Bakers Dozen East and West—a group of dedicated bakers on both coasts—meet in this recipe. This is a special tribute to
Plan Ahead Make the caramel buttercream at least 3 hours ahead.
|fine-quality unsweetened or 99% cacao chocolate, chopped||.|
|unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa||.|
|strong hot coffee (see Note)|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
|bleached cake flour|
|fine sea salt||.|
|unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)|
|canola or safflower oil, at room temperature|
Two 9 by 2 inch round cake pans, encircled with cake strips, bottoms coated with shortening, topped with parchment rounds, then coated with baking spray with flour
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the
In a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or in the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often—do not let the bottom of the container touch the water), heat the chocolate until almost completely melted.
Remove the chocolate from the heat source and stir until fully melted. Set it in a warm spot to keep it warm.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa and hot coffee until dissolved. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and set the cocoa mixture in a warm spot to keep it warm.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and vanilla.
In a 1 cup glass measure with a spout, lightly whisk the eggs.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and oil on medium speed until creamy and lighter in color, about 45 seconds. Add the sugar in a steady stream, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light in color and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add the eggs, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue beating on medium-low speed until the mixture is well blended and lighter in color and texture, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stop the mixer and scrape in the melted chocolate. Immediately, to keep the chocolate from hardening, beat on low speed for about 45 seconds until incorporated.
With the mixer off between additions, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing on low speed after each addition until incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Detach the beater and bowl from the stand and scrape any batter clinging to the beater into the bowl. Add the warm coffee mixture in four parts, stirring gently with a silicone spatula until smooth.
Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula. They will be almost half full (
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a wire tester inserted into the centers comes out clean and the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centers. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.
Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pans and the cakes, pressing firmly against the pans, and invert the cakes onto wire racks that have been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cakes so that the tops are up. Cool completely.
Airtight: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days; frozen, 2 months.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.