Certain events demand certain desserts, and there are times in life when a fruit salad just won’t do. To honor those occasions you’ll need a recipe that can hold up to the emotional weight of a true celebration. This deeply, delicious, chocolate cake will do just right.
For a very special Shabbat dinner last week I wanted to make a beautiful cake for dessert. I chose to halve this famous recipe (originally found here) and use a square baking pan. This helped the cake come out a little more elegant and thin, rather than a traditional high standing layered cake, which I think is better suited for a birthday. The hint of coffee in the batter helps enrich the depth of chocolate flavor in the cake. And though the recipe isn’t difficult, it does require some loving measuring and specific ingredients.
The Jewish celebration of Shabbat always falls on Friday nights, and after a full week of work, it can be a dreaded task to prepare the holiday meal. But I find that staying home and sharing wine and good food with family and friends can be the best way to end the week. I decided to make this cake two days in advance because it keeps very well, and after all, it’s easier to be lazy when you’re well prepared.
2 cups sugar
¾ cups cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coffee
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ cups lour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350◦F. Line with parchment paper, butter and dust with flour two 9 in. round baking pans. (I halved this recipe and used one 8 in. square pan, so do as you please!)
In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vanilla, and oil. Add this wet mixture into the dry one slowly, mix until incorporated and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. The batter will be very watery.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake @ 350◦F for 35 to 40 minutes (until a tooth picked when inserted into the cake comes out clean). Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then lift out the parchment paper and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.