I'm not really a fan of cake -- except my grandmother's pound cake. Every year I make the same chocolate layer cake with raspberry jam between the layers for John's birthday and am always kinda disappointed in it. Too blah, too ... cakey.
So this year (John's birthday is today but we had a birthday celebration on Saturday so Ethan could join us,) I went on line to find a cake that was really dark and really moist. And we were all pretty much in agreement -- this is the Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Almost black, not too sweet, and definitely for adults. (The Genius Kitchen, from whence the original recipe came, calls it Deep Dark Chocolate Cake. I made a few changes.)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used more- almost a cup)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (I used plain yoghurt)
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 0r 3 teaspoons Tunisian Five Spice (my addition -- see below.)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease and flour one 13x 9 inch baking pan OR two 9 inch pans. (I also line the bottom of the pan with a piece of waxed paper cut to fit and then greased.)
3. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and Tunisian Five Spice.
4. Add eggs, buttermilk (or yoghurt,) coffee, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin. (Really, really thin -- I wondered if I'd made a mistake but it was fine.)
5. Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (30 -35 minutes for 2 round pans; 35-40 for 1 rectangular pan.)
6. Cool 10 minutes. If using two round pans, remove from pans and cool on wire racks before frosting.
This is an amped-up version of my usual chocolate frosting)
1 stick butter, softened
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum (or maybe more -- whatever it takes to get to a nice spreadable consistency.)
I put a generous amount of raspberry jam between the layers. Citrus marmalade would be good too. Or currant jelly or lingonberry or cherry . . . whatever tickles your fancy.
Tunisian Five Spice is my favorite for all sorts of things -- apple pie, tea, hummus, and this cake. There's more info on it HERE. You could substitute a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pepper -- but you'd miss out on the Grains of Paradise . . .