I was restless all weekend .. and when I'm restless I tend to bake. A lot. I've recently discovered the joy of really really good dark cocoa powder. The good stuff, not the stuff you find at your local grocery store. (I love ya Hershey but your cocoa powder is lame). I buy 5lbs at a time and a little bit goes a long long way because it adds such a depthness and richness to chocolate cake. When baking a chocolate cake with cocoa powder and not melted chocolate, you're going for a rich moist cake rather than a dense crumb cake.
The photos I'm about to post are SOOC (straight out of the camera). I apologize for some of the blown out photos. I was too lazy to cover up my windows to soften up the glaring light. I'm posting SOOC photos so you can actually see how dark the chocolate cake comes out all on its own. This recipe is also phenomenal in that it requires ZERO leveling. The cake bakes level. I kid you not. I've never had to level out this cake, ever.
Notice how dark and rich the cake color is .... I used a super basic vanilla buttercream frosting and the cake tasted like a cake version of an oreo. The crumb on this cake is to die for and it's super duper moist.
By the time I got finished crumb coating the cake, I didn't really want to add on anymore frosting so I piped some simple shell borders on the top and bottom of the cake and called it a day.
But I said I was having a bake-a-thon weekend, right? So I didn't stop there. I mean the damn oven was on, right? So I also baked a brioche loaf. Unfortunately I was also really hungry so as soon as the dang thing came out of the oven, I snapped up on lame photo and then proceeded to slice it up to eat. Speaking of which, I should make some french toast with the bread!
Finally, because things don't stop there ... I also baked up my famous soft chewy chocolate chip cookies. These are not my "normal" chocolate chip cookies in that I normally like one with more of a crunch factor. But for whatever reason, I was craving some super duper soft and chewy cookies. Like as though they were straight out of the oven no matter how many days the cookies have been sitting out on the counter. So I made these ... vanilla pudding cookies.
Again, I have to apologize for the blown out photos. I'm lazy, what can I say.
If ya'll want recipes, let me know. I'll type them up so you can whip up a batch of chocolate cakes or chocolate chip cookies at your leisure. The cookies take all of 10 minutes to whip up and another 10-12 minutes to bake. So this is a no brainer if you're not the patient kind - like me.
Since you've asked ... here are the recipes for the cake and cookies! I hope you enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 sticks butter at room temperature (leave them out for 15 minutes on your counter)
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 3.4 oz package of vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugars until the sugar has completely incorporated with the butter. Add in the pudding mix, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix only until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix in the chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula or by hand.
Drop the a spoonful of cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden. Remove cookies and let them cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Don't overcook these cookies. Take them out at 12 minutes. If you're making big ole cookies, then you'll need to adjust your cook time. Keep your eye on them because if they turn darker than golden you're not going to get that chewy soft consistency.
Chocolate Cake Recipe:
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup strong black coffee that's been cooled
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature (if you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to your milk. Let it sit for 2 minutes and you'll have buttermilk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 3 9" cake pans with butter and flour.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add all of the wet ingredients into the sifted dry ingredients. You don't need a mixer for this because the batter is very wet. Mix well until everything is incorporated. Divide into the 3 cake pans. I'm OCD so I weigh mine out, but you can go by eye.
Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans. Bake for another 12-15. DO NOT OVERBAKE. A cake tester should have crumbs attached to it. As long as it's not undercooked, you're good to go.
Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Then gently remove the cakes from the cake pan. As a word of caution, this is a super moist cake. So it will be sticky .... as in when you try to remove the cake, it will cling to whatever it touches. Be careful not to crack the cake.
Once the cake is cooled, use any frosting of choice. Then be prepared to be AMAZED at how rich and good the cake is.