Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake - Again!



You know me. When I like a particular cake, I will feature it again. It's clear from my archives which cakes I favour. :) This is one of them.

In my last post, I shared a Marble Cake recipe which I thought was absolutely delightful. I noticed though, that my children were fighting mainly for the chocolatey bits (good heavens!), and so I promised to bake them a chocolate cake next. Well, here it is today.

I wanted to make Tish Boyle's Chocolate Buttermilk Cake again, but this time in "whole cake" version. The last time I baked them, I used a Bundt-lette pan, just as she stated in her recipe, and got 6 mini loaves. I can now understand the rationale behind this.

This cake, when baked in a 7-inch pan, took double the baking time! I waited forever, while the cake took its own sweet time. Ah, the smell of a chocolate cake baking is pure heaven, and the waiting is sheer torture. My children came in and out of the kitchen countless times, harassing me for cake. Yes, harass.

Luckily, I had earlier saved some of the batter and poured them into 3 cupcake cups. So while the big cake was baking away, the smaller cupcakes were done in about 18mins, and I could throw them to my hungry mob and beg them to "please leave me alone now". True story.

Anyway, when the cake was finally done, it was dinner time, so I left it on a cooling rack at room temperature, until the next day. Then I sliced it and oohed at the sight of its velvety interior. Just take a closer look:


See what I mean? So soft and moist!

As I took photos, my children again circled me like vultures, asking for cake. My big boy said, "I tasted the cupcake yesterday and it was sooo delicious!" Special emphasis on the "sooo". Awwww! How sweet is that? Of course I hurried up and got my photos done so that they could eat. And eat we all did. It was the perfect chocolate cake ... and I am using the word "perfect" unabashedly. :)

I did not make changes to the recipe, save for 2 things: I chopped the chocolate a bit coarser, and cut down the sugar to 220g.

If you are using semi-sweet chocolate, I think you can further reduce the sugar by another 10 or 20g. I used Valrhona Caraïbe 66%, so I decided to err on the side of sweet, and it turned out to be just nice for us.

Oh, one other thing! If you intend to make a whole cake like I did, you need to adjust the temperature. I baked at 175°C for the first 30 minutes. After that, I lowered the temperature to 160°C for the next 40 minutes. Test with a skewer at round the 1 hour-mark. I also tented my cake throughout the entire baking time. This is important, because I can guarantee you a burnt top if you do not do this.


I managed to snap a photo of the batter! Gorgeous, isn't that? It reminded me of creamy melted ice cream. :) Fold in the chopped chocolate after this, and you're ready to bake!


Here's the reward for waiting. Enjoy!

Recipe can be found here. Please use good quality chocolate for the best results. For Singapore readers who want to know, I buy my Valrhona cocoa and chocolate from Sun Lik.

54 comments:

  1. Beautiful looking Chocolate cake.. I would top it up with a scope of Vanilla ice cream.. On my way to try this out. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks! Hope you bake it and like it as much as I did. :)

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  2. Looks really good! And kid's compliments are the best reward :))

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  3. Hi!

    May I know what you mean by tent the cake? How does a tented cake look like? When I googled, I get cakes in the shape of tents or in a tent / camping theme! :/

    Thanks!

    Rachel

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    1. Hahaha!!! It means you just need to use a piece of aluminium foil and place it loosely over the cake tin as it is baking. This prevents the top from browning. HTH.

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  4. Looks so good, I am so going to try this. But first to buy the buttermilk. I tried substituting buttermilk with milk+vinegar when I made red velvet cake, but the result is just not the same.

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    1. Hmmm, come to think of it, I have never used vinegar. Always lemon juice, and that has never failed me.

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  5. hello Ju, i tried a lot of your recipes and every one of it (except the jap cotton cheesecake) was a success! really like the way you blog - very clear and easy to follow (and of course the photography is perfect too!)
    this chocolate cake is my favorite btw, i love the texture : so moist, rich and gooey (i added a lot of valrhona!). my boss told me it feels like it's going to the hips directly!
    thanks for sharing your bakes with us despite your busy schedule.. looking forward to more! (oh ya i am a teochew too :) )

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    1. Hi! I am glad you made this cake and liked it. Your boss is very funny. :) It's a pleasure to share recipes with readers like you. Thanks for dropping by.

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  6. Girlfriend...you my dear are the undisputed Queen of Cake. You should wear a tiara daily!
    I must try this...I have buttermilk in the fridge that needs to be used. The lemon juice faux buttermilk works very well for me too!

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    1. I LOVE that idea, Linda! I will wear my tiara and diamonds everyday! *GRIN*

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  7. Thanks so much, Ju :) Will try it the next time cos the tops of my chocolate cakes tend to be slightly burnt.

    Rachel

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    1. Hi Rachel, common problem with chocolate cakes!

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  8. A perfectly baked cake there ! And yes, it applies to me too, when I like a cake, I bake it over and over again !!

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  9. Hi, no wonder you bake it AGAIN...I just followed your recipe..it is super soft and moist...very chocolaty..I will bake it Again too ...thanks for sharing.

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  10. Hi ju

    Can I put a chocolate glaze on it? Will it taste too rich?
    Or a sprinkling of icing sugar will be good enough?

    Making it for my dad's 80th birthday!
    Ru

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    1. Hi Ru, in my opinion it would be too rich. Just a sprinkling of icing sugar would be better, I think. :) Happy birthday in advance to your dad!

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  11. Hi
    i tried the cake and it really is very nice. Never used lemon; just vinegar with milk. Thank you very much for sharing. I added nuts and flour and it is really good. Thank you again.

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  12. Thanks for this wonderful recipe! it looks divine! can you pls suggest a good chocolate cake recipe which can be used as a base for choco ganache frosting? can this recipe be used?

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    1. Hi Parita, I think this could be a bit much with ganache. It's a very rich and dense cake. You'd probably have to refer to the Nigella chocolate cake from my archives. :)

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  13. Hi Ju, can I use for black forest cake or layer it with chocolate mousse? JJ

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    1. Hi, I don't think so. It's better on its own, in my honest opinion ...

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  14. Hi Ju,
    Can this recipe be replaced for cupcakes?
    Thankssssss

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    1. Yes, BUT if you do, you have to be very careful about the temperature and baking time. I don't know your oven, but if I were to give a suggestion, I would say, about 160C for 18-20mins. *fingers crossed* :p

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  15. Hi Ju, i always get the top of the cake raised too much, so it is not smooth but like earthquake! What did i do wrong?

    The cocoa powder alkalized, do you mind telling me what is that? And can i just normal hershey cocoa powder?

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    1. Hi, one way is to use a slightly larger cake tin. The cake will be flatter, but it would reduce the "over-raising". Another reason is, sometimes your oven may have "hot spots", so what I would suggest is, reduce the baking temperature by 20C and extend the baking time by 10-15mins (or until skewer comes out clean).

      Alkalised cocoa powder = dutch-processed cocoa powder. Google it, please. I do not recommend you use Hershey's unless you have no choice. But to answer your question, yes, you can use Hershey's. HTH! :)

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  16. I tried out the cake over the weekend. When the cake was in the oven, I suddendly shouted out (which gave my hubs a scare!) cos I forgot to fold in the chopped choc. Aiks!

    Luckily the cake still turned out absolutely wonderful. Loved the texture. Thx so much for sharing :)

    I have one question tho - how will I know if the buttermilk substitute is successful? Should there be a change in texture/colour/smell? Mine still looked like milk after 5 mins so that got me worried.

    Adrine

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    1. Hi Adrine, glad to know you turned out a beautiful cake! The milk should become just slightly thicker (like a yogurt drink), that's all. Colour doesn't change. But you need to stir it once or twice while it is left to stand. I think you probably did it correctly. Sometimes, I add a bit more lemon juice than required, and it's OK too (it becomes even thicker). Don't worry. :)

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  17. Hi Ju, your choc cake look so moist and divine. Really beautifully baked. Do you think I can use this recipe and bake it in the Wilton doll mould? I need to bake a barbie doll cake next week for a 6 year old girl who loves chocolate cake. Many thanks for your advise.

    Cheers, Elizabeth

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    1. Hi Elizabeth, sorry for this late reply. I am really not sure ... if you did bake it, please let me know how it turned out.

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  18. hi Ju, beautiful picture, lovely cake
    who can resist the temptation
    thks for sharing :)

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  19. My mouth gets watery after reading your blogs. I can see the moist of the cake that's perfect and I love it. Have you tried putting blueberry in the mix?

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  20. Can Buttermilk just be subsituted with Milk/

    Ponde :)

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    1. Maybe ... but I think plain unsweetened yogurt will be a better substitute?

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  21. Hi Ju, this cake just came out of the oven and it is an instant hit at home. It is everything I expected it to be from the beautiful shots captured here. Moist, fudgy and velvety all at once.

    I am glad I took your advice to check it at the one hour mark because I had always guessed that my oven is hotter than the temperature it indicates. Thanks to your good advice, the cake wasn't burnt or overbaked!

    A keeper. Thanks!

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    1. Wonderful! Always happy whenever readers feedback with positive news. :) Well done and enjoy the cake! :D

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  22. Hi Ju,

    In your recipe it says to bake 175 C for 25 to 30 mins. But you mention above to bake 175 c for first 30mins and lower to 160 c for 40 mins. So how long do i need to bake the cake? Thankx

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    1. Hi, depends how big you want your cake. You want many small cakes, you follow the first one; if you want one big cake, you follow the second one.

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  23. Hi

    I made this cake yesterday. The taste was great but the interior turns out rathrr crumbly. Do you have any idea why? Is it insufficient baking time? I actually baked about 20min longer than you did. My oven still gives a wet mixture at the end of second 40 min =(.

    Thanks!

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  24. Hi! I tried your recipe few weeks back and this is by far the best chocolate cake recipe I ever tried!

    Its easy to bake too. For my oven, I didnt need to tent my cake and the cake top wasnt burnt. Lucky! Love the moist texture and also a little bit crunch from the crust. Of course not forgetting the melted chocolate from every bite.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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  25. Hi Ju,
    Tried your recipe last Sunday using semisweet chocolate + 210g sugar, turn out just perfect!
    Thank you very much :)

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  26. Dear Ju

    Can you please advise me if I can use Lindt or Cabury chocolate (70%) for this recipe ? I have always been puzzled when comes to the chocolate used for chocolate cake. This Valrhona chocolate that you used is more for baking than direct consumption right ?

    Warmest Regards

    Angela Tibits Ho


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  27. Hi Ju,

    Happy New year to you! Do you think I can pour chocolate ganache over it ? I am planning to bake a chocolate birthday cake using this recipe and I feel that this looks looks better
    with ganache on it.. your feel on this ?

    warmest regards

    Angela Tibits

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  28. Hi ju,
    i just started reading and going through ur blogs and recipe.
    today i made this buttermilk chocolate cake , i baked in 9 inch round pan . took almost 70- 75 min . in the start after 30 min it came up very nicely , i was happy but later it came down and flattened , it was vey crumbly too ,
    and one more thing when u make buttermilk , use lemon with milk , and u stir n use as it is or it should be strained ??
    pls solve my problems . i m a new baker
    thnx

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    1. Hi Preeti, I think the problem is the pan size. It was too large, resulting in a flatter cake. It was crumbly probably because the cake cooked quicker (larger pan again) and dried out in the remaining baking time. People often don't realise that using the correct pan size makes or breaks a cake. Chocolate cakes have the tendency to dry out and become crumbly, which is why I like to stop baking when the skewer comes out *almost* clean. By that, I mean that there are still a few crumbs sticking to the skewer, but it is generally clean. When you make buttermilk, you just stir it to mix well. No need to strain.

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    2. Hi ju,
      thnx for ur reply. i think this will solve my problem.
      today i m trying ur nigella cupcake recipe . thnx for sharing ur experience.
      preeti

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