A Moist Chocolate Cake is not an easy cake to bake. A recipe may look very easy, and it might be! But what many people don’t tell you is that you need to have a few things available first and be aware of some. I have tried countless recipes, loved some and hated some. This particular recipe from King Arthur’s Cake Flour recipe box is by far the best one I can attest to. Sometimes it pays to try the recipes listed on the packaging.
Many cake recipes fail because of oven temperature, type of cake pan, and types of ingredients. I will never tell someone to spend an enormous amount of money buying expensive ingredients. On the contrary, I will advise buying common and healthy ingredients. Everyone’s taste bud is different. I think mine has gotten better with age. LOL… a few years ago, I would always say that thirties are the best years. But I correct myself now. The forties are prime years. Like Doc Holiday (Val Kilmer) in the movie Tombstone will say, “I’m in my prime” (scene from Doc Holliday vs. Johnny Ringo). Can’t get enough of this movie! I am certainly in my prime and hope to age gracefully like my mother.
To make the perfect Chocolate Cake, one must be familiar with the oven in use. I find that it is best to let the oven heat up for a while even after it has been preheated per the manufactures instructions and alarm. Although your oven may warn you that it has reached the desired temperature, letting the oven warm up for a few more minutes does not hurt. The temperature of your home and elevation will affect the oven temperature. The second useful tip I can share with you is the type of pan.
I know cake pans can be very expensive and the quality may not be great either. A little research never hurts. My opinion and from my experience, a cake pan is not supposed to be thin, which means that the thickness of the pan must be adequate, not too thin and not too thick. If a cake pan is very thin, you will end up with an unevenly baked cake or a burnt cake. I cannot attest for the best metal or best brand, as this is not a cake pan review. Any well-known cake pans manufacturers will do. You may have to spend a little bit of money, but it will be all worth it.
As far as ingredients, for the Basic Moist Chocolate Cake recipe, I have always used, organic sugar, homemade vanilla extract, and carnation milk mixed with regular water. My secrets ingredients are Rum Barbancourt or coconut rum with 2 – 3dashes of ginger powder. That’s all, and that is how I like it.
One last thing I must share and I should be embarrassed, but I have a good excuse. The original recipe says to add either water or coffee, but I always add water because I am not a coffee drinker and I do not know how to make coffee nor do I have coffee in my home. So here you go! You know another thing I don’t know how to make. LOL… My sister Erika has tried the recipe with coffee, and it is still a great cake.
Not to make you wait longer and since I promised, here is my Basic Moist Chocolate Cake adapted from King Arthur, and following King Arthur’s Moist Chocolate recipe.
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Basic Moist Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache
- 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter very soft
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup brewed cooled coffee, or water
- 4 large eggs
- Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.
- Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minutes. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sands.
- Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix 1 minutes at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions. The batter will be thin.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan of you choice (one 9” x 13” pan, two 9” round pans, or three 8” round pans). Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven for 34 minutes for a 9” x 13” pan; 28 to 30 minutes for 9” layers; or 24 to 26 minutes for 8” layers. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before frosting.
- Yield: three 8” round, two 9” rounds, or a 9” x 13” sheet.
- My add-ons: 1 tablespoon homemade vanilla extract, 1 – 2 tablespoons Rum Barbancourt or Coconut Rum (depending on how I feel), carnation milk instead of regular milk (3/4 cup carnation milk with ¼ cup water), organic sugar instead of regular sugar, sea salt or kosher salt instead of regular salt and 2 – 3 dashes of powdered ginger. I use water instead of coffee.
- Chocolate Ganache is used to decorate the cake.