Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

IMG_1803 (493x575)Some friends from Rhode Island made the trip to the Cape last weekend. Obviously, this called for a special dessert—and, since my friend Barb is a chocoholic and Valentine’s Day was around the corner, it was a no-brainer to make this cake.

The recipe for this outstanding chocolate cake is from Ina Garten of the Food Network. All the reviews were stellar and spot on. The cake is a deep, dark chocolate, nicely dense and oh so moist. It easily makes my list of the top ten best-ever chocolate cakes.

If you want to please the chocoholic in your life, make this decadently delicious chocolate cake and pair it with Ina’s chocolate frosting, my favorite chocolate ganache, or your own favorite frosting.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

One year ago: Blue-cheese-crusted Filet Mignon with Port Wine Sauce

Two years ago: Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Three years ago: Southern-style Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Four years ago: Brownies with White and Dark Hearts

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

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  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350o F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. (You can use two 9″ round cake pans instead, but you will need to adjust the baking time by a few minutes less.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

IMG_1815 (575x377)Ingredients for Ina’s Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tbl. instant coffee powder

Directions for Ina’s Chocolate Frosting

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Fran’s Notes

I have included Ina’s recipe for chocolate frosting here, but I decided to use one of my favorite chocolate ganaches instead so that I wouldn’t have to worry about pasteurizing the raw egg called for in Ina’s recipe. The ganache is the one I used to frost my Southern style chocolate cake, another top contender for best chocolate cake ever.

IMG_1813 (413x575)Source: A recipe from Ina Garten

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