Mother's Day is coming up this weekend, so I thought, why not make a lovely cake.
Now, I haven't seen my mother in years, as she has been teaching English in South America for quite some time, and the travel is very expensive. I miss her quite a bit, and unfortunately, I can't bring this beautiful cake to her. However, this is my first year as a mother on Mother's Day, so I'll be making this cake for my household.
I hope that you can make this cake for somebody you love, even if that somebody is yourself. ;)
Step 1: Ingredients
Baking a cake from scratch can be a little stressful, but I'll leave in some pointers to try and make it easy! This is a beautifully moist cake, made with buttermilk, a staple of the south!
For the Cake:
1 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Cup Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, non-alkalized
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Fine Salt
2.5 Oz. (1/4 Bag) 72% Cacoa Dark Chocolate, Chips or Shaved
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract, Real
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Large Eggs, preferably cage free
2 1/4 Cups Sugar
For the Frosting:
2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
5 Large Egg Whites, preferably cage free
3 Cups Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Sachet of Rose Tea
1 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
Sifter, for flour blend
Wire Cake Rack
Pastry Bag and Piping Tips
You will also want a little extra butter (2 tbsp) and cocoa powder for greasing your pans.
I highly recommend you let all your ingredients reach room temperature before incorporation so that they will blend well.
Step 2: Preheat
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Grease Your Pans
I recommend two six inch pans, but you could go bigger, smaller, or even do cupcakes with a little tampering.
Grease your pans with a heavy load of melted butter, and then dust the butter in cocoa powder. This will help your cake leave the pan with ease later on.
Step 4: Mix Dry Ingredients
Add your flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. I recommend sifting all these together through a sieve to ensure consistency, however, this is not required.
Step 5: Melt Chocolate
In a small saucepan, add your 72% cocoa chocolate, and 1 cup of boiling water. Mix vigorously with a fork until consistent, and set aside.
Step 6: Mixer
In your stand mixer, whisk your eggs on high, until foamy, 2-3 minutes. Reduce your speed and drizzle in your oil and then chocolate water, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add these slowly and take time for them to mix between products.
Step 7: Add Dry Ingredients
Start by adding your sugar, and mixing until fully blending into your wet mix. Then slowly add in the dry mix you made earlier. You may want to mix the dry ingredients in by hand so that you don't overwork your batter. Small lumps are fine, you will run this through another sieve.
Step 8: Fill Your Pans
Run your batter through a sieve to ensure the lumps are gone. Divide between your already prepared pans, and bake until cake is springy. This is usually around 40 minutes, try not to open your oven or your cake may collapse, it thrives in the warmth.
Step 9: Remove From Oven
Remove your pans from the oven when the cake has reached doneness. Let them cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, and then release them to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Step 10: Start Frosting
You can start your frosting by boiling 1/3 cup of water, and letting your rose tea bag set in it. If your tea bag doesn't have any coloration, feel free to add a few drops of a pink dye, if you prefer color.
When your water has taken a strong rose flavor, you can add it to a small saucepan with 2 cups of sugar on a medium heat to make a simple syrup. Once it's consistent and melted, remove it from the heat.
Step 11: Mix Egg Whites
Mix egg whites and cream of tartar until fluffy, and then mix in simple syrup, you should allow this to blend 5-10 minutes, until your simple syrup has cooled.
Step 12: Add Butter
Keep the mixer running, add butter in 1-2 tbsp at a time, and allow them to incorporate fully before adding more. Add in vanilla at this time.
If you find that your consistency is too runny, don't fret, you can set it in the fridge for a moment, maybe five or ten minutes, and then give it another good whip.
Step 13: Finish Frosting
When your frosting is done it will be lusciously fluffy and light, and comfortably sweet. It's amazing. Now, if your cakes are room temperature, you can start frosting them, but if they are not, go ahead and leave this frosting in the fridge.
Step 14: Frost Your Cake
Now, I prefer the "naked" cake look, which is what I'm going to show in this Instructable, however, if you want to fully frost your cake, you are absolutely welcome to do that! The frosting is delicious, I promise no one will complain.
So, to get started, you'll want to place four sheets of parchment paper on your serving dish of choice, as shown in the image. This is to ensure that your serving dish stays nice and clean from frosting and cake crumbs during the frosting process.
Lay your first cooled cake on top of the paper.
Step 15: Pipe
Put a large dollop of frosting in the center, and then pipe around the edges with your preferred piping tip. Flatten it consistently with your spatula for the next layer.
Step 16: Add Layer
Very carefully, place your second cake on top of the first. Repeat the same frosting step for the top.
Additionally, I added a small flower piped on top, with a red candy detail, and some piping on the bottom of the cake, but feel free to use your own artistic interpretation.
Step 17: Serve and Enjoy
This is such a decadent cake, and at the same time, because of the egg whites, the frosting is so light and fluffy! You don't feel like it's clinging to your mouth, as some other chocolate cakes leave me. I really hope you enjoy it.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I check in regularly and will get to you as soon as I possibly can. Thank you!