EASY, BEST-EVER DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE WITH ORANGE MASCARPONE FROSTING
Cake-baking is a bit of a dying art. Back in the day, it was a common occurrence to end a family meal with a homey layer cake, piled high with swirly frosting. These days, the idea of tackling a layer cake can be a bit daunting, but I promise it’s so worth it and a lot easier than you’d imagine! This cake recipe comes from a pastry chef friend of mine, who says this is her go-to recipe. I recently used the cake recipe for my son’s birthday, and if the chocolate spread across his face from ear to ear is any indication, it was a hit.
The chocolate cake is indulgently dark, rich and moist. Bonus, it’s also incredibly easy to make. It’s a one-bowl, one-whisk recipe that’s practically foolproof. There’s no monkeying with alternating between wet and dry ingredients, but no sacrifices are made as far as taste or texture. Topped with a tangy, creamy and sophisticated orange-infused mascarpone frosting, this may just be the perfect way to end a meal or celebrate a special occasion. *cough* Mother’s Day *cough*
For decorating inspiration, visit our pinterest page. https://www.pinterest.com/fttbm/f-l-o-w-e-r-%2B-f-l-o-u-r/
I ultimately went with a very simple decoration of kumquat branches and chamomile flowers, but this would be a great opportunity to do a little experimentation with edible flowers. The white frosting would provide a blank canvas for bright flowers such as pansies or lavender. Just remember when buying edible flowers to go for those grown organically, in order to avoid pesticides. Another tip: cut the flowers from their stems as close to decorating and serving time as possible; no one wants wilting blooms on their cake!
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar*
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot chocolate
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*Note: I like to keep the sugar low for the kids, however, if you like the real deal, increase to 1½ or 2 c. of sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans (preferably springform for easy removal later) and dust with cocoa powder.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in eggs, hot chocolate, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined. Divide evenly between prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
ORANGE-INFUSED MASCARPONE FROSTING
Peel of 1 orange
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (more or less, to taste)
Place cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add orange zest to the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the cream has taken on some orange flavor.
Take cream off the heat. Remove zest with a tongs or by straining the cream. Discard zest. Allow cream to cool a bit before placing in the refrigerator until completely chilled. (Note: The cream must be chilled before it can be whipped – step 3.)
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream just until very soft peaks form. Watch the texture in the video, be careful not to over whip the cream.
In a second bowl, beat together mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold cream into the mascarpone mixture until incorporated. Frost cake as desired.