Although not everyone loves fudge, when you do, it's important to make the very best fudge chocolate you can.
Mr. Gracie's Fudgetastic Cake recipe is one of my favorites and it satisfies the longing in my soul and tastebuds for great chocolate.
When I have a slice of this delicious cake I can feel the happiness all the way into the roots of my hair.
Since this is primarily a hair, beauty, health and related blog, I apologize for going way off topic.
Warning: If you only want to read about this blog's traditional topics, you may wish to stop reading now.
I've included the recipe I received from my grandmother many years ago including some of my favorite cake baking tips.
Make sure you have the following tools.
The keys to a great cakes are having the proper ingredients, tools and following all of the directions closely.
-2 round or square 9" professional nonstick layer cake pans-offset spatula or similar
- handheld or standalone mixer-oven thermometer
Note: The color of the pans you use is important.
Glass or dark nonstick pans usually require a 20- 25-degree reduction in baking temperature versus baking with a silver-colored aluminum pans.
2 1/2 cups unsifted cake flour (20 ounces if you prefer to weigh rather than measure).Note: Don't substitute self-raising or regular flour.
9 tablespoons unsweetened Bournville or Green & Black's cocoa powder (use high quality cocoa powder for the best results)
1 teaspoon baking soda (be sure to check the used by date)1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pre-softened butter2 1/2 cups of firmly packed dark brown sugar (1 pound)
2 large eggs at room temperature (large eggs are best for helping a cake to rise)1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups water at room temperatureOptional: 1 teaspoon espresso powder to amp up the chocolate flavor
Directions1. Grease and flour 2 round or square layer cake pans.
2. Combine dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.3. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well.
On the lowest speed, add dry ingredients alternating with water.Beat until well blended being careful not to over-beat since this will overwork the dry ingredients making the cake too dense. Beat or stir until the dry ingredients are incorporated, but not over beaten.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly.
Be sure to start checking the cake 5-10 minutes by looking through the glass on the oven door before it's supposed to be done to avoid overcooking.
Warning: Do NOT open the over door until the minimum time has been met or else cold air entering the oven may cause the cake to sink or drop. I am guilty of this sin because I always love to peek, but try not to do this to guarantee the best possible results.
To guarantee the perfect cake use an oven thermometer which hooks into your oven permanently to guarantee your oven temperature is accurate and well calibrated.
Position the cake in the middle of the oven to prevent over or under browning. Remember, gently close the oven door since slamming it may air bubbles trapped in the batter.
To check to see if the cake if done, lightly press the center of the cake; if it springs back, it’s done. Or insert a wooden pick; it should come out clean.
Cool in pans on a cake rack for 5 minutes.
Remove from pans and make sure cake is 100% cool before icing.
A great cake calls for great frosting. If you took the time to bake a cake from scratch try to make the icing that way as well.
Ingredients1/2 cups softened butter
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla3 2/3 cups (1 pound) confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons warm cream or milk
Follow the directions below:
Cream butter, cocoa, salt and vanilla in large mixing bowl.
Add sugar alternating with cream beating until mixture is smooth and easy for spreading.Additional cream or milk may be needed to achieved desired spread-ability.
Put a small amount of frosting in the center of the cake plate, before placing the first cake layer on top. The icing will keep the cake from moving as you ice it. Use an offset spatula to frost the top of the first layer.
Carefully add the next layer. Coat the entire cake with a thin crumb coat layer of frosting.
This holds loose crumbs in place.After the entire cake has been crumb frosted, place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes exactly.
Remove and finish frosting, starting with the top, then the sides for a perfectly frosted cake.
Listed below are some additional hints which some might find helpful.
Use a small palette knife and draw large "S" shapes to give a swirled effect in the icing.Use unscented dental floss to cut the cake easily.
If you live above 3,500 feet research high altitude cake baking and adjust your baking steps appropriately.
If you love fudge cake with a rich chocolate essence you will probably enjoy Mr. Gracie's Fudgetastic Cake.
Note: This blog is dedicated to RR for his birthday.