Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ina Garten's "Beatty's Cake" for the Barefoot Bloggers

This is a very true story. Many years (maybe decades) ago, I was a full-fledged chocoholic. A friend of mine, who is a hypnotherapist, said that she could help me to control of  my insatiable appetite for any kind of chocolate. I won't get into the details of my session, nor the suggestion she gave my subconscious mind that would create an aversion to chocolate (you don't want to know...). All I can tell you is that, since then, I only have an occasional craving for chocolate! Even then, a bag of chocolate can last for months and months, untouched, in my cupboard. Crazier, still, is that I'd rather eat a Cadbury Fruit & Nuts bar or See's chocolates, in lieu of Godiva Belgian chocolate-- it's just too rich for me! 

So, here I was faced with a Barefoot Bloggers challenge of baking another Ina Garten cake recipe as the second of this month's chosen recipes! Mary of Passionate Perseverance  chose "Beatty's Cake" (found in Barefoot Contessa at Home) --a rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting... a combination that I'm not particularly wild about (I like chocolate and white frosting).  However, my husband likes it and I was sure that I could find some takers once I had finished this cake. I just enjoy baking, so I was up for trying Mary's choice.

I liked the idea of using oil and buttermilk, instead of butter, which  I presumed would give the cake a lot of moisture. Besides, the frosting consisted of two sticks of butter!  I also like the idea of using coffee to enhance the taste of chocolate. I was going to be a good sport, despite my lukewarm love of chocolate cake and chocolate frosting-- so I decided to make Ina's recipe exactly as is,since this recipe has stellar reviews. Like Ina, I try my best to buy the best quality ingredients:

One of my golden rules in baking is to measure and prepare all of my ingredients. Baking is science, so it can ruin the whole recipe if you discover you're missing a vital ingredient.  I make a point of bringing my eggs and butter to room temp. Depending on the weather, that can take 30 minutes, to an hour.

Sometimes, I'm lazy and I don't sift my dry ingredients. This time, I made a point of it...

...because Dutch Cocoa can clump up.  I was also reminded that kosher salt doesn't sift well...duh!

One of my blogger buddies, Muneeba, just got a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer for her birthday. She's in for a treat! Mixing the batter, for this recipe, didn't even make me break a sweat. I simply mixed in the wet with the dry and the batter was ready in no time at all.

I make a point of  checking my cake about 5 minutes sooner than the recipe calls for, to reduce the risk of it being over-baked and dry. Ina's instructions say to bake this recipe between 30-40 minutes.  I used 2 9-inch pans and these were ready in 25 minutes!  Heed my warning, because my oven is calibrated to be pretty accurate! I allowed the cakes to cool for 30 minutes, per the instructions, and then put them on a cooling rack.

It's time to make the frosting-- I can finally use the espresso powder that I order from King Arthur. It's pretty cool stuff.  I like how fine the powder is, compared to instant coffee.  I've never made a buttercream frosting with an egg yolk, so I bravely went ahead--wondering if a raw egg would freak out anyone. I decided not to say anything.

The butter is whipped for about 3 minutes-- there's lots of air going in this!

Ina calls for 6 ounces of "good semi-sweet chocolate".  Well, Ina,  Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips is as good as it's gonna get!  I started to do the double boiler thing...then I thought, heck-- what are microwaves for? 90 seconds later... perfectly melted chocolate. Easy, eh?

 The only reason I'm publishing the photo of the egg yolk that is being added to the frosting is that I love the color. You cannot compare farm fresh free-range egg yolks with the commercial variety. I just love these eggs!

In goes the powdered sugar and then the melted and cooled chocolate.  I took a taste. Not bad! I do like chocolate chip cookies, so I do like semi-sweet chocolate.

So, what happened here?  The unspeakable-- some of the cake did not release. I plead the fifth.

The beauty of icing is that it's like putty-- you can fill in mistakes and nobody will be the wiser. Except for you, but it's our little secret. I have to say, this frosting is very silky and very easy to work with.

So, here's the big "TA DA".  Nothing exciting to look at, its it?  I pondered how to jazz it up... more chocolate fru-fru candies? No!  Roses from my garden? Nah.... It's a cake and I made it from scratch! That's good enough for me.

Craig eagerly waited for a slice of this cake, by eating a smaller portion of dinner. He prompty set aside a slice to take to work, and one for his co-worker who also has a sweet tooth for chocolate.

Does this make you chocoholics quiver with longing?

You can tell me to stop anytime...look away!  I admit, tthis is an excellent chocolate cake. You cannot taste the coffee-- in fact, the coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor loud and clear. The frosting is very creamy, and delicious.  I ate one small slice with vanilla ice cream-- to me, that softens the chocolate for my taste buds.I would definitely make this cake for someone who adores chocolate. It's very easy to make.

HOWEVER... my Chocolate Bliss Cake with a lighter chocolate filling and Fluffy White Frosting is still my favorite cake-- and it's pretty close to Ina's recipe. . I adore a white frosting anytime of the day. I doubt hypnosis will ever cure me of my love of white cake and white frosting. I can't resist it-- and I've had a hankering to make Ina's Coconut Cake.

If you'd like to join the Barefoot Bloggers in making Ina Garten's recipes, twice a month, please visit their website.  Psssssssssssst.... the next person to choose a recipe.... would you choose something that is chocolate free? No more cakes? Well, maybe Ina's Coconut cake? Then again, I'm ready for something with vegetables. My bathroom scale will thank you.

Mary, thanks for choosing this recipe. I love your blog-- what a touching story you have!

NOTE; If you are subscribing to my blog, via Feedburner, please JUMP to my blog to view or print the recipe(s) below.

Happy Baking!

Beatty's Chocolate Cake

If you love a moist cake that is rich is ...

See Beatty's Chocolate Cake on Key Ingredient.

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Penny said...

Your cake turned out beautifully. It was very crumbly for me.

Valerina said...

Gorgeous,I love the contrast in browns between the frosting and cake! So you are no longer a chocoholic!? I don't think I would want to give that up, despite my occasional overindulgence. :)

Kate said...

Your cake looks delicious! It seems that each of us had a different issue with this cake!

Everybody has loved it so it is a good thing!

BMK said...

Gorgeous cake! I don't think I would ever want to cure my chocolate craving!

Olive said...


your cake really look tempting..I am a chocolate addict myself I'm trying to control it but cake like this isn't helping at all, they're so delicious.. and I'm only human ;)

your pictures look great!

Melissa said...

Your cake looks better than Ina's in the cookbook! Perfectly beautiful.

DeltaWhiskey said...

I'm not a chocolate person either... not because of hypnosis though. Dang, I really wish I knew what she suggested though. You have me curious!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I just left Penny's Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen where she also made the cake. You gals have me craving chocolate now.

TKW said...

Looks gorgeous! I'm out of this one because of the Exploding Dishwasher Incident, but it looks like it's a keeper!

unconfidentialcook said...

I am a pathological chocoholic and can't imagine anything chocolate being too rich. I also can't imagine that anything would help me overcome my cravings for chocolate. I saw Ina make this cake and it did look good (though I prefer mousse-y things). Yours looks wonderful. BTW, when I made Ina's brownie pudding it was WAY overcooked.

Velva said...

OMG! I think I died and went to heaven! That Barefoot Contessa chocolate cake looks stunning!

Judy said...

Thanks for stopping by -- it's such a pleasure to meet someone just up the road a piece! Our cakes look nearly identical, too. I thought this was one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had, moist and flavorful. Enjoy your weekend!

spike. said...

Looks beautiful. A lot of work for a non chocolate lover! I need hypnosis!!

Kim said...

I am a SERIOUS chocoholic! Maybe I should consider hypnosis. This cake looks crave inducing and perfect with vanilla ice cream. I melt my chocolate in the microwave too, it's just so much easier. And, when I use a raw egg in Caesar or for frosting I don't tell anyone either. I think they enjoy it more if they don't know.

Michelle said...

Your cake is gorgeous and your blog is so pretty too! I will be back to read more!!

Marguerite said...

What a perfect chocolate cake! I've been eyeing it on my sidebar and just had to come over and tell you that it looks s-ooooo decadent and divine! And your photos are great!
Have a great weekend!

Monica H said...

You told me you were making chocolate cake but I didn't know it was *this* chocolate cake. I made this cake about 3 years ago for my MIL's birthday. We all loved it. But I could definitely taste the coffee flavor, which is fine with me because I'm a coffee-a-holic!

Your slice of cake makes me want to reach through the screen. Yum!

Danielle said...

oooh...I'm not much of a chocolate cake fan but I LOVE chocolate. But I think with the coffee flavor....omg...that would do it for me for sure!! all of a sudden I'm craving chocolate cake? go figure. YUM

Me! said...

This is gonna sound dumb but I never knew where to get expresso powder. I have looked in grocery store after grocery store and couldn't find it. I would end up using instant coffee because that was the closest I could find. Thanks!

favorite recipes said...

what a wonderful looking cake

Asmita said...

I love the way your cake looks. I baked this for a friend's birthday and everyone loved it though I wasn't happy with the presentation. I like the way you have iced the cake.