Chocolate cake, one of my favorite's to bake because (for me) it is the ultimate challenge. Will it be chocolatey and not overly sweet? Will it be fluffy and have the perfect amount of gooeyness? Will it be interesting enough? Ultimately, will it come out right?
I've crossed the point where all my chocolate cakes just flat-out suck and now I'm in the experimental zone. The area where I can blend different ingredients to perfect. And I must say, it's all working out pretty great.
I hate chocolate and fruits (other than chocolate dipped strawberries), so you'll never see me mixing the two. Chocolate and nuts, on the other hand, obviously tried and true.
So, Nutella you say. Yea this cake has nothing in common with Nutella beyond the two main ingredients. I promise you it doesn't taste much like it at all and I definitely didn't use any Nutella. If you do want that well known flavor, you can spread some on top before you garnish with chopped hazelnuts.
This cake is for the true chocolate lovers.
1 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups kefir
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup well ground hazelnuts (+ a little for garnish)
• In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt). In the bowl of your mixer, blend butter and sugar until fluffy and lighter in color (around 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one mixing between each. Add vanilla extract and mix. In a bowl over a small saucepan filled with boiling water, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil. Add the chocolate mixture to your butter & eggs and blend well. Alternate adding the flour mixture and kefir. Once your batter is well blended but not over mixed, stir in the hazelnuts.
• This cake makes 2 rounded cakes for a tiered cake or two separate single tier cakes. Pour batter into two buttered cake pans and cook at 325º for about 35 minutes. Please check your cake often as each oven cooks a little differently, when the smell starts to hit the air it means it is nearing done. There is nothing worse than an overcooked chocolate cake.
• Melt a cube of dark chocolate with heavy cream for spread or use Nutella. The first choice is definitely for those who like an extremely bitter chocolatey taste. Garnish with ground hazelnuts.