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Finding the Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Part 1)


Wendy DeBord
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This thread is awesome reading. Must bake a chocolate cake soon.

Will it be CI.1, CI.2.1.2.1.1, CI the original, Wooley, or ????

Or should CI 2/1/1/1/2 better be referred to as CI ala steve/ling/WtruffleG etal?

Oh yeah, its definitely time to give a couple of these tweaked and optimized recipes their own names.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Is this the brand you're refering to. 

http://beryls.safeshopper.com/142/cat142.htm?386

This is what I use.

Yes, that's the one, but I hope you're not ordering from that site - they are way overpriced - $6.50 for a 4 oz jar, plus $7.00 Shipping???? That's a total rip-off. I checked around and found two other sites that sell it for much less. The first site sells double the size (8 oz) for 11 cents less than beryl's 4 oz jar, plus only $4.00 shipping, and their 4 oz jar is $4.59 :

8 oz jar - $6.39 - Shipping is $4.00

http://store.cubanfoodguy.com/product_info...products_id=193

4 oz jar - $4.59

http://store.cubanfoodguy.com/product_info...?products_id=62

http://www.cafecubano.com/detail.aspx?ID=110

4 oz jar - $4.39 (doesn't list shipping cost)

I missed your post and just came across it today. Thanks for the links! I agree, Beryl's is a rip off for shipping. They charged me $14.00 to ship 10 Choc. Transfer Sheets to Hawaii. When I got the box, I noticed it only cost them $4.00! After several email, they finally refunded the difference.

Edited by freddurf (log)
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Is this the brand you're refering to. 

http://beryls.safeshopper.com/142/cat142.htm?386

This is what I use.

Yes, that's the one, but I hope you're not ordering from that site - they are way overpriced - $6.50 for a 4 oz jar, plus $7.00 Shipping???? That's a total rip-off. I checked around and found two other sites that sell it for much less. The first site sells double the size (8 oz) for 11 cents less than beryl's 4 oz jar, plus only $4.00 shipping, and their 4 oz jar is $4.59 :

8 oz jar - $6.39 - Shipping is $4.00

http://store.cubanfoodguy.com/product_info...products_id=193

4 oz jar - $4.59

http://store.cubanfoodguy.com/product_info...?products_id=62

http://www.cafecubano.com/detail.aspx?ID=110

4 oz jar - $4.39 (doesn't list shipping cost)

I missed your post and just came across it today. Thanks for the links! I agree, Beryl's is a rip off for shipping. They charged me $14.00 to ship 10 Choc. Transfer Sheets to Hawaii. When I got the box, I noticed it only cost them $4.00! After several email, they finally refunded the difference.

Glad to help!

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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After admiring so many pis here i am finally ready to post some of mine :wink:

gallery_37621_2582_435060.jpg

This is the double chocolate cake with white chocolate espesso filling and espresso buttercream. This was a hit with everyone. I cut back the sugar because i don't like my cakes too sweet and used some unsweetened scharffenberger.

gallery_37621_2582_57795.jpg

This was a baby shower cake i made for someone . I used the hersey recipe and doubled it. I wished i had taken a picture of the cake itself. I wasn't too crazy about the texture of this cake and the flavor wasn't bad.

I di like the sue b cakes texture alot. My husband said the flavor reminded him of a vegan cake we had from a farmers market here in town.

I am gonna try the wooley cake sometime.

So far the double chocolate cake has everything i want in a chocolate cake.

And of course i still love my chocolate genoise!!!!!!

Edited by kaneel (log)
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  • 1 month later...
We keep comparing the Epicurious Double Chocolate Cake to the Hershey's Black Magic cake so I decided to get both original recipes straight from their respective websites and compare the two.  The first difference was that the DCC recipe is for two 10" pans and the BMC is for two 9" pans.  I used mastercook to scale down the DCC recipe for two 9" pans (scaled down by 1/3) and here are the two ingredient lists:

Black Magic Cake

2 cups  sugar

1  3/4 cups  all-purpose flour

3/4 cup  HERSHEY'S Cocoa

2 teaspoons  baking soda

1 teaspoon  baking powder

1 teaspoon  salt

2 eggs

1 cup  buttermilk

1 cup  coffee

1/2 cup  vegetable oil

1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE

2 ounces  semisweet chocolate

1 cup  coffee

2 cups  sugar

1 2/3 cups  all-purpose flour

1 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/3 teaspoons  baking soda

1/2 teaspoon  baking powder

7/8 teaspoon  salt

2 large  eggs

1/2 cup  vegetable oil

1 cup  well-shaken buttermilk

1/2      teaspoon  vanilla

They are indeed very similar.  The DCC has the addition of two ounces chocolate, 1/4 c more cocoa (a few grams less flour) and slightly less leavening.  The two do use different mixing methods, however, and bake at different temps.

I kicked this thread back up to get opinions on adjusting the leavening in the Black Magic Cake. I made this cake for the first time recently (requested by daughter for birthday cake, with a meringue frosting). I'm not a big fan of cakes leavened with baking soda and powder, as I seem to be very sensitive to their presence in the final product, which always tastes somewhat off and "soapy" to me. 2 tsp of soda and 1 tsp powder seemed like a lot to me, and the DCC recipe uses just over half these amounts, with only slight differences in the other ingredients. How minimalist of an approach to these leaveners do you think you can go without compromising the texture of the BMC cake?

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  • 5 weeks later...

I just spent my entire lunch break digesting this thread (as quickly as I can), and I'm so impressed by the talented people who have contributed to it so far. And what a mine of information!

I will be making the double chocolate cake this weekend for my inlaw's 65th birthday. Does anyone know if I can double the recipe without comprosing its quality/taste? I want to use two 9" x 13" pans, so do I need to adjust the baking time and/or oven temperature? My apologies in advance if these questions were answered earlier (I definitely read this thread too quickly).

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Zee, I don't think it would be a problem to double the recipe and it should do fine in a 9x13. You might want to throw in an upside down flower nail in the center or use a heating core for even baking, and/or use some moistening (magic) strips around the pan(s).

I use this general scaling program for my cake recipes;

http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/Recipes...conversions.php

The Double Chocolate Cake is the second best recipe I have found so far for chocolate cake, not many can beat it.

Edited by RodneyCk (log)
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I just spent my entire lunch break digesting this thread (as quickly as I can), and I'm so impressed by the talented people who have contributed to it so far. And what a mine of information!

I will be making the double chocolate cake this weekend for my inlaw's 65th birthday. Does anyone know if I can double the recipe without comprosing its quality/taste? I want to use two 9" x 13" pans, so do I need to adjust the baking time and/or oven temperature? My apologies in advance if these questions were answered earlier (I definitely read this thread too quickly).

I'm not sure I'd double it for 2 9x13's. I'd be tempted to either use:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate

17 fluid ounces water

1 1/3 tablespoons instant coffee powder

28 ounces sugar

15 ounces all-purpose flour

6 1/2 ounces cocoa, not Dutch process

2 2/3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 2/3 teaspoons salt

7 2/3 fluid ounces vegetable oil

17 fluid ounces buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 large eggs

OR

5 ounces semisweet chocolate

21 1/4 fluid ounces water

1 2/3 tablespoons instant coffee powder

35 ounces sugar

18 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour

8 1/8 ounces cocoa, not Dutch process

3 1/3 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

2 1/16 teaspoons salt

9 5/8 fluid ounces vegetable oil

21 1/4 fluid ounces buttermilk

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

5 large eggs

I use the first ingredient list (4 egg) to bake off two half-size sheet pans which are about 17 x 11. I think if you double the original recipe you're going to have batter everywhere. :)

I've never baked it in 9x13's but I imagine it would work fine. Like RodneyCk mentioned, I'd be tempted to use magi-strips for even baking. Also, I think I would raise the temperature to 325F and start checking around 40 minutes.

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

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Zee, I don't think it would be a problem to double the recipe and it should do fine in a 9x13.  You might want to throw in an upside down flower nail in the center or use a heating core for even baking, and/or use some moistening (magic) strips around the pan(s). 

I use this general scaling program for my cake recipes;

http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/Recipes...conversions.php

The Double Chocolate Cake is the second best recipe I have found so far for chocolate cake, not many can beat it.

Ok, I'll take the bait. What's THE best chocolate cake recipe you've found so far?

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Ok, I'll take the bait.  What's THE best chocolate cake recipe you've found so far?

Well mine of course! lol. I just had it one day. I must have tested a dozen recipes trying to find the essence of a good chocolate cake. Like I said, the only one that came close to my ideal cake was the Double Chocolate Layer Cake from Epicurious. However, the 4 or 4.5 rating it received here on eGullet, I would have to agree with. It is almost perfect, but still not ideal.

So, I set out reading the basics of cake recipe construction and then what ingredients stand out in chocolate cakes, particularily the Devil's Food cakes (key), veg oil or butter, sour cream or buttermilk, white sugar or brown sugar, etc., getting most of the best testing tips from Cook's Illustrated, Alton Brown and Shirley O' Corriher's books. So I wrote a good basic chocolate cake recipe and began the balancing act, both in structure and taste, doing more tests until I achieved the perfect chocolate cake. It is moist, fudgy (important, something the epicurious cake is lacking), yet still maintains all the qualities that are characteristic of a "cake." Everyone, including myself, that has tasted it so far reacts with, "Wow!", and this pleases me.

I can assume what your next question will be. I am one that is willing to share most recipes and help with any problem, usually, but this one is my baby. If one day, I ever win the lottery and get to open my own cake making business, this will be my one and only signature recipe, or maybe one of two. I want to work on a white cake recipe next which is a real challenge. The Cook's Illustrated White Layer cake is hard to beat, superb in just about every way. I just love a good challenge, so here we go again.

:wink:

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Thanks RodneyCk and CandianBakin' for your responses. I decided to purchased a new 11 x 17 sheet pan (my oven will only fit one at a time) and have a full day of baking to look ahead to. I'll probably do three batches (and not double or triple the recipe) for safe measure. Black forest is the general direction. Will report back, with pictures.

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So I made black forest cakes based on the double chocolate cake recipe (latest, revised version), an 11" x 17" rectangular and a 9" round.

Compared to other chocolate cake recipes I've tried, the double chocolate really has the best structure. It looked great coming out of the oven - nicely risen and even. The texture was also interesting - a bit spongy and a bit fudge-like. As for the black forest treatment, with the cherry filling and whipped cream, I actually didn't take to it too much. A chocolate ganache would've provided a much better balance (sweetness and texture). It also didn't help that the temperature in Vancouver crept up to nearly 30C, threatening the stability of the whipped cream, and that the party was a 30-minute drive away from my house. Transporting a layer cake with a car during summertime? Not a good idea.

Here are some photos:

gallery_28111_3137_5162.jpg

gallery_28111_3137_4805.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

I just made the double chocolate layer cake. Used two 9 inch round pans. I made a chocolate caramel ganache, and whipped part of it for the filling. I iced it with the plain chocolate caramel ganache, and used the runaway cake crumbs for embellishment around the sides of the cake. It reminded me of Ebinger's Blackout! Can't wait to serve it cold at the BBQ tomorrow. I think, tough, that next time I might use three 8 inch round pans instead of the two 9 inch ones.

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  I want to work on a white cake recipe next which is a real challenge.  The Cook's Illustrated White Layer cake is hard to beat, superb in just about every way.  I just love a good challenge, so here we go again.

:wink:

Would you mind posting the recipe?

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I made the tweaked version with four eggs instead of three and reduced the baking soda from two to one. Iced with PH's chocolate caramel ganache whipped with an added stick of butter. Good stuff, thanks to everyone experimenting with the recipe. I think next time I would stick with the original amount of baking soda, as it was a bit dense.

choccake.jpg

Michelle Pham

I like pie.

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I made the tweaked version with four eggs instead of three and reduced the baking soda from two to one. Iced with PH's chocolate caramel ganache whipped with an added stick of butter. Good stuff, thanks to everyone experimenting with the recipe. I think next time I would stick with the original amount of baking soda, as it was a bit dense.

Michelle,

If you go back and look at my posts, you'll see I also experimented with the leavening in this recipe. The original recipe calls for far too much IMO. I would not go back to the full amount of baking soda, particularly if you are using the full amount of baking powder. I might suggest splitting the difference.

I haven't made this cake again since my last post, as I've been way too busy with other things, but been meaning to get back to it. It's time for another chocolate cake. :biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...

Which recipe did you do Michelle?The double chocolate ?

I Know its an old thread but I just bake the original recipe on this thread the one Wendy posted to be tested .Still in the oven , I actually baked the cakes in 3 9 inc round pan ,and I did use the coffe as well.

Will see how come out and I was thinking to do a black forrest cake as well , it really looks yummy , thank you for the idea.

After this I really want to try the chocolate stout cake , that was mentioned in another post ( wich one?) but the recipe is on bon appetit , and can be found at epicurious.com "chocolate stout cake ".

Vanessa

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Ok I did the Wooley cake and I did as described cool for 5 wrap in plastic then froze them.I try one cake before going to work and it was very nice indeed , chocolatey , nice crumb and moistness , but it does like everyone else said crumble a lot .Anotehr thing , that I am afraid isnt fixable is that I can smell and taste the baking soda , wich I am not big fan of ,now I know that if I use baking powder instead I will end up with comething completely different , can someone explain me how this to leavaning agents work ,I have been courius to know this process for a while now ,probably I should check out some professional baking book or something?

Anyway next one will be the Stout cake that is very very intriguing ( sp ), and then the double chocolate , and then , well lets see if I am still alive after these 3 and we'll see :laugh: .

Thank you for your help

Edited by Desiderio (log)

Vanessa

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