Saturday 22 December 2012

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

The theme for this month's Teatime Treats is Chocolate. A pretty wide theme really, so I'm sure there will be lots and lots of delicious submissions to browse when the round up is published. There are lots of chocolate-y things that I've made that I could share for this event, but it seems rather appropriate to share this one. The recipe for the chocolate cake came from Karen at Lavender and Lovage  (one of the co-hosts for TTT which is being hosted this month by Kate at What Kate Baked) and has become one of my favourite chocolate cake recipes. 

It's quick and easy to make and the only ingredient that you might not already have around is the creme fraiche. I've made this cake twice already - once as little cupcakes (quicker than waiting for larger cakes to bake) and once as a two layer cake. Both times were very successful and I think the cakes look very pretty too.

Karen gives the recipe as an all-in-one recipe but I often find that my butter isn't soft enough for an all in one method using a Kitchenaid stand mixer (although it is usually ok with an electric hand mixer) so I have adapted the method slightly. The recipe is reproduced with Karen's permission:

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
140g creme fraiche (I used a French style one, it's very thick, solid in fact)
125g unsalted butter
200g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
170g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder (I think mine was fairly generous)

- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas4 . If making a large cake, grease and line two 8"/20cm shallow round cake tins. If making cupcakes, place liners in muffin tins (I made 18 using this recipe).
- Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture has changed colour and is light and fluffy.
- Add the creme fraiche and continue to mix.
- Add the vanilla, eggs, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix, starting slowly to prevent a cloud of flour enveloping your kitchen.
- When fully mixed divide between the prepared tins/muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes for small cakes and 30-40 minutes for larger cakes.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla buttercream
90g butter
200g icing sugar (plus extra to get desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla extract

- Beat the butter until very soft (using electric mixers unless you particularly feel in need of a work out) and then add half of the sugar. Starting slowly, beat it until well combined. Add the rest of the sugar and the vanilla extract (or more to taste) and continue to beat until very soft and fluffy. You may need to add a little milk or do as I do and add a little warm water from a boiled kettle.
- Spread or pipe your buttercream as desired.

I love this cake, and the vanilla buttercream complements is beautifully. It isn't that often that I make one recipe twice in close succession but this is a fab recipe and may become my go-to chocolate cake recipe. Yes, it needs creme fraiche, but it isn't a hardship to have creme fraiche in the fridge - it has a long shelf life and if you don't end up using it for chocolate cake it has a multitude of other uses (or a spoon may suffice, perhaps with a chopped banana to assuage lack-of-fruit-and-vitamins thoughts....). It's moist, light and chocolate-y and is very easy to throw together at the last minute. Thanks for a great recipe Karen!


Alicia Foodycat said...

That does look like a very good chocolate cake recipe! I wonder if it would work with half fat creme fraiche?

Caroline said...

Hmm, not sure - that's why I specified that I'd used full fat solid creme fraiche. It's a lovely cake though!

Unknown said...

mmm... love the crumb on those little cakes, they look so light and chocolately... perfection really!

My Kitchen Stories. said...

What a great recipe using Creme fraiche. The comments are very funny, because you just wouldn't get people asking if they could use low fat here
At any rate they look good

The Caked Crusader said...

Chocolate and vanilla is such a lovely combination. Your cupcakes look great
Happy Christmas!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Thank you very much for a lovely TTT entry! Hope you are having a really lovely Christmas x

Caroline said...

Dom - light, chocolatey perfection. It's a great cake recipe..

My Kitchen Stories - thanks.

CC - it is a good combination, isn't it. The recipe works well as both a layer cake and cupcakes.

Kate - Thanks for organising TTT!

Ruth Ellis said...

What a delicious looking cake - yum!


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