This month, I’m celebrating seven years of writing the Twice as Tasty food blog. I like to mark milestones with a celebration-worthy recipe, and this cake stands out: rich and moist, it can be built in two layers and looks impressive when decorated. I typically grab a jar of homemade jam for a quick filling and then make ganache to smoothly glaze the outer surface with minimal effort. Buttercream adds a decorative touch.
The simplicity and ease of this recipe makes it an everyday cake too. As a teenager, I’d make a snacking variation to cube and take to school in my lunchbox. The moist cake doesn’t need a messy frosting, so it travels well.
Chocolate Pudding Cake, Snack or Stacked
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup ultrafine sugar
2 ounces dark unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
Powdered sugar (optional)
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Set a small saucepan over low heat; add about 1/2 ounce of chocolate at a time; stir constantly, until it is mostly melted, before adding the next portion. When fully melted and smooth, immediately beat the chocolate into the creamed butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda with a fork. Measure out the buttermilk. In alternating batches, beat the flour and buttermilk into the chocolate mixture.
For a snack cake, butter a 9-inch square pan. Pour the batter into the pan and cover loosely with foil.
For a stacked cake, butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Trace the bottom of each pan onto a section of parchment paper; cut out the traced circle, and lay it in the bottom of the buttered pan. Divide the batter between the pans and cover each loosely with foil or a bowl.
Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, rotating the pan or pans halfway through. Check for doneness: the sides should begin to pull away from the pan, the middle should be cooked but springy to the touch and the kitchen should be fragrant with baked chocolate. Set the pan or pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before running a knife between the pan edge and the cake.
For a snack cake, continue to let cool as much as possible before sifting powdered sugar over the top, if desired, and serving.
For a stacked cake, slice any excess cake off the top of each pan. Place a second cooling rack on top of one pan and flip it over. Gently lift the pan from the cake; a slight shake might make it come free, but flip it again and reloosen the edge if it still clings. Peel away the paper. Repeat to remove the second pan. Let cool completely before stacking and decorating.
Julie Laing is a Bigfork-based cookbook author and food blogger at TwiceAsTasty.com.
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