Valentine’s Day calls for chocolate, and this easy recipe for a small but satisfying ultra-chocolaty cake from Butter Celebrates!, the latest cookbook from Vancouver’s Butter Baked Goods, does the trick whether you’re sharing it with someone or not.
Chocolate Cake for Two (or lucky you)
Makes: 1 5-inch cake
3 ⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 ⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 ⁄2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 ⁄4 cup brewed coffee
1 ⁄4 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 ⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1 ⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 ⁄4 cup buttermilk
3 cups chocolate ganache (recipe below)
1 cup chocolate springs for encrusting the sides of cake
1 (5- x 3-inch) cake pan (this cake is not layered and requires a deeper pan), buttered and floured
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175 ºC.
On a large piece of parchment paper, sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a double boiler over medium heat, or a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips with the coffee and butter. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined and pale yellow.
Turn the mixer speed to low and add the chocolate mixture. Beat again until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately (beginning and ending with the dry). Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least twice during the mixing process.
Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it on a wire rack to cool completely. Turn the cake out while it is still quite warm as it gives it a nice flat top, which is ideal for glazing.
Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate ganache (recipe below). If you find you have some leftovers once the cake has been glazed, you can always tuck the ganache in the refrigerator, where it will keep nicely for at least 1 week. Warming it up and pouring it over ice cream is a delicious way to use it up.
Place the chocolate sprinkles in a large mixing bowl.
Once the cake has cooled completely, place the wire rack over a large piece of parchment or a cookie sheet. This will help catch any drips of ganache, which you can scoop up and reuse.
If you find the top of your cake still has a slight rise in the center, you can always use a large serrated knife to trim the top of the cake flat (the trimmed bits are lovely to snack on). Glazing the cake bottom side up ensures a perfectly flat top on the cake, which looks the best with the finished ganache.
Pour a good helping of the ganache in the center of the cake and use a small offset spatula to spread it to the edges. The ganache will start to run down the sides of the cake. Continue to use the spatula to coat the sides of the cake. Do this several times to give you a nice thick coating. Tap the wire rack lightly on the counter to help the ganache settle smoothly.
Encrust the side of the cake with the chocolate sprinkles.
Makes: 3 cups
3 cups dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1⁄4 cup whipping cream
In a double boiler over medium heat, or a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and butter.
Remove the chocolate from the heat and whisk in the cream. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before use.
The ganache can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use it, place the bowl over a simmering pot of water to warm it through.
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