May seems to be the month of choice for birthdays in my office. To start the birthday month off right, I decided to make the first birthday cake! I spent a good amount of time looking up different recipes (there are SO many!) and finally decided on a classic chocolate cake via Martha Stewart.
Dark Chocolate Cake:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
How do to it:
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Line bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in chocolate and vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and buttermilk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pans 15 minutes; run a knife around edge of each pan, and invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Set a rimmed baking sheet upside down on a work surface. Place one cake on sheet, and spread top with 1/3 of ganache. Place second cake on top, and spread remaining ganache over top and sides of cake. Using two wide metal spatulas, carefully transfer frosted cake to a serving platter.
Dark Chocolate Ganache (use as frosting)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
How to do it:
- In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil. Remove from heat; add 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped, and let stand, without stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk just until combined. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until spreadable, about 1 hour.
I then made a fun design using nonpareil candy. You can use anything to top a cake. Have fun with it! I can’t wait to have some tomorrow!