Friday, April 24, 2009

Food Challenge - April

This month, I'm participating in a few challenges over at That Wife's Blog.   The food challenge this month is "favorite recipe."  Sounds easy enough.  I baked up a batch of my Darn Good Chocolate Cake batter and made it into cupcakes (although usually I make a 2-layer cake with it).  I absolutely love how moist this cake is!

The best part about this cake is how easy it is!  It is actually a cake mix cake with extras added in, and no one has believed me when I've said that I didn't make it from scratch!  The recipe is as follows (for a two-layer cake):

1 package plain devil's food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix (I always use devil's food)
1 package (3.9 oz) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I use canola)
1-1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (although I left them out this time because I didn't have any)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly mist  pans with vegetable oil or spray, then dust with flour.  
2. Place cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, warm water, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping down the sides if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the batter out with the rubber spatula.
3. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away  from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan form the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.  Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto the rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more. 
I also made homemade ganache frosting:

3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, finely chopped

1. Place the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted. 
2. To use this ganache as a glaze, let it stand at room temp. for 10 minutes before spooning over a cooled cake.  To use it as a frosting or filling, let it stand at room temperature for 4 hours, or chill until it thickens and is spreadable.

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