Southern Take on Chocolate Cake
light chocolate cake, salted American style buttercream, and bourbon brown sugar candied pecans
Of course we needed a chocolate cake with serving a bright flavored cake like Vanilla, Passion Fruit, and Raspberry Cake and our Honeyed Apricot Cake with Tonka Bean Buttercream and Pignoli Crunch.
But deep chocolate would have been a bit too rich when eaten with sooooo much other cake. So we lightened it up, added some salty sweet caramel and then splashed in some bourbon. Enjoy our recipe, it has been taking eater by storm (I’ve made it a couple times for my hubbies co-workers. They are great test subjects… er, taste testers).
Mama’s Chocolate Cake
Yield: 2 – 8” rounds
Baker’s German Chocolate squares 2 squares (2 oz.)
Shortening ½ c
Buttermilk ½ c (4 oz.)
Vanilla bean paste 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour 2 c (11 oz.)
Sugar 2 c (16 oz.)
Baking soda 1 tsp
Boiling water 1 c (8 oz.)
What to do:
– Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare pans with pan release or non-stick spray.
– Melt Baker’s chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in short bursts (20 seconds) until melted, stirring between bursts.
-Add shortening and heat again until shortening has melted into the chocolate. Stir well to combine and allow to cool.
– Once cooled, add eggs, vanilla bean paste, and buttermilk and whisk well to combine.
– In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the all purpose flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and mix with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes to evenly distribute.
– Add all liquid ingredients at once and mix on slow speed then medium till combined. Scrape down the bowl.
– Slowly pour in the boiling water along the side of the bowl with the mixer on low speed. Once all water has been mixed, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again on medium speed for 2 minutes.
– Divide evenly between the two prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and it begins to pull from the sides of the pan.
– Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
* This cake will have a crust on top after baking. Wrapping it after de-panning it and immediately freezing it will help to soften that top crust and lock in moisture. If you want to use it right away, torting and trimming the top remove it, though I like to keep it one, soak it in simple syrup and fill it. It’s still fabulously delish!
Bourbon Candied Pecans
Chopped pecans 8 oz.
Brown Sugar 4 oz.
Water 1 oz.
Whiskey 2 TBSP
Butter 1 TBSP.
– Combine water, whiskey, and sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook to 234°F.
– Remove from heat and add pecans.
– Stir continuously and quickly to coat all nuts with sugar; they will begin to crystallize and should separate rather than clump.
– Place the pan back over medium heat and stir continuously. This will toast the nuts as the sugar begins to caramelize.
– Add butter to the nuts once the sugar has caramelized and coat evenly.
– Pour the caramelized pecans out onto a silicone baking mat and spread out, separating them into individual pieces or small groupings as much as possible while they cool.
– Once cooled, chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
– Remove from refrigeration and chop with a chef’s knife to small, bite sized pieces.
And last but not least, the buttercreamy goodness!
Kara’s Salted Caramel American Buttercream
Yield: about 4 cups
Unsalted Butter, room temps 1 cup (8oz; 2 sticks)
Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar 3.5 cups
Vanilla bean paste* 1 tsp
Caramel Flavor Paste 2 tsp
Sea Salt, flaked ¼ tsp
Heavy Cream** 2 TBSP (or till desired consistency)
What to do:
– In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
– Stop the mixer and add all confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste, caramel flavoring, and sea salt. Mix on medium speed until well combined and light. Scrape down the sides.
– With the mixer on low speed, add cream one TBSP at a time till desired consistency.
– Scrape down sides one more time and beat on medium speed for one minute.
* you can use extract if you do not have paste
** you can use whole or reduced fat milk in place of heavy cream, but come on, you’re already eating rich cake. just go all the way. 🙂
Bourbon Simple Syrup
Sugar 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Bourbon 3 TBSP
What to do:
– Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pot and remove from heat as soon as boil is reached.
– Allow to cool before brushing on your cake.
(yes, the alcohol cooks out and only leaves the flavor behind. the kiddos won’t get schnockered on this cake.)
Layer this goodness up and enjoy! I prefer to refrigerate for just a bit before cutting.
For a 5 pack of our flavors that we used to created these cakes, click HERE >>>http://bit.ly/1MoX9WA
You’ll hop on over to Pastry Portal and be able to get the packs with free shipping 🙂 Free is always good!