would should have used two. Then the cake itself is sunken in, at both the top and bottom, like a concave lens, the sides are higher than the middle. Plus its really narrow, maybe an inch and half thick... two inches at the most. But it taste great :)

I used the icing that Momo recommended and it taste really good. Its a if I took a bunch of Hershey's Kisses and melted then to make the icing... thanks again Momo :)
post #10 of 20
Myky, what was the recipe you used?
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post #11 of 20
Yeah, I guess you didn't use the first recipe. That yields 7 cups of batter.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
I used the first one. The Hersheys Chocolate cake recipe man... I dont know what the **** happened then. I followed it to the letter.... maybe I messed up but I seriously doubt that. Maybe it was rge measuring cup, it seemed too small to be a "cup" but thats what I had so I worked with it.
post #13 of 20
Possible under mixing?!?!
A caved in middle (M problem) if I remember correctly was due to the lack of mixing or not enough leavening agent. Or, the oven wasn't hot enough, outsides of the cake cooked faster then the middle so the center didn't leaven.
D00mit!, I've forgotten most of my cake science. I'm at work right now but when I get home, I'll look through my old notes. I remember this to be a common problem with cakes.

I remember when I attempted this cake, the middle was higher (A problem) where the issue was the exact opposite of an M problem.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok I mixed it for about 15 minutes all told. Two minutes at first like the recipe said then another 10 or more minutes after I added the hot water. But I did leave it standing for about a half hour before I put the batter in the pans because I had to run out to the store to get some more parchment paper to line the pans with. Could that have caused it?
post #15 of 20
yes, letting batter sit for 30 minutes is a negative factor. others may be opening the door too much(heat loss), and under cooking the cake. Did your cake tester come out clean?
post #16 of 20
There may have been other mistakes, but the most obvious is that you left the mix to stand. The baking soda and cocoa powder begin to react with one another as soon as liquid is added. The carbon dioxide that is produced would normally have aerated the cake in the oven, but instead, it escaped, causing the cake to fall.
post #17 of 20
I don't get the hot water part of the recipe. We were always told that when using bp/bs you want to keep the batter cool so the leavening agents don't activate.
post #18 of 20
My very humble 2 cents: perhaps if the item is mixed and then goes into the oven IMMEDIATELY after adding the hot water it works. That is how the cornbread recipe I use does it.
post #19 of 20
I always use the Wilton Baking strips dipped in cool water before baking any cake 10 inches and larger. (I also use the Wilton Heating Core).

Here's to Great Baking!
post #20 of 20
The "mixing for 10 minutes" sent up a red flag for me. Overbeating develops the gluten and will make for a tougher cake, in addition to losing your levening and aeration. It just needs to be mixed until all ingredients are well blended - 2 to 3 min. tops.
Inside me is a skinny woman trying to get out.....I usually shut the witch up with chocolate!
Inside me is a skinny woman trying to get out.....I usually shut the witch up with chocolate!
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