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Test Kitchen: The Internet's Most Famous Chocolate Cake

Test Kitchen: The Internet's Most Famous Chocolate Cake

I finally got around to making the internet's most-clicked chocolate cake recipe last weekend. The recipe is simple and easy to make, and the resulting cake is dense and delicious. However, I didn't think this was the best chocolate cake ever. It's definitely good, but I'm not desperate to make it again.

The cook time given for the cake was over an hour, but mine finished in about 35 minutes, so be sure to check it while baking. Also, allow plenty of time for the frosting to cool and thicken, at least an hour for a rich consistency.

To form your own opinion about this chocolate cake, make it, and try it for yourself. Get the recipe, just


Chocolate Cake
From Gourmet magazine

For cake layers
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
For ganache frosting
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
Special equipment
two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers: preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
  • Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).
  • Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well.
  • Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  • Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
  • Make frosting: finely chop chocolate.
  • In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
  • Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
  • Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.
  • Serves 12-14.

    Join The Conversation
    Advah Advah 9 years
    I'm always happy to try chocolate cakes!
    GirlNinja GirlNinja 9 years
    I normally make my ganache with just the chocolate and cream. Works out fine.
    ur_momm ur_momm 9 years
    I gave up chocolate for lent so this is so painful to look at!!
    simonexoxo simonexoxo 9 years
    Can't wait to try - might have to change out/substitute some ingredients, don't know if I can find everything here in Greece but we'll see!!!
    foxie foxie 9 years
    Yeah perla, Vegan Cupcakes is my go-to baking book. I brought the cookies-n-cream ones in to my work (military men galore, mind you!), and everyone *loved* them. I like the mint ones the best.
    arianell arianell 9 years
    Heh, I made this cake for my friend's birthday on Saturday, except I made a chocolate cream cheese frosting instead of the ganache. I was quite impressed with myself.
    refined101 refined101 9 years
    I made this cake about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and it was deLISH, but had to eat in very small slices (my figure thanked me!) because it was a little too rich for me. But maybe I'm just used to the "fake cakes". The texture was WONDERFUL though and the frosting was to die for! It certainly kicks the can of those *add oil, egg and water* mixes and frostings from a can. I can definitely see myself making it again, because it was a nice project for me and my boyfriend to make together at 1 am on a friday night. We discovered how fun it is to cook together! Maybe to tone down the richness I should use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet in the ganache frosting?
    JessNess JessNess 9 years
    I one time made a chocolate cake completely from scratch and it was the most delicious cake that I had ever had
    celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 9 years
    wow, look at that! your cake rised so well into a perfect shape, without that small bubble in the middle like my cakes. great job yum!
    chanelope chanelope 9 years
    I made this two weeks ago, and the ganche icing was the best part... The cake was dense and moist and yummy...
    skilledatlife4 skilledatlife4 9 years
    VCTOTW is indeed an amazing book!
    javsmav javsmav 9 years
    Foxie, I LOVE vegan cupcakes take over the world. stuff is so good and nobody guesses that it's vegan.
    Food Food 9 years
    looks delicious! I love the flower as the cake decoration!
    caryatid caryatid 9 years
    looks delicious but too complicted for me. i'll stick to cookies!
    LaPerla2 LaPerla2 9 years
    hey foxie, i was just thinking that! But darn this cake looks delish! Have you baked from that book? I swear by vegan with a vengeance...but darn that how to veganize heavy cream? HELP!
    verily verily 9 years
    I wouldn't mind trying it, but I'd sub a buttercream frosting for the ganache...ganache sounds too heavy and the corn syrup bugs me.
    AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
    I'm a cook, not so good a baker. Hubby does that very well. And it does look like a lot of measuring; the ganache, forget it. I'd surely eat a piece.
    DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
    this looks so good! but, it looks too hard for me to make.
    foxie foxie 9 years
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