August 8, 2011

Double Frosted Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is a universal love.  Who doesn’t yearn to stick a fork into a large slice of moist, delectable chocolate cake with just the right amount of frosting?  I could eat chocolate cake everyday and still long for more.

I often hesitate to try newly created recipes on my guests, so I thought that I’d play it safe and use a recipe from King Arthur Flour.  KAF’s readers gave it 5 stars, so I knew it would be a crowd pleaser.  Chocolate and espresso are a classic combination, and the picture of the cake on the KAF site looked divine.  Oh yes, I can get weak in the knees over a beautiful photograph of cake.

Alas, my rendition of the KAF cake didn’t really thrill me.  It looked so bare, even with the frosting.  KAF calls for a chocolate ganache -- a simple icing made from chocolate and cream that’s poured over the cake and allowed to drip down the sides.  It’s quite delicious, but it looks more like a glaze than a traditional frosting.  I suppose that I could have whipped it before pouring it over the cake.  Too late!  So what’s a girl to do when faced with a totally boring cake?  Frost it again!  With a different, but complementary, frosting!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!

I decided to throw together a quick salted Kahlua buttercream frosting -- with more chocolate, of course.  Now the cake finally had all of my favorite notes: Kahlua, chocolate, espresso, sugar and salt.  Yum!  (Admit it, they’re your favorite flavors, too.  And if you really love Kahlua be sure to check out my post about Kahlua Blondies!)  The contrast of two frostings was so delicious that I think that I’ll do double frostings on almost all of my cakes from now on.  A happy (and delectable) accident indeed!

The cake recipe is available via King Arthur Flour.  I followed the full recipe, including the frosting/ganache.  After chilling in the refrigerator, I frosted it again with a buttercream frosting (below).  In the buttercream frosting you can easily adjust the ratio of confectioners' sugar to butter to achieve your desired consistency and sweetness.  The Kahlua could also be substituted for any liquor or extract of your desire: vanilla extract would be a good choice; and if you’re feeling wild how about Frangelico or Chambord!

Easy Salted Kahlua Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost the outside of a layer cake.  Double recipe to use as filling between layers.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup cocoa powder
1 Tbs Kahula
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ Tbs flaked sea salt
2 to 3 Tbs milk

Beat the butter until creamy.  Add the cocoa, Kahlua and salt; mix until incorporated.  Add the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, until desired consistency and sweetness is achieved.  If the frosting seems too thick, add a tablespoon of milk (or two or three) to thin it a bit.  Too thin?  Add more confectioners’ sugar, one tablespoon at a time.  Frost your cake, grab a fork and dig in!

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