Who can say no to an ultra-moist, extra chocolate-filled, vanilla-crazed cake? The combination of chocolate and vanilla is pure joy for most of us. There are plenty of alternatives out there. But sometimes, it just does not cut to bake that regular cocoa or devil’s food cake. You feel the urge for some deeper aroma and flavor. Especially, if it is winter time, this feeling gets much stronger. It was one of those days when I came up with this chocolate mania cake formula. And it is not just about throwing some extra chocolate into the mix. Anybody can come with that one easily. Hence, there are some dark tricks that I apply to enhance the chocolate flavor in the recipe!
Chocolate is a stimulant in many ways. Cocoa beans are loaded with many antioxidants. Though, you can only get the health benefits from the real dark chocolate or desserts and sweets that make use of it. That is why you need to pay attention to selecting the ones that contain a high amount of cocoa and cocoa butter. In fact, you can add dark chocolate as a heart-friendly ingredient to your diet.
Did you know that it took years (at least 8) to develop the first milk chocolate recipe? The original chocolate that was enjoyed by the Mayans was not sweet or solid. It was God’s drink. They often served it at special occasions such as weddings and other ceremonials. I don’t know what Mayans would really think of my chocolate mania cake recipe, but deep down inside, I have a feeling that they might have also liked it.
What tools you will need:
You need some cake essentials to make this recipe come alive. In other words, you need a quality stand mixer (or a hand mixer in the least), and round cake pans. I have a quick solution for you; 493 PCS Cake Decorating supplies. This set comes with all the tools and pans you would need to make all kinds of cakes at home. Various spatulas, a turntable, three springform cake pans, piping icing tips, wire whisks, and more. It is a complete package for any cake baker. There is also one heart shaped cake pan in the package.
Chocolate Mania Cake Recipe
For starters, this is not a sponge cake recipe. I wanted to create a super moist enough cake before adding any glaze or icing. So, the fat content is high in comparison. Do not worry, as I rely more on olive oil instead of butter with my cakes. Additionally, I bake at a lower setting than regular cake baking temperatures. This method allows us to keep the cake moister, and the cake comes out with a flatter top. Most cake recipes call for the 350 °F settings, but instead, we will slightly dial it down to 325 °F today. Also, make sure you do not overmix or overbake. Please make sure you check with a toothpick to see if it is done.
Our goal with this recipe is to boost the chocolate flavor as much as we can. So, how can you amplify the chocolate flavor in chocolate cake? For that, you can use two main tricks; adding coffee and using hot water in the batter. Both of these techniques can help to improve the chocolate flavor immensely. Note that you can also use strong brewed coffee instead and omit the hot water.
In general, we start making cake batters with the creaming process. In other words, we would cream the butter and sugar together to lock the air inside the batter. However, I do not use any butter in today’s recipe. Therefore, we will mix all the dry ingredients first, and add the eggs and other liquid ingredients later. Please keep in mind that there is no need to overmix. So, slightly stirring until no dry parts left would be sufficient.
Chocolate Mania Cake RecipeCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy
1 ¾ cups cake flour (use all-purpose if you can’t find and add 1 tablespoon vinegar)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 medium size eggs
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup olive oil (use your favorite vegetable oil)
1/2 cup warm coffee (any kind you like)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon wheat starch
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Chocolate frosting ingredients
1 ½ cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/2 cup softened butter (unsalted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons warm milk
Pinch of salt
Crushed pistachios for decorating (use your favorite nuts or chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 325 °F (160 °C).
- Brush the pan with olive oil and place it in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a spatula.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then add to the cake mixture.
- Add the rest of the liquid ingredients to the batter and mix at low speed for about a minute or two or until no dry parts are left.
- Remove the cake pan from the fridge and pour the cake batter into it.
- Bake at 325 °F (160 °C) for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Making the chocolate frosting
- Place the butter and cocoa in a medium bowl and whip with a hand mixer.
- Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
- Continue to stir.
- Gradually add two to three tablespoons of warm milk and continue to whip at slow speed until the mixture is smooth enough to spread.
- Add more warm milk if the mixture is too thick.
- Bringing it together
- Let the cake cool down for thirty minutes.
- Split the cake in half by using a string or bread knife. (Make sure to wet the knife)
- Spread frosting on the first layer, add the second slice of the cake on top.
- Spread frosting on the second slice and also on the sides.
- Place the cake in the fridge for at least thirty minutes before serving.
- Decorate as you wish. (I decorated the sides with crushed pistachios)
- If you want to make the cake extra moist, you can add two extra egg yolks to the batter. This will make the cake further rich and moist. Do not take out the original amount of eggs from the recipe. Add the egg yolks in addition to the eggs the recipe calls for in the first place.
Why does chocolate make me feel happy?
Eating chocolate makes everyone happy for sure. However, the exceptional taste is not the only reason. Chocolate contains several mood-lifting compounds. For instance, there is phenylethylamine that regulates mood. Tryptophan, on the other hand, is found in small quantities and may aid to produce the happiness and well-being hormone called serotonin. The serotonin hormone aids the brain cells to communicate with each other. On a side note, serotonin also helps with digestion and sleeping better. Doctors prescribe drugs containing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) to overcome depression. In other words, serotonin is used as an antidepressant, and it is also found in cheese and nuts. Depression is also linked to inflammation. Eating dark chocolate may help to reduce inflammation in your body which would eventually help to reduce depression. Note that the cacao plant also contains theobromine (xantheose), which is known as a blood vessel widener. Other happiness molecules found in cocoa beans are anandamide and dopamine.
How do you make chocolate flavored cake better?
Whether you fancy coffee or not, it helps to improve and bring the flavor of chocolate to the cake more upfront. According to your preference, you can use freshly brewed coffee, ground coffee, instant coffee, or dry espresso powder. If you are using fresh coffee, omit the water in the recipe. If using dry coffee, then add about a teaspoon of coffee along with dry ingredients to the batter. No need to dissolve the dry coffee in the water before adding it to the mix.
What does buttermilk do for a cake?
Buttermilk is an essential ingredient if you want to make a moist cake with abundant flavors. Note that buttermilk is acidic. It achieves to soften the gluten in the cake batter. In return, your cake becomes softer, moister, and fluffier. However, it does not stop there. Adding buttermilk to cake batter helps to bring out the flavors while improving texture. If you like dense and moist cakes, buttermilk should be one of your main cake ingredients.