Basic Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsweetened (Dutch processed) cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature (optional)
- ¾ to 1 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. If desired, line with waxed paper. Dust bottom and sides with sifted unsweetened cocoa powder. (Generally, flour is used, however, since you are baking a chocolate cake, cocoa would not create a white “powdery” crust or exterior on you cake.) Set pan aside.
- Combine together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Sift together once and set aside.
- Cream butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating for another 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Break eggs one by one over butter mixture, beating well after adding each. Beat in vanilla and melted dark chocolate (if using). Continue beating for another 1 to 2 minutes or until well-blended.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Alternately beat milk and sifted dry ingredients into butter mixture in portions until just incorporated. Beat for another 2 minutes to blend all ingredients. Do not overbeat.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tester inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cook in pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around the sides of cake to loosen. Turn out onto a wire rack and peel off paper liner. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. Frost and decorate cake as desired, or simply dust top generously with sifted confectioners’ sugar. Cut into wedges before serving.
- If desired, drizzle top of cake with berry or fruit coulis, decorate with slices of fresh fruit or berries and serve with ice cream.
- If using as birthday cake, split horizontally in two, sandwich with chocolate filling and frost with your preferred frosting.
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