If you have but one chocolate cake in your repertoire this should be that cake. Dense, devilish and coated with mocha buttercream icing it’s dessert for grown ups. The addition of a couple of teaspoons of very finely ground coffee & chicory to the icing adds visual and aromatic interest. Best of all the rich flavor comes from Hershey’s dark powdered chocolate – no expensive chunk chocolates that require melting here.
People in Louisiana love their coffee and chicory and everyone loves chocolate so I can’t think of a special occasion where it will disappoint. If you don’t have coffee with chicory, the regular kind will do just fine.
This recipe is pretty straightforward, the only variable consisting in whether you decide to use buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. If you can find a good rich buttermilk use it. My luck in finding that has been poor these last few years. Seems as if most of what is available is skimmed and watery so I tend to use the yogurt, which, if you buy it in the small individual cups, is exactly the right amount. Interestingly, even though the yogurt and sour cream are thicker than the buttermilk, that thickness doesn’t seem to affect the final product. So whichever you decide to use, half a cup does the job.
Here’s the uncut version:
- Make a liquid out of the following:
- 1 cup hot water
- ½ cup Hershey's powdered dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee/expresso
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup buttermilk (or full fat plain yogurt or sour cream (the small individual yogurt is about ½ cup)
- Mix together:
- 1 stick butter
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- Stir together:
- 1⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- For the icing:
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon each coffee liqueur, vanilla, and very strong coffee with chicory (or instant expresso)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix the hot water, chocolate powder, coffee, vanilla, sugar, and buttermilk.
- While that is cooling beat well the butter, then add the sugar and the eggs.
- Now start alternatively adding the dry ingredients with the liquid to the butter/sugar/egg slurry till they are fully incorporated.
- Pour into 8" greased and floured cake pans (or, if you're having a Martha moment, you can do the paper lined version...) and bake for about 35 minutes.
- For the icing beat the butter till very light and add the powdered sugar.
- Mix the yolk, coffee liqueur, vanilla and coffee and add gradually to the butter mixture.
- If desired add a couple of teaspoons of very finely ground coffee with chicory.