Chocolate cake recipes
October 4, 2006 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Chocolate Cake for SWMBO's birthday: Give me your most absurdly good, chocolate-coma inducing cake recipes!

My girlfriend's birthday is coming up this weekend, and I'm looking for a really, really good cake recipe.

Chocolate-stuff that she's enjoyed (at restaurants and elsewhere):
*Dark chocolate
*Some of the darker flourless chocolate cakes, chocolate lava cakes
*This ridiculously good dark chocolate souffle at Xiomara, served burning hot with a cup of ice-cold expresso-flavored milk stuff
*Sweet cream icecream at coldstone with brownies and raspberries

Stuff she doesn't enjoy:
*Milk chocolate
*Too much richness (I assume this is related to cream content)
*Anything that is in any way artificial tasting ("berry" syrups that don't taste like they necessarily include much actual berry, etc)

I'm looking for a cake that someone will want to eat all the way through, instead of, say, a chocolate cheese-cake or something of similar richness, where eating more than a small slice is something of a battle.
posted by sdis to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Best chocolate cake evar

Also featured here

It's light and fluffy and very chocolatey without being too rich.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:14 AM on October 4, 2006

A family favorite: Wacky Cake. Absurdly easy.
posted by Rash at 10:16 AM on October 4, 2006

I made the chocolate cake on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box-- it was divine. Very chocolatey, and fluffy, so you could eat your way all the way through. Wasn't terribly dark chocolate though. But dark chocolate you can only eat a bit of-- this was a little lighter and one could hypothetically eat quite a large amount. With Breyer's vanilla bean ice cream.
posted by orangemiles at 10:24 AM on October 4, 2006

Here's the recipe. I also found on the Hershey's website that they now have dark cocoa powder.... hmmm.
posted by orangemiles at 10:27 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

Bruce Bogtrotter's Chocolate Cake is the most amazing chocolate cake ever. It doesn't satisfy your "not-too-rich" requirement (that is, you will only eat a small piece) but it's delicious beyond words, and will definitely hit the dark-chocolate/chocolate lava cake buttons.

Serve it with whipped cream.
posted by fuzzbean at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

I love this cake.
It's a dark chocolate cake with only a tablespoon of flour and tastes great with or without chili.
It is quite rich (but probably not as rich as you'd expect looking at the ingredients) but doesn't contain cream.
posted by snownoid at 10:57 AM on October 4, 2006

If you're fine with a Choclate Tart:

2.25 cups cocoa powder
2.25 cups maple syrup
1 cup coconut butter (aka coconut oil)--try and find organic if you can

Put it all in a blender and blend till smooth (if you have a regular store bought blender, do it in two batches as it's quite thick).

That's the filling.

For the crust, the easiet thing is just to buy a Keebler chocolate or graham cracker crust and crack an egg white into it. Swoosh it around so all is covered, than bake at 325 for 5 mins to seal. Allow it to cool, poor in the filling, put it in the fridge, and a few hours later you'll have the kickassingest chocolate tart you've ever had.
posted by dobbs at 11:15 AM on October 4, 2006

OT, but: what the hell does SWMBO stand for? I know someone else who refers to his wife by that acronym and I figured it was a play on her name, but now I figure it's not.

posted by waxbanks at 11:23 AM on October 4, 2006

SWMBO = She Who Must Be Obeyed
posted by The Michael The at 11:34 AM on October 4, 2006

Lava Cakes

¾ cup butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
granulated sugar
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Raspberry sauce (below)(optional)
Fresh raspberries (optional)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

In heavy saucepan combine butter and chopped chocolate; melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Grease six 1-cup soufflé dishes or 6-ounce custard cups. Coat with granulated sugar. Place in shallow baking pan; set aside.

Preheat oven to 400. Beat eggs, egg yolk, powdered sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on high about 5 minutes or until thick and pale yellow. Beat in chocolate mixture on medium speed. Sift flour and cocoa over chocolate mixture; beat on low speed just until blended. Spoon into prepared dishes.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until cakes rise slightly and feel firm at edges and softer in the center when pressed gently. Cool in dishes 5 minutes. Using pot holders, invert onto serving plates. Cool 15 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries and, if desired, raspberry sauce (below).

Raspberry sauce

1 cup frozen raspberries
1/8 cup to ¼ cup powdered sugar (to taste)

Place raspberries in medium saucepan and cook until slightly bubbly. Stir in sugar (as little or as much as you like – to taste). Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and spoon over lava cakes.
posted by Sassyfras at 1:06 PM on October 4, 2006

The Dessert Bible has a very good recipe for "fallen chocolate cakes". They have very little flour and you serve them right when they come out of the oven. They're warm and light and soft and gooey and chocolatey and ooohhh.

Everything I've made from that book is pretty excellent, I highly recommend it. (except don't listen to him when he says to use the kitchenaid to fold in the eggs in the french sponge cake; do it by hand)

Whatever you do, use good chocolate. E. Guittard is my favorite.
posted by aubilenon at 1:35 PM on October 4, 2006

You want Julia Child's Reine de Saba cake. It is mind-bendingly delicious.
posted by Vervain at 1:36 PM on October 4, 2006

Here is a link to a recipe that is listed in Regan Daley's cookbook, In The Sweet Kitchen. It is for Black Chocolate Espresso Cake and is so good as to be dangerous. It is so dark that light cannot escape it.
posted by beetsuits at 1:55 PM on October 4, 2006



1 Tbls ground almond, plus additional to dust pan
10 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 sticks butter
Pinch salt
5 large eggs
confectioner's sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Pray an 8 or 9 inch springform pan with cooking
spray, then dust it with ground almonds, shaking off any excess.

In a double boiler set at a low simmer, melt the chocolate butter (or
margarine) and sugar, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, salt and ground almonds. Fold the egg
mixture into the chocolate and stir until thickened, several minutes. Pour
the cake into the pan, smooth and bake 45 minutes, or until the
top begins to crack.

Remove the side of the pan and let the cake cool completely. Dust
with confectioner's sugar if desired.
posted by legotech at 2:33 PM on October 4, 2006

Hershey's cocoa powder tin has a recipe for chocolate cake on the label that is very dark (even darker if you use the new Special Dark), not too sweet, and absurdly easy. No melting chocolate, no creaming butter, no whipping egg whites separately and folding them in.

To be more sophisticated, put fruit filling in between the layers and serve with powdered sugar or whpped cream on top.
posted by bad grammar at 4:43 PM on October 4, 2006

My favorite choc indulgence has to be the bittersweet chocolate cream pie that was made years ago by an incredible pastry chef in South Carolina. It was one of her specialties, and unlike most Dixie desserts, was definitely not cloying. I've never seen it since, but this recipe sounds like it comes close (except for the cracker crust, which was a shortening crust in "my" version).
posted by rob511 at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2006

Depending on when you need to bake your cake AND if you have access to a library, check out the Chocolate Cake recipe in Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen is *really good* and easy to make.
posted by punkrockrat at 6:13 PM on October 4, 2006

First of all, two words: cake flour.

This makes a huge difference in the texture of the cake you make. Look for the big box of Swan's Down (or other brand) cake flour in the baking aisle of the grocery store.

Now, my story of achieving the perfect chocolate cake:

I once spent a couple of hours in a Barnes & Noble, looking at a *lot* of cookbooks, searching for the perfect, not-too-heavy, wonderful chocolate cake recipe for my beloved's birthday. I found the answer:

You want to purchase a cookbook called "The Best Recipe". It contains no fewer than five chocolate cake recipes, and explains what's different about each, how the ingredients all factor in -- in fact, there's a several-page essay about chocolate cake. There are also several frosting recipes. All are better than anything else I've tried, and I've made a few chocolate cakes in my time. And everything is explained clearly and completely -- the principles behind what you're doing, everything.

This cookbook is published by the "Cook's Illustrated" magazine people, who regularly do careful experiments to find the best way to make everything. The cover of my first-edition "The Best Recipe" was mostly a photograph of a whole bunch of creme caramels - illustration of their approach, which is to start with a promising "base recipe", then change it bit by bit until they get, you know, the _best_ recipe.

"Best" is, of course, subjective -- different people want different things -- which is why it's so great that they _tell_ you what qualities they aim for. You will be able to pick out the exact chocolate cake recipe qualities you want! Further, you can learn enough to perfect your own recipe.

This book also does an excellent job of explaining why cake flour makes such a difference.
posted by amtho at 6:52 PM on October 4, 2006

This is the best chocolate cake I've ever made (and stupidly easy, I'm not much of a baker):

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
250g butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
3 cups self raising flour

Put water, sugar, cocoa and butter in a pot and bring to a simmer for 5mins do not boil
Take off the heat and add baking soda and leave to cool for 10-15mins
Beat 4 eggs and add eggs and flour to mixture beat/fold in
Pour into buttered/lined cake tin
Bake for 50mins approx at 180c
posted by szechuan at 6:58 PM on October 4, 2006

Ignore all those other recipes. Based on your girlfriend's likes and silikes (and my personal experience with this wondersome peice of cookery) this 1960s Sacher Torte recipe is perfect. It tastes better the next day so make it ahead of time if your willpower permits.

**Warning: will probably clog your arteries for the next year. It's worth it though**

Sacher Torte
Campbell, E. (1968). Encyclopedia of World Cookery, Middlesex: Spring Books.

225g / 8 oz cooking chocolate
225g / 8 oz butter
225g / 8 oz ground almonds
8 eggs (separated)
175g / 6 oz castor sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
apricot jam or sauce (although I miss this bit out)

1) Prepare the tin as follows: grease with butter (or non-stick spray-on cooking oil), dust first with flour and then castor sugar. A bit of a pain but definitely worth doing.
2) Melt the chocolate with a little water.
3) Cream the butter, add the chocolate, beaten egg yolks, ground almonds and sugar. Beat all ingredients together until light and creamy.
4) Add the cornflour and beat again.
5) Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites and transfer gently into the prepared cake tin.
6) Bake in a moderately slow oven (180°C / 350°F / Gas 4) for 1 hour. Leave in tin to cool thoroughly before turning out.
7) Cut the cake in half and spread the lower half with filling (see below). Replace top half and spread with sieved apricot jam or sauce then ice with chocolate frosting (see below).
8) Serve the next day with whipped cream.

4 egg yolks
50g / 2 oz sugar
50g / 2 oz cocoa
150mL / ¼ pint double cream
1 oz vanilla sugar (can use ordinary sugar)

1) In a heat proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, cook the beaten egg yolks, sugar and cocoa, stirring all the time, until the mixture thickens.
2) Whip the cream and vanilla sugar together. Add to the chocolate mixture when it cools.

Chocolate Frosting
1 egg yolk
500g / 1 lb icing sugar
75mL / 1/8 pint hot strong black coffee
75g / 3 oz butter
1 tbsp cocoa

1) Cream butter and egg yolk.
2) Gradually add the sugar and cocoa, alternately with the hot coffee, adding just enough coffee to make a spreadable consistency.
posted by shelleycat at 12:13 AM on October 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

I've been meaning to try Heston Blumenthal's Popping Candy Chocolate Cake for ages, alas it's diffiuclt to justify with the size of my gut. Well done for reminding me about it though as it's my SO's birthday this weekend too.
posted by biffa at 12:30 AM on October 5, 2006

Melted Mars bars mixed with just a pocito of double cream makes the most awsome chocolate fudge topping a cake has ever seen. Although I've heard that American Mars bars are different to the ones we get here in the uk, so maybe thats no good to you at all.
posted by whoojemaflip at 3:51 AM on October 5, 2006

Flourless chocolate cake. I make this cake at the cafe where I work and it sells well:
300g dark chocolate
240g butter:
melt in a double-boiler, let cool for 5 mins.

Mix in:
2 & 1/4 cups almond meal
150g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly sqeezed orange juice

Whip egg whites till starting to stiffen; add 90g caster sugar; keep whipping until stiff peaks form.

Fold egg whites into chocolate mix.

Bake. (using baking paper: this one sticks!)

Ganache: (that's melted chocolate icing, FYI) Melt 2 cups of choc buttons with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cream. Spread over cake after cake has cooled.
posted by lazy robot at 2:16 AM on October 6, 2006

I did the Blumenthal recipe. Bloody hell it was good.
posted by biffa at 11:54 AM on November 6, 2006

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