Monday, October 17, 2011


This weekend we had some birthday festivities for a special little girl who turned 6 (and shares her birthday with this guy). I made a black magic cake with strawberry buttercream icing. The cake recipe is a super simple, quick one that I'd call a never-fail chocolate cake. I quite like the shape of a bundt pan and it bakes perfectly this way but a 9x13 rectangular or two 8-inch circular pans work well too. A favorite icing for this is my Grandma Hanson's brown sugar icing (which I'll post soon) but T. requested "chocolate cake with strawberry icing" so I improvised.

Black Magic Cake

6 ounces high quality dark chocolate
1 cup freshly brewed espresso
2 scant cups organic sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 organic eggs
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (1 tsp white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the pan or pans

Set the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot coffee over it, stirring to melt the chocolate. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (the batter will be thin).

Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients, beating at medium speed for a few minutes.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans and 40-60 minutes for a 9x13-inch or bundt pan, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using the bundt pan, invert it to cool. If using other pans, cool the cake for 10 minutes; remove it from the pans to wire racks and cool completely.

Strawberry Buttercream Icing

1 cup soft butter
3 cups powdered (icing) sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
3 Tablespoons strawberry preserves (Bonne Maman or St. Dalfour work well)
6 fresh strawberries, diced or julienned
1 cup whipping cream
zest of 1/2 lemon

Beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla, preserves, and icing sugar and beat to thoroughly combine. Stir in the fresh strawberries. Whip the cream separately until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the sugar/butter mixture, being careful not to over mix as the dairy will break before you know it. Gently and quickly add the lemon zest and immediately spread the icing over the cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


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