A chocolate cake, especially dark.

My past attempts for chocolate cake at home were not working for me.  I didn’t realize that the taste I was always hoping for comes from dark cocoa.  While doing inventory of our pantry recently, I noticed an unopened container I had forgotten all about.  It was for Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa.

The first time I made it I was flying solo and simply followed their basic instructions (as their recipe is conveniently located on the back of the box and also available at the Hershey’s Kitchens website.)

The results were divine!

Nevertheless, I was still very intersted in watching someone else step-by-step, as I find this to be an invaluable practice for a novice to follow (even it it seems out of order after the fact.)

For example, in this video demonstrating Cooking with Sugar’s adaptation of Homemade Delicious Especially Dark Chocolate Cake – The Best Cake Recipe from Hersheys” I observed and noted some of these helpful tips:

  • Add 1 cup of freshly brewed strong coffee (although I’ve come across countless chocolate cake recipes that called for this, it wasn’t on Hershey’s list of ingredients so it didn’t occur to me to improvise.  But, Sugar referred to it as her secret ingredient.  We drink Café Bustelo so I brewed a cup and added it this time.)
  • Stir the batter by hand first before using the mixer to finish (I let the mixer do all the work but observed Sugar prepping it like this first.)
  • Remove the pan and let the cake stand alone on the rack to cool (I’ve always left it in the pan to cool on the rack together.)
  • Once the cake has cooled and had its first coat of frosting, put it in the fridge for a little while (it will set and be easier to finish frosting later without crumbling.)
  • How to cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of a round baking pan (I always dreaded using paper.)

19095345_803583269809840_4640975796366249642_oLast but not least, I need a swivel cake stand and a proper frosting knife.  Speaking of, I surprised myself for having the desire and vigor (despite the late hour) to actually make the frosting which has always been optional for me.  I guess I was just born with a unique preference for eating and enjoying cake without it.  Frankly, it makes the process less involved too so it was always fine by me but, going that extra mile was long over due.

Another benefit to research — I always wondered about the batter being so watery.  Sugar mentions it being liquedy as well and that it makes for a moist cake.  Phew.  Good to know!

Even though I was armed with all this new information, I still messed up with respect to presentation.  I hastily removed the cake too soon and it fell apart somewhat as the steam rose from it.  Unfortunately, it was too hot, too soon.

Perhaps my 9 inch cake pans are no longer non-stick because even though I sprayed them, the cake stubbornly stuck to the sides.  Since I’m not partial to frosting (its a defect I know) the first time around I used my trusted and fairly new Bundt mold.  So it was just one pan and no fuss.  Easy, peasy.

On this ocassion the plan was two tiers but because of my hastiness, it was not happening.  The good news is that it’s still better than skipping the frosting part because even I licked the spoon, then.  This cake was a treat for our family after a long week and all that really mattered to us anyway was the taste and that came out great!

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