In our family, every year we like to bring in the month of February the same way. February 1st, Dad’s birthday, the day we get to smooch, bother, and try our hardest to spoil him with gifts he never needs. It is the day we realize that our new year’s resolutions are about to fall off track completely because every year, there’s always a giant chocolate cake with seven minute frosting ready to be divided up into heart attack size pieces for everyone in the family to overindulge in. Some years we have demands for change, either resulting in a cake from a local bakery, or there is always the highest quality Duncan Hines variety. One thing is for certain; Dad will never be host to anything but a chocolate cake.
This year I stepped out of all of the boxes. Duncan Hines boxes, bakery cake boxes, and of course out of our boxes of cookbooks. I decided to create from scratch an entirely new recipe. I know I say I love tradition, but there is only so much of the same old chocolate cake that I can take……
What I came up with was my own version of Daddy’s Extra Special, Extra Chocolatey, Double Chocolate Fudge Cake. For all the lovers of a moist, but dense chocolate cake, I hope you are ready for this one.
(click recipe to get printable version)
This recipe makes a double layer half sheet cake. I suggest to make it a day ahead, and take it out 2 -3 hours before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare each pan by buttering and placing parchment paper at the base.
½ cup milk (1%)
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups water
2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into chunks)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour (or the equivalent of cake flour)
2 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 cups pure cane sugar
2 cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Begin by preparing your ingredients and equipment. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Get your mixer out. Make sure your butter and semisweet chocolate is cut into chunks.
- Create a double boiler to melt the butter and chocolate in. You will want to get a deep saucepan that is filled a quarter of the way with boiling water. Place a medium sized glass pyrex bowl so that it sits in the saucepan, but not anywhere close to being submerged in the boiling water.
- Turn the stove down to medium, and place the 2 cups of water, semisweet chocolate chunks, pieces of butter, and cocoa in the bowl. Slowly whisk this mixture over the simmering water, so that it becomes smooth and completely combined. Remove it from the saucepan and let it cool slightly.
- In either your stand mixer or using a hand held mixer, combine the chocolate mixture and your two kinds of sugar.
- To this, add the eggs one at a time. After the fourth egg, mix in the vanilla extract.
- Finally, you will want to add your flour and your two kinds of milk in equal portions. Start and end with flour. This is not a thick batter; so don’t be shocked if it seems loose.
- Pour this mixture equally into your pans that have been properly prepped.
Bake for 22 – 27 minutes.
Test it with a toothpick, knowing that it is ready when only a few crumbs can be seen on the toothpick.
Let the pans cool on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes so that the cake can set before removing them to finish cooling outside of the pans.
For the frosting…..
This recipe is meant to be made in a kitchen aid mixture with the whisk attachment. If you don’t have this equipment, don’t hesitate to just put together a simple vanilla butter cream frosting instead
Kitchen Aid’s Fluffy White Icing
This will make enough icing for a half sheet cake. To make 2 9-inch rounds, half these measurements.
3 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 egg whites
3 teaspoons vanilla
Begin by separating your eggs and placing your four egg whites into the mixer bowl. Attach the wire whisk.
In a medium saucepan, stir together until combined, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, water, and corn syrup. Stir constantly and it will all turn into clear syrup.
At speed 10, whisk just the egg whites for 45 seconds or until they hold a foamy shape. Keep the mixer at speed 10 and very slowly pour a steady stream of the hot syrup into egg whites so that you are almost pouring it in for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. This mixture should look just like marshmallow fluff as it comes together.
Finish things off with your vanilla and keep the mixture whipping for at least 3 more minutes until the frosting is holding stiff peaks and isn’t at all runny.
When putting together the cake…
You will want to let the cake and the icing both cool to room temperature before you put the layers together. If not, the icing can get very runny forcing the cake layers to slide away from one another. I suggest decorating this cake with dashes of sweetened cocoa or chocolate sprinkles, or of course shaving of semisweet chocolate would look gorgeous!