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Finding the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Part 2)


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Forgive me! I am searching for a red velvet cake recipe (have an order due Wednesday) and came across this topic first. I have now located the red velevet cake thread.

That said, I am happy I read thru ALL the pages here as I am now dying to try some of the chocolate cake recipes mentioned here... YUM!

Edited by jlwquilter (log)
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  • 4 months later...

I know I'm coming into this real late, but this is for others like me who may read this and want a good review. Based on everyone's posts, I took the Woolley cake and the Epicurious cake as the best rated and tried them out.

As someone upthread did, I too stacked the Woolley on top on the Epicurious, filled with white chocolate ganache, and topped with Caramel Chocolate Ganache. Woolley cake, though good taste-wise, was very crumbly, and really difficult to handle. On the other hand, the Double Chocolate handled really well, and even had a better taste. It was moist and tight. Oh, and everyone was raving about the caramel chocolate ganache. It was spectacular :-)

I'll definately be making the Epicurious cake again, though I may add a little more chocolate. This may be a matter of personal taste, but I like my cakes to be really rich. There were many [or most] that loved it as is!

Epicurious - 4.5/5

Woolley 3/5

CC ganache 10/5 :P

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I know I'm coming into this real late, but this is for others like me who may read this and want a good review. Based on everyone's posts, I took the Woolley cake and the Epicurious cake as the best rated and tried them out.

As someone upthread did, I too stacked the Woolley on top on the Epicurious, filled with white chocolate ganache, and topped with Caramel Chocolate Ganache. Woolley cake, though good taste-wise, was  very crumbly, and really difficult to handle. On the other hand, the Double Chocolate handled really well, and even had a better taste. It was moist and tight. Oh, and everyone was raving about the caramel chocolate ganache. It was spectacular :-)

I'll definately be making the Epicurious cake again, though I may add a little more chocolate. This may be a matter of personal taste, but I like my cakes to be really rich. There were many [or most] that loved it as is!

Epicurious - 4.5/5

Woolley 3/5

CC ganache 10/5 :P

Caramel Chocolate Ganache! Sounds delicious. Where can I find this recipe?

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Hmmm... I found it somewhere upthread, but can't be bothered to look back through the pages. So I'm copying from my file -

Chocolate caramel ganache [Pierre Hermes]

6 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 ½ ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

combine chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tbsp salted butter

1 cup plus 2 tbsp whipping cream

1 ½ cups unsalted butter(3 sticks)

Put one third of sugar in the bottom of heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When it starts to melt, stir with wooden spoon. Once completely melted, add another third of the sugar. Once that is melted, add the last third of sugar. Cook till amber color reached(be careful it does not burn). Add butter-careful it will foam up. Once butter is combined, add the cream. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour half of this over the chocolate and stir until smooth(the small the chocolate is chopped, the faster it will combine). Once smooth, add the rest of the cream and stir until smooth.

While the chocolate mixture cools, take the room temperature butter and with either the mixer on low speed(paddle) or with a rubber spoon, soften until it looks like mayonnaise. Do this slowly-you do not want a lot of air in the butter. It should take about 10 minutes.

Gently stir the butter into the chocolate with a rubber spatula-you don’t want a lot of air bubbles. Stir until the mixture is smooth-this can take a little while.

Let sit for an hour or so, stirring occasionally until spreadable consistency. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. I was able to pipe borders with it once it had cooled enough.

It's great. You must try it! :-) Thanks to whoever posted it.

Edited by lostbaker (log)
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Hmmm... I found it somewhere upthread, but can't be bothered to look back through the pages. So I'm copying from my file -

Chocolate caramel ganache [Pierre Hermes]

6 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 ½ ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

combine chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tbsp salted butter

1 cup plus 2 tbsp whipping cream

1 ½ cups unsalted butter(3 sticks)

Put one third of sugar in the bottom of heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When it starts to melt, stir with wooden spoon. Once completely melted, add another third of the sugar. Once that is melted, add the last third of sugar. Cook till amber color reached(be careful it does not burn). Add butter-careful it will foam up. Once butter is combined, add the cream. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour half of this over the chocolate and stir until smooth(the small the chocolate is chopped, the faster it will combine). Once smooth, add the rest of the cream and stir until smooth.

While the chocolate mixture cools, take the room temperature butter and with either the mixer on low speed(paddle) or with a rubber spoon, soften until it looks like mayonnaise. Do this slowly-you do not want a lot of air in the butter. It should take about 10 minutes.

Gently stir the butter into the chocolate with a rubber spatula-you don’t want a lot of air bubbles. Stir until the mixture is smooth-this can take a little while.

Let sit for an hour or so, stirring occasionally until spreadable consistency. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. I was able to pipe borders with it once it had cooled enough.

It's great. You must try it! :-) Thanks to whoever posted it.

Thank you so much for posting this for me. I can't wait to give it a try at the next birthday gathering.

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Hmmm... I found it somewhere upthread, but can't be bothered to look back through the pages. So I'm copying from my file -

Chocolate caramel ganache [Pierre Hermes]

6 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 ½ ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

combine chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tbsp salted butter

1 cup plus 2 tbsp whipping cream

1 ½ cups unsalted butter(3 sticks)

Put one third of sugar in the bottom of heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When it starts to melt, stir with wooden spoon. Once completely melted, add another third of the sugar. Once that is melted, add the last third of sugar. Cook till amber color reached(be careful it does not burn). Add butter-careful it will foam up. Once butter is combined, add the cream. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour half of this over the chocolate and stir until smooth(the small the chocolate is chopped, the faster it will combine). Once smooth, add the rest of the cream and stir until smooth.

While the chocolate mixture cools, take the room temperature butter and with either the mixer on low speed(paddle) or with a rubber spoon, soften until it looks like mayonnaise. Do this slowly-you do not want a lot of air in the butter. It should take about 10 minutes.

Gently stir the butter into the chocolate with a rubber spatula-you don’t want a lot of air bubbles. Stir until the mixture is smooth-this can take a little while.

Let sit for an hour or so, stirring occasionally until spreadable consistency. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. I was able to pipe borders with it once it had cooled enough.

It's great. You must try it! :-) Thanks to whoever posted it.

How do you think this would taste, eliminating the milk chocolate, and using all bittersweet or a combination of bittersweet and semisweet? I like very dark chocolate and don't like things too sweet, so was wondering....

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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How do you think this would taste, eliminating the milk chocolate, and using all bittersweet or a combination of bittersweet and semisweet? I like very dark chocolate and don't like things too sweet, so was wondering....

I don't usually have milk chocolate in my house so I've made it with dark and bittersweet and it's delicious! Keeps forever in the freezer if you happen to have leftovers.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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How do you think this would taste, eliminating the milk chocolate, and using all bittersweet or a combination of bittersweet and semisweet? I like very dark chocolate and don't like things too sweet, so was wondering....

I don't usually have milk chocolate in my house so I've made it with dark and bittersweet and it's delicious! Keeps forever in the freezer if you happen to have leftovers.

Thanks so much!

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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  • 4 years later...

The following pretty much constitutes a brain dump, so please forgive the length of this post. I took a lot of notes while baking, finishing and tasting these cakes and just wanted to make sure I didn’t leave too much out. And if anyone makes me taste another bite of chocolate cake in the next three days, I think I shall have them beheaded. tongue.gif

Some of you might find it interesting to look at the following chart I prepared the other morning to compare the two recipes. If anyone wants to check my figures, please feel free to do so…I wasn’t fully caffeinated at the time I put it together. This is based upon the reduced baking soda version I made for the Double Chocolate cake. As you can see, there are some really interesting differences between these two cakes.

As well, I thought it would be helpful for you to see a picture of the two cakes side-by-side. That’s the CI cake on the right, and the Double Chocolate cake on the left. No artistic photography here like Patrick’s…did these flat on purpose so you could properly see the differences. (Sorry for the quality of the photo…I have a very old, very crappy digital camera.) Also, I tried to do a very light layer of ganache so the cakes flavors were not masked. (Just try asking my husband to eat a cake without a bite of frosting…)

Let me start by giving just a little bit of background about the baking of these two cakes. As noted in my earlier post, with the CI cake I baked an 8” round and a 4” round. The batter depth of the 8” round was 1” and 1.5” in the 4” round. The 8” round rose almost all the way up the 3” pan and the 4” round rose the full height of the 3” pan. There was absolutely no doming on either cake. All in all, the CI cakes rose beautifully. With the Double Chocolate (which I made first) I made 8”, 4” and 3” rounds. The batter depth was 1” in the 8” round and 1.5” in the 3” and 4” rounds. The cake rose to the full height in the 3” and 4” rounds, but I had significant doming in the 8” round and some doming in the other two. (I forgot my Magic Strips on the 8”, and then decided for comparison sake not to use them on the CI cake), It’s difficult to say exactly how high the 8” cake rose because of the doming. If it hadn’t domed, I would venture to say it probably would have been 2/3 up the pan.

Last night as I was finishing the cakes, the first thing I immediately noticed was the CI cake had a reddish cast from the natural cocoa powder the Double Chocolate cake did not. It kind of surprised me given how much more chocolate to cocoa powder there is in the CI cake relative to the Double Chocolate cake. Yes, there is more cocoa powder in the CI cake on a percentage basis, but not on a baker’s percentage basis. If anything, I would have expected exactly the opposite. If anyone has a theory, I’d be interested to hear it.

With regard to taste, having made both batters the same day I did come into this cake tasting with something of a preconceived idea of which cake I thought would have more chocolate flavor. The Double Chocolate batter was definitely much more intense and chocolately satisfying straight out of the bowl than the CI batter. (It was also darker…not a valid measure I know, but visual queues are always something we tend to notice anyway.) And, to some extent my expectations did match my taste experience, but not quite in the way I thought they would. The Double Chocolate cake comes on strong from the moment you bite into it. And it stays strong with a long finish. The CI cake is much more subtle. It starts a little softer then builds in flavor and then finishes more softly. And I think it’s mostly the coffee in the Double Chocolate cake recipe that is giving that flavor, for if you look at the chart, you’ll see that the amount of chocolate (in combo with cocoa powder) in the Double Chocolate cake is actually a lot less than in the CI cake. And, next to each other, the Double Chocolate cake definitely has an acidic finish. Not one you’d necessarily notice without having something next to it to compare it to, but it’s definitely there, and that has to be the coffee.

As for the crumb, as I noted in my prior post the Double Chocolate cake definitely benefited from the reduction in baking soda. The crumb of this cake was much less crumbly than the first time I made it, and the rise was much better. But the cake the texture of the cake bordered on rubbery and I know I didn’t over-mix it. My husband said it’s almost too moist, and I would tend to agree. There was also unevenness to the crumb that in combination with the (what I would characterize as almost excessive) doming suggests to me there may still be leavening issues with this cake. As well, I’m thinking there might be too much flour. (I got one heck of a crack on the top of my 8” cake and that can be a sign of too much flour. Of course it could also just be because of its doming.) I really do like the flavor of this cake and I think the texture can be improved. I’m thinking of playing with the following: eliminating the baking powder and slightly increasing the baking soda to compensate, increasing the number of eggs and slightly reducing the coffee, eliminating the oil and increasing the butter, reducing the flour and changing to AP or a combo or AP and cake and, changing the mixing method. I wish I worked for a test kitchen and could play with all these variables all day, but alas, I do not and cannot afford that kind of luxury on my own. I’ll probably do a few of these on one or two cakes.

The crumb of the CI cake was great, as everyone else that has made it has already noted. I know CI says not to change pan sizes with this cake, but they were really referring to trying to make this a sheet cake. It works beautifully in rounds. If you want to make this in two 9” rounds, my rough calculations suggest you’ll need to scale up the recipe by about 25-30%. If you want a more assertive chocolate flavor, you might try substituting coffee for the water the next time you make it to see how you like that.

Taking into account taste, texture and crumb, if I were to compare these two cakes against each other to wine, I’d say the Double Chocolate Cake is a Cabernet Sauvignon and the CI cake is a Pinot Noir. Both are good, it’s really just a matter of what you’re in the mood for. I personally believe there are still some problems with the overall balance of the Double Chocolate cake recipe as far as texture and crumb, and for me, the overall experience is suboptimal because of it. I really want to try and fix that, because I love the flavor of this cake.

Thank you for this comparison. I love the CI sour cream bundt cake -- but I'm trying to work it for a layer cake. When you made it as a layer cake, did you notice any sinking of the cake? I made it today and I had a severe depression in the centre (probably 1/2"). I'd like to keep the height, if possible. The only modifications I made were using Dutch Processed Cocoa and baking in a 9" round x 2" high pan. I often bake from RLB and know that too much leavening can cause structural issues with larger cakes (which makes total sense since it was developed as a bundt cake) -- has anyone made with a reduction in baking soda? Also, it has a very high ratio of sugar to flour and that too can make the cake more tender. I'd love to hear if someone has made this as a 10" round cake or 9" round and how it worked. I absolutely love almost everything about the cake -- I just wish it would bake nicely as a 10" or 9" round cake. It could be slightly more chocolaty, but the texture, overall flavour, and moistness, and slicing qualities make it a 9.5 in my books.

FYI, I'm using Dutched Cocoa because I don't have much natural cocoa available.

Edited to add: I don't think I underbaked...I pulled cake at about 192F which is consistent with most other chocolate cakes I make...otherwise they end up dry/overdone.

Edited by sanndennis (log)
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  • 7 months later...

It midsummer eve on Friday and I thought I would jazz up the traditional  Strawberry and cream dessert with adding a chocolate cake to it but I cant figure out which one I should make.

 

French chocolate cake.

http://recipes-cake.net/recipe/french-chocolate-cake/

 

Chocolate cloud cake:

 

http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/chocolate-cloud-c

 

Or should I just make brownies or kladdkaka?

 

Help!

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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For some reason your cloud cake link doesn't work.  Is this it?  Nigella's Chocolate Cloud Cake

 

I adore chocolate desserts - the richer, the better.  In this particular instance I think substituting the strawberries and cream for the cream on top of the cloud cake - if I found the right recipe - makes sense, or to be truly degenerate add them instead of substituting.  Either would work, though, if the recipes are good ones.  Or strawberries, cream and fudgy brownies.  Or strawberries, cream and almond bark.   :wub:

 

I had to look up kladdkaka.  That looks pretty darned good too, but if you're looking to change things around, then a lighter - as in less dense - but still very chocolaty cake might be just the ticket.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Yes Nigella  cloud cake, is the one.

 

I always do kladdkaka since it is my friends favourite and I make a darn good one.   I still not sure, what to bake. Normally we only have  whipped cream and  strawberries, I want more.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Well, I'll be making a chocolate cake for Skt Hans aften, but using ATK's Devil's food cake recipe, and a bunch of pistachio...mass (?) between the layers; probably some sort of ganache over the top. Strawberries and cream on the side.

 

That Devil's food cake recipe has been repeatedly requested by everyone who's had it, definitely have to hand it to ATK for nailing it; it's lighter than [proper] brownies or kladdkaka (which I find essentially identical), but has an equally intense chocolate flavour.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Well made properly the kladdkaka doesnt have a crisp topping which a brownie has and a brownie has chocolate in it and   kladdkaka has  cocoa powder, so there is difference and also in texture.

 

I dont like Devils food cake, I never found it yummy even though every one says. I always find it too dense for my liking.

 

I think I be going with the  cloud cake.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Well made properly the kladdkaka doesnt have a crisp topping which a brownie has and a brownie has chocolate in it and   kladdkaka has  cocoa powder, so there is difference and also in texture.

 

I dont like Devils food cake, I never found it yummy even though every one says. I always find it too dense for my liking.

 

I think I be going with the  cloud cake.

Hmmmm. A brownie doesn't have to have a crisp topping and I am about to make Alice Medrich's brownies using only cocoa powder...no solid chocolate whatever. Just saying.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Well in Sweden  most Brownies recipes are hard crust and  chocolate in it.

 

Here is the kladdkaka recipe I use the most.

 

Kladdkaka

100 gram butter

2 eggs

300 ml sugar

4 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.

150 ml flour

½ tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon  liquid,  water, booze, coffee or juice

1 pinch salt

 

Heat the oven up to 150C. Find a round  pie tin , 20-24 cm wide., Melt butter, add salt  och cocoa, whisk smooth, leave.   In a separate bowl whisk  egg, sugar and vanilla fluffy, but not pale. Stir in flour and the the cocoa/butter . Stir  in the liquid  and pour  the batter into the pie tin and bake in the middle  of the oven   for 28 minutes.

Leave to cool for 1 hour,  then serve pie slices with ice cream.  But for a better taste  leave it in the  fridge   12-24 hours  and then pipe roses of whipped cream and serve with fruit.

Every one will get  a harder crust and a gooie center this way.

proper kladdkaka isnt served in squares.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Mjx:  

I never gotten the cloud cake dense, it always been like more  lite baked mousse.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Similar to a recipe I have.  Hrm, now I dont know which to make.

Aren't you glad you asked for help? :-D

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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* rips of her apron and runs screaming through the forum*

 

Yes I am, I am even more confused now.,

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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Yes but the problem is, I should not eat chocolate and this is me being naughty....  I cant do cake testing I be in pain for a few days.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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* rips of her apron and runs screaming through the forum*

 

Yes I am, I am even more confused now.,

I was glad to see on the "Your Daily Sweets" topic that you recovered yourself enough to make the cloud cake. ;-) If you're up to posting photos, we'd love to see the result, or at least hear how it came out. Either way, Happy Midsummer's Eve!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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