I usually make a cake for everyone's birthday in our immediate family. I asked each child and in-law what kind of cake they wanted and wrote it on my calendar. I told them to tell me if they ever change their mind. Otherwise, that get the same cake every year from me. Tomorrow we are going to Austin and Stacy is hosting the 30th birthday celebrating in her new home for Juanita. This is the cake I madefor Juanita's birthday. I have made it before, and I like it. I'm not sure I made this same cake for her last year, but I know it was chocolate because that is the kind she likes. The recipe comes from Barefoot Contessa at Home. This has become one of my top favorite cakes. I use the icing recipe for red velvet cake.
Butter for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder (like I might use bad cocoa powder)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8") round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooking rack and cool completely.
For the icing:
6 oz good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut) They don't have that at my store
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature (for the cake, I used 2 eggs + 1 egg white)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 Tablespoon instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot tap water
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (I have a double boiler that I use) Stir just until melted and set aside to cool to room temperature
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.