7 inches is perfect. Semi naked. And leave it a bit messy, please. That’s how I like it.
Oh heaven help me, get your head out of the gutter!
I’m referring to a 7 inch ROUND cake, and the finish being less than perfect because it’s getting eaten anyways and semi naked is awesome. Bits of that cake peeking through the buttercream teasing with its dark chocolate goodness… Yep. Now you want some cake, don’tcha?
It took me forever and I don’t really know why. Here I am finally releasing my Perfect Dark Chocolate Cake recipe, the sultry sister recipe to my Kara’s Perfect Vanilla Cake recipe. Yes, there’s a way to alter the original, but the chocolate does in fact deserve its own page, its own post. Because it’s glorious.
Isn’t it strange how some things just make sense suddenly and you wonder why it never occurred to you before? Yep. So when I made my son’s gravity defying Skull and Cross Bones birthday cake I used this recipe because he’s quite the chocolate fan.
Also, this cake carves like no one’s business.
And in my tutorial packet for the cake, I included this recipe. And it struck me AFTER I released the tutorial that I’ve never shared it ON MY BLOG. This is not meant to be a coveted or secret recipe. Why haven’t I just shared it with you?!?
It just never occurred to me. [insert head smack here…]
However, better late than never and now you may enjoy this glorious, delicious, dense, rich, moist (yeah, I’m cool with that word), and chocolatey cake.
Just look at that tight crumb! I had simply broken that chunk of cake off to demonstrate that it doesn’t crumble. At all. Clean and tidy and beautiful. *sigh*
And if I may make a suggestion as to your buttercream choice:
- Real Raspberry SMBC
- Key Lime SMBC (add Key Lime from Amoretti to my standard SMBC recipe)
- Peach SMBC
- or pretty much any SMBC flavored as you wish
I love using Amoretti flavorings or freeze dried fruit powdered, but you are free to flavor as you see fit. While frosting and buttercream are always the stars of the show, you may find my Perfect Dark Chocolate Cake to be irresistibly snackable on its own 🙂
Now back to the whole 7-inch comment… Why, Kara? Just why? Why be difficult and not say 8-inch round pan like everyone else?
Hi. I’m Kara. Apparently, we haven’t met. I don’t like doing things out of the convention. I don’t follow suit just because it what’s always been done or because it’s standard. WHY is that our standard? What function does it serve other than tier size? The recipe still fits 2 8-inch rounds and will bake up the same amount of cake, just in a slightly different shape.
So if 8 inch is more within your wheelhouse, do it! You do you, Boo.
I do me. For some reason, 7-inch x 3-inch rounds are just more aesthetically pleasing to my eye. For single tier cakes, at least. 8’s can feel too wide and a bit squatty unless you’re planning on baking extra to get some dramatic height on the cake. And 6-inch is just too narrow, though you get the stunning height… and those two combined can become less than enjoyable to divide up to serve.
7-inches is a perfect size. For me. And my needs and wants.
And I don’t think every cake needs super thick frosting or an ultra fancy coat of finishing fondant. Sometimes we just need a quick delicious, and impressive cake. Here’s your solution. This one batch of cake batter, on a batch of SMBC, divided for 3 flavors.
And I literally only made it to be able to share the recipe with you 🙂 There was more SMBC on the outside originally, but the day was warm, and I didn’t want to feel so thick and heavy especially with the richness of the cake and the bright and tart flavors of the buttercream. The simple and perfect proportional balance of cake to buttercream.
THAT alone can be an art. I use about ¾ inch thick cake layers to ¼ – 1/2 inch buttercream between. Never more than 50% butter cream to cake. I try to stay closer to 46.84%. (that was a joke because I seem super picky.)
As you can see, I went overboard on this cake. Because there were pretty colors and I had lots of extra buttercream to use.
Just a good mix. Does it really matter? YES!
Why? Well, let’s think of extremes. How would a cake with 1 inch thick layers and a scraping of frosting between each taste? A craptastic letdown.
Likewise on the other side, an inch thick frosting and ½ of cake of each layer…Too much. Big food chains spend lots of time perfecting the balance of ingredients to be the most pleasing to the eater. You should take this care, too.
Wow. I’m full of tips and tricks and whys here. But this was supposed to be about my Perfect Dark Chocolate cake recipe… Well, here it is, in all it’s glory!
Based on my Kara’s Perfect Vanilla Cake recipe and method (hi-ratio method). If you haven’t yet discovered by signature vanilla cake recipe, you must check it out. And if you’ve never baked hi-ratio head over there and read all the rave reviews from people who didn’t get it at first and decided to just trust me… They fell madly in love and won’t go back to any other scratch cake!
Ok. I lied. I have more thoughts for you quick (just in case…).
This cake does not crumble when cut. At all. This cake is a DREAM! And it’s all in the ratios and methods. Just trust my madness. And no – you cannot substitute things or omit things and get the same result. Of course, you CAN do that. I can’t stop you. But you will not get the intended result.
It’s perfect for tiered cakes, especially wedding cakes as it’s a dense gourmet cake, but it’s also the best for carving and sculpting because it cuts so precisely and without crumbling. You will never carve with another cake again!
Make sure all your ingredients are room temp. If you feel any cool with your finger, they are too cold. Warm them. If you don’t you’re likely to get a gummy dark layer that looks unbaked running through the center. It’s all science, folks. You can’t change science.
Use baking strips. Period.
This batch makes about 9 cups of batter and I use 3-inch tall pans only. If you use 2 inch tall pans be sure to collar them with parchment so you don’t have bake-over. But you’ll still get a glorious cake with the collaring!
USE GOOP! Go get the Goop recipe and love me forever. Your cakes will JUMP out of the pan!
Recipe, Kara… Recipe.
And if you like it, do me a solid and Pin it! 🙂