I’ve been accused of being a perfectionist and while I don’t feel I fit the bill, I can be perfectionistic about certain things. I’ve had to teach myself that it is good and right to maintain some balance in life and that too much of anything is usually not good.
Normally, I like to eat healthy, and I enjoy exercise, but sometimes a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. Chocolate is one of my weaknesses and so I’ve decided to share my twice a year ‘Double Dark Chocolate Indulgence’ and it is the perfect perfect.
A moist yet fluffy dark chocolate, coffee infused cake topped with caramel, toasted almonds, a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries. Yum!
It’s taken some time and experimentation to get it just right. I like my chocolate cake moist, but I don’t like it gooshy, so after a few years of trial and error to get just the right combination of fluffy yet moist, here it is:
Chocolate Indulgence – Dark Chocolate Cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 10 slices
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups brown sugar
- 1 cup plus another 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 1½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 3 eggs
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Additional cocoa powder to dust pans with.
- ½ cup (50g) slivered almonds
- 1 cup fresh cream for whipping
- Fresh Strawberries
- Heat oven to 360°F or 180°C. I always heat the oven to 200°C to compensate for heat lost when you open the oven door and then I turn it down to 180°C once I start baking.
- Grease and dust (using additional cocoa powder) two 23cm round baking pans or three 20cm pans. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix coffee with cocoa. If you percolate your coffee, use your favorite dark roast, and make it on the strong side. If you’re using instant coffee powder, use 3 tbsp. of coffee powder with one cup of boiling water and add the cocoa powder. It will make a thick paste.
- Add eggs, coffee/cocoa mix, buttermilk, oil and vanilla to dry ingredients. Mix for 2min at a medium speed. Confession: I mix by hand with a wooden spoon, because I like to do it that way. So if you don’t have a mixer, you will be just fine. The mixture should appear thin.
- Pour the mix into pans. The perfectionist in me uses the scale to make sure one pan doesn’t get 50g more than the other.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. If you are using square pans, it might need an additional 5min. If you press a pin/toothpick into it, it should come out clean.
- Cool for 15min before removing from the pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
- I prepare the homemade caramel (see below) ahead of time, usually the day before I bake the cake. Once it’s prepared, I refrigerate it until ready to use. (To keep it simple, just buy some store bought caramel.)
- I toast the slivered almonds in a dry frying pan on the stove until they turn a nice golden brown. I don’t put all the almonds in the pan at once because some will burn before they are all done. So I carefully toast them in about 2 or 3 batches.
- Whip the cream. The cake is sweet enough, so I only add ¼ teaspoon sugar to the whip.
- Slice some fresh strawberries or use fresh picked raspberries.
. . . .
I make my own caramel by slow-boiling tins of condensed milk, but my husband is convinced that I can potentially blow up the house with dangerous boiling hot caramel, and to tell you the truth – my mom nearly did.
Mom often retells her colorful caramel-making-gone-wrong story about the time she had to clean caramel off the ceiling and walls, and I have to tell you, I have no regrets for not being around for the occasion, and for that reason I won’t share the specifics on how I make my caramel. If you look around the web, there are some people out there that are brave enough to tell you how, I’m not.
Just buy it and be safe. From Walmart you can get Eagle brand Dulce De Leche Caramel, and Nestlè has a Dulce De Leche caramel as well.
Another note, the buttermilk used in the recipe can easily be substituted with plain or even double cream Greek yogurt.
Like I said…this is not a day for counting those calories. 😉