At Home: Chocolate Cake Recipe

Isaac grew up in the country - the real kind of country. With cows and pigs crossing the street and fresh farms eggs from the chicken coup. Fruits and veggies from the garden, rolling hills into the distance and the sparkling stars at night. To say it's one of my favorite places is a little bit of an understatement. To the left of his childhood home sits his grandparent's farm and around the corner, just across the land sits his aunt and uncle's home. He grew up playing flag football with his younger brother and two cousins across the field. I have had the sweetest time getting to know his family and I love each and every one of them. Jessica is the youngest of the four and her kindness is all sorts of charm and grace. She seems to know the way to your heart and can't help but make people feel special. Maybe it's her thoughtfulness or her sweet words.

Or maybe it's the food. Ha! Okay, it's not the food but I do think one bite of her chocolate cake is enough to make her your best friend for life. We adapted a recipe by the amazing Ina Garten which you can find HERE. We only used two tiers and added strawberries fresh from the garden!

Buttercream Chocolate Cake Recipe by Jessie Grainger - Photos by Jordan Brittley_001

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups good cocoa powder 1 tablespoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar 1 1/3 cups light brown sugar, packed 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature 1/4 cup brewed coffee Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows

Buttercream Chocolate Cake Recipe by Jessie Grainger - Photos by Jordan Brittley_002

Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 1 (4 by 3-inch) cake pan, 1 (6 by 3-inch) cake pan and 1 (8 by 3-inch) cake pan. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light, approximately 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended.

Divide the batter between the 3 pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake on the middle rack of the oven as follows: for the 4-inch pan 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean; for the 6-inch pan 70 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean; and for the 8-inch pan 85 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes each on a cooling rack, carefully remove from the pans and allow to finish cooling.

Place the 8-inch cake on a serving plate, flat side up. Frost the top of that layer with buttercream. Place the 6-inch cake in the center of the top of the 8-inch cake, flat-side up, and frost the top and sides. Place the 4-inch cake in the center of the top of the 6-inch cake, flat side down. Frost the top and sides of that layer with buttercream. Spread any remaining buttercream over the cake evenly.

Buttercream Chocolate Cake Recipe by Jessie Grainger - Photos by Jordan Brittley_002Buttercream Chocolate Cake Recipe by Jessie Grainger - Photos by Jordan Brittley_002

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Ingredients 1 pound bittersweet chocolate 12 ounces semisweet chocolate 3/4 cup egg whites (4 to 5 extra-large eggs), at room temperature 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, at room temperature 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 3 teaspoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 teaspoons water 3 tablespoons dark rum, optional Chop the chocolates and place them in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan simmering water. Stir until melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

Buttercream Chocolate Cake Recipe by Jessie Grainger - Photos by Jordan Brittley_011

Directions Mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Place the bowl of egg whites over the pan of simmering water and heat the egg whites until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Return the bowl to the electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or until the meringue is cool and holds a stiff peak.

Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and rum, if using, and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely blended in. If the buttercream seems very soft, allow it to cool, and beat it again.

 

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