See that cake up top? Can you believe that it was made with just one bowl?
Okay, that's not true. It was supposed to be just one bowl, and I was supposed to just make one cake to use up all the odd quantities of ingredients I had lying around before I disappeared off to Amsterdam and London (which is where I am right now!). But guess who rushed through the recipe, didn't read all the ingredients properly, and therefore left out one egg and ended up with a soggy, deflated cake?
That's right, me.
So instead of having a perfect cake that used all the leftover ingredients in my fridge, I had a hot mess. Any rational person would have just forgotten about the whole thing and just packed for their vacation instead. But nope, not me. Because I did the most irrational I could do for somebody going to Europe two weeks: ran out of my house, drove to the supermarket (in stormy weather, I might add), and bought a whole new set of perishable ingredients so I could make this cake and bake it for you guys:
Because this cake is worth it. A double layered, incredibly moist chocolate cake topped with buttery, fluffy mocha (that is, chocolate and coffee) buttercream. All made in one bowl, with less than 15 minutes of prep time, because this recipe comes from a book called One Bowl Baking: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts.
Unlike most baking books with recipes that require a stand mixer or a handheld electric whisk, ALL the recipes in One Bowl Baking require just one bowl. The book's author, Yvonne Ruperti, has some serious foodie cred: she was on America's Test Kitchen for three seasons, and is a recipe developer and writer for Cook's Illustrated and Serious Eats. You can tell from the book — it's filled with a variety of baked goods like layer cakes, cookies, muffins, tarts, cheesecakes and more! To top it all off, almost all recipes come together in 15 minutes or less! This book is definitely a game changer for those without a dishwasher and spend hours hand washing their dishes (ehem, me).
The giveaway is only open for 1 week and closes on October 8, 2013 (next Tuesday) at 8:00 PM PDT. At that point, a winner will be chosen at random and notified by email shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, the giveaway is for US residents only. I cannot ship abroad/overseas. You can enter as many times as you want. That is, the more times you enter, the more likely you'll win! I promise you that your contact info will never, EVER be shared or given to anybody else. You will only receive an email from me if you've been chosen as the winner.
CONGRATULATIONS TO KELLY S. FROM TEXAS!!!
As for those who came for the chocolate cake recipe...
Some baker's notes:
- This makes a small, 6-inch cake, which is smaller than your standard 8- or 9- inch cake. Consider yourself warned; you will want more. You can buy 6-inch cake pans online at Amazon, or any specialty baking store like Sur La Table.
- I added a layer of mini chocolate chips in the middle frosting layer between the two chocolate cakes; you can omit, but I love the extra texture they add to the cake. You can substitute with regular chocolate chips as well, but I would halve the recipe quantity because this is a fairly small cake — you don't want to overwhelm the texture.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 (F) and place your oven rack in the center position. Prepare two 6-inch round cake pans by spraying liberally with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottoms of each cake pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined.
- Add 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and continue whisking until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients have just been incorporated into the wet ingredients. Be careful not to overmix or your cake will be dense and I will cry for you; it's okay to have one or two small flour streaks left in the batter.
- Transfer the batter into your prepared cake pans and bake until just firm, around 20 to 22 minutes. When the cakes are ready, a skewer inserted into the center of each cake should come out clean and the tops should bounce back when gently poked with a finger.
- Once the cakes are finished baking, transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, before inverting the cakes out of the pans to cool completely before frosting.
- In a large, heatproof metal bowl, combine 1.5 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder. Place the heatproof metal bowl over a saucepan filled with water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Melt the chocolate by bringing the water to a boil and constantly stirring the chocolate with a whisk.
- Once the chocolate is completely melted, whisk in 2 sticks unsalted butter and 2 cups confectioner's sugar, whisking until combined and the mixture has lightened to a pale brown. If too soft to spread, chill the frosting until spreadable, whisking occasionally. If not, use immediately.
- Place 1 cup of the frosting on top of one cake, using an icing spatula to create an even layer. Sprinkle 1 cup mini chocolate chips on top of the frosting, before nestling the second cake on top of the chocolate chips. Use the remainder of the frosting to frost the cake completely.