A Perfectly Good Excuse to Bake a Cake

This week a dear friend paid us a visit, giving me a perfectly good excuse to bake a cake!
Did I mention his 24th birthday is just around the corner?

Did I also mention ‘Chefski’s a master cake decorator?
Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Cake
Adapted from the back of Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, plus a great hot coffee tip from Celeste’s Sugar and Spice
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee (use this instead of the 1 cup boiling water the cocoa box suggests!)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
2. Prepare your pans (or pan, singular, in my case) by spraying it with cooking spray, or by smearing it with some butter/ vegetable oil. Make sure to cover anywhere the cake may touch. Now dust the pan(s) with some flour. Cool trick: pour a spoonful of flour into the pan, then cover with a large plate. Shake, shake, shake!
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
4. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla, and mix on medium-high with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. 
5. Stir in hot coffee. 
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean. 
7. BIG! Once you take out your pans, it’s really important you let the whole thing cool for at least 10 minutes before you flip the pan. I forgot to do so for my first layer and it definitely tore! Argh! Check it out:

Oops. This is what happens if you don’t let your cake cool before flipping it. 
It tore, leaving some delicious crumbs in the pan…

 …guess I’ll just have to eat some o’ that torn cake right now… 
8. After 10 minutes have elapsed and you’ve flipped out your cakes, allow them to cool completely before icing. 

 ::sigh of relief::
Now that’s more like it!
Lesson: Wait 10 minutes before flipping 🙂 

Keep reading for the icing/filling I used….

Raspberry Filling

Adapted from the one Deb’s Smitten Kitchen used in this cake

1 10-ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1. After thawing raspberries in the microwave for 2 minutes, puree in a blender. 
2. Press your puree through a fine-mesh strainer, into a small pot. We only have a lil tea-strainer thing, so this step took a little longer (scratch that; a LOT longer) than you would expect. My guess is that the larger the diameter of your strainer, the better. This step is key, though… cuz who likes raspberry seeds?   
3. Add the sugar and cornstarch to your puree (in the pot), and heat it over medium-low heat. As the mix begins to boil, it will also thicken. 
4. Allow to cool completely before layering onto your cake. 

Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Frosting
Adapted from the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Package 

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk


1. In a medium bowl stir together melted butter and cocoa
2. Alternately add milk and powdered sugar, mixing with a hand mixer to create a smooth, spreadable consistency. Feel free to add a little milk if necessary.
3. Thickly schmear it all over the cake, and lick it clean from the bowl. Let the sugar rush begin.
This entry was published on March 13, 2010 at 1:02 am. It’s filed under dessert, pastry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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