Friday, January 22, 2016

Chocolate-Chocolate Lavender Cake

So it's January, sooo new year, new start right?  Why does it sometimes feel like nothing changes though, or that the things you wish would change just don't?  Like there are things you can personally control...I can try my hardest to blog more frequently in 2016; I can try to cook dinner more frequently; I can be more proactive about planning out my lunches; or you know the normal I can aim to be more healthy and workout more in 2016.  There are some things though that you really, really wish you could change, but that you have zero control over.  But, truthfully I will always keep trying to change some of those things whether at work or when I once again let my blogging fall off because sometimes life just gets too busy.  What is it that you want to change in 2016?  For me the questions is...what do I want to accomplish before I turn 30 in August?  Bungee jumping anyone?

Okay down to the food, and this time I mean cake, three layers of rich chocolate-chocolate, straight out of the movie Matilda, chocolate cake. BUT I did make this just a bit more grown up, so this is actually a chocolate lavender cake.  This cake is moist, light and fluffy with just a hint of lavender flavor, with rich fudgy chocolate frosting that is worth licking the spatula over. You might be thinking that you don't really like lavender, or even...SERIOUSLY lavender in a cake??  But this cake even changed my mind.  So give it a try and Enjoy!

This is the Matilda Cake I was talking about.

And this is what I would like to call a lavender sugar smelled delicious!

Not as big as the Matilda cake, but just as chocolaty!

Side view...up close and personal.

Chocolate Lavender Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lavender
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 cups buttermilk

Chocolate Frosting: (recipe from Tasting Table)
*I timed and a halved (1 1/2) this recipe so I would make sure I had enough frosting for a three layer cake.
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray the bottom of three 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and then line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds.

2.  In a food processor, pulse together the sugar and lavender until the lavender is broken up completely

3.  In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until completely combined and fluffy.  Then whisk in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is completely mixed in.  Then whisk in the vanilla extract and set aside.

4.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.

5.   Alternating between the flour mixture and the buttermilk, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until just combined.  Then whisk in about half of the buttermilk just until combined.  Next mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture until combined, followed by the remaining buttermilk and ending with the remaining flour mixture.  Divide the batter evenly among the the pans.  Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool to room temperature.

6.  While the cakes are cooling prepare the frosting.  Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  Then in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and sugar, stirring often until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate begins to soften. Whisk until smooth and allow to sit for another 5 to 7 minutes to cool slightly.

8. Whisk the butter into the chocolate, adding only 1 or 2 pieces at a time and whisking until they're blended in before adding the next.  

9. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it seems spreadable, 20 to 30 minutes.

10. To assemble: Once the cakes have cooled, level each cake by cutting off the rounded part of each cake so they will lay flat on top of each other.  Frost the bottom cake layer generously with frosting, then place the middle layer on top, making sure it is centered.  Frost the middle layer and then top with the remaining cake layer.  Frost the outside of the cake first and then the top.  If the frosting is too warm, place the cake in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes then frost with remaining frosting.  Serve and Enjoy!

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