Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chocolate Cloud Cake (Not Nigella Lawson's).



Calling all chocoholics. I have your fix right here. I present to you a chocolate cloud cake covered in Nutella whipped frosting and adorned in chocolate ganache. This cake is so moist and decadent, it almost melts in your mouth! The Nutella frosting is smooth and airy. The ganache just takes the chocolate flavors in this cake to another level. If you're not drooling yet, you might just want to check your pulse. This is decadence on a plate!
Serving size: 12-16 servings

Ingredients for the cake:
-1 cup all-purpose flour.
-3/4 cups cake flour (see earlier post of how to make cake flour at home).
-3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed).
-2 cups granulated sugar.
-2 teaspoons baking soda.
-1 teaspoon baking powder.
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
-1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see below for sour milk making tip).
-1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
-1/2 cup vegetable oil (any kind with no smell).
-2 large eggs at room temperature.
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

***Preheat oven to 350°F (180 degrees Celsius). Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans ***

-In a large bowl using a whisk, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt).
-Add all the wet ingredients to the flour mixture (oil, buttermilk or sour milk, eggs, coffee and vanilla). Beat using either a hand mixer or stand mixer, on medium speed until just combined (about 2 minutes). The batter will appear to be thin and runny. Do not panic-it's supposed to look this way =)
-Pour the batter evenly into the prepared baking pans up to 3/4 way full.
-Bang your baking pans (with the batter in them) on the counter 2-3 times to pop the bubbles in the batter.
-Place the baking pans in the center rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
-Cool the cakes for 10 minutes in the baking pans, then transfer the cakes from the pans to cooling racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
** To make the sour milk called for in this recipe, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar**

Ingredients for Nutella Buttercream Frosting:
-1 cup (2 sticks or 16 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature.
-2 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar).
-2/3 cup Nutella hazelnut spread.
-2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, chilled.
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.

Instructions For Preparing the Nutella Buttercream:
-Using a stand mixer or hand mixer affixed with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and confectioners sugar on low speed until well-blended (it should look light and fluffy).
-Add the Nutella and increase the speed to medium. Beat for two minutes.
-Add the vanilla extract and salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds.
-Add the whipping cream and beat for about one minute, until the frosting lightens in color.
**Once your cake is completely cooled to the touch, ice your cake with the frosting and refrigerate for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare your ganache.**

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache:
-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream.
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or grated chocolate.

-1 teaspoon instant coffee granules.
-1 tablespoon light corn syrup (to make the ganache look glossy).

Instructions for making the Chocolate Ganache:
-In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, on medium heat, bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer and remove from the heat.
-Add the chocolate to the scalded heavy cream a little at a time and stir.
-Add the coffee and light corn syrup and stir until the ganache is smooth and glossy. Allow to cool down before you pour it over your frosted cake.
 -Once the ganache has cooled down, transfer your cake onto a cooling rack. Place the cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with preachment paper to catch any drips.
-Slowly drizzle your ganache over the chilled, frosted cake starting from the center of the cake. Use an offset or rubber spatula to spread the ganache over the top of the cake and to coax the excess ganache over the edge of the cake. Allow the ganache to drip over the sides to create the look in the pictures.
-When done, refrigerate the cake for an additional 20 minutes to allow the ganache to set. And there you have it =)