Nigella’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake - Cocoawind

It had been a while that I had baked a cake. Like a real chocolate cake. Rich. Decadent. Chocolate Cake. And slathered it with chocolate frosting. Rich. Decadent. Chocolate Frosting. I had been toying with the idea of trying out a whole different chocolate cake recipe from the ones I usually make and had zeroed in on this delicious Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe by Nigella Lawson. But had been procrastinating as usual.
We had guests for dinner this Friday plus Kamalika of Silence Sings (a fellow KFBian) is our featured blogger for the event of  the week – Chef’s Challenge where we make or bake a recipe of our favorite chef/celebrity chef. Two birds with one stone – the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake was the perfect dessert for Friday dinner and for the KFB event.
We enjoyed slices of this decadent chocolate cake with piping hot coffee for Saturday breakfast – an indulgence, I know but we totally deserved it after a super-busy and hectic week. We woke up late, ate frosted chocolate cake for breakfast and stayed in as it was just too hot to venture out. 
Here’s the recipe of Nigella Lawson’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with a couple of tweaks here & there. 
Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake - Cocoawind
Ingredients for the Cake: (about 8 to 10 servings)
  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/2 Cup
  • Sugar – 1 Cup
  • Unsweetened Cocoa – 1/3 Cup, go for a good quality one
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Instant Coffee granules – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Butter – 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 Cup/12 tbsp
  • Eggs – 2, large at room temperature
  • Sour Cream – 2/3 Cup
  • Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp

Ingredients for the Icing/Frosting (enough to fill and frost a 9 inch cake, with some leftover)
  • Semi-sweet chocolate – 6 ounces, broken into small pieces
  • Unsalted Butter – 3/4 stick or 6 tbsp
  • Confectioners Sugar – 2 1/2 cups (plus a little more)
  • Sour Cream – 1/2 Cup
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  • 1 tablespoon of strong coffee
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease (with butter or oil spray) and dust 2 8 inches or 9 inches round pans with flour or cocoa powder and keep aside. I like to line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper, too. 
In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (except sugar) – flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant coffee granules and salt.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together till creamy and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Now add the dry ingredient mix in batches and mix till everything comes together into a smooth mixture. 
Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Start checking at the 25 minute mark and keep adding few minutes of bake time till done. Insert a tooth pick or a skewer in the middle of the cakes and if it comes out clean, your cake is done. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to let the cakes cool down completely – that is when you can frost it. 
While the cakes are cooling, make your frosting. 
In a microwave safe bowl, heat up the chocolate pieces and butter for about 30 seconds. Take it out and give it a quick mix. If you see some solid pieces of chocolate put it back in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Take it out and whisk gently till the chocolate pieces melt and you have yourself a shiny melted chocolate concoction. Let it cool.
Once the chocolaty mix has cooled down, add one tablespoon of cooled down coffee to it. The original recipe uses  light corn syrup – my bottle of corn syrup was way past its prime to I skipped it. Plus I love how a little bit of coffee kicks up the chocolaty taste a couple of notches. Now gently fold in the sour cream and vanilla extract. 
Using a fine mesh strainer. sieve the confectioners sugar into a bowl. Fold in the chocolate-sour cream mixture and mix till everything comes together. Add a little more icing sugar or little more strong coffee till you reach your desired consistency. 
Use a little bit of frosting to secure one cake to the base. Slather it generously with the frosting. Then place the second layer of cake on it. Slather more frosting. Now using your offset spatula keep pushing and spreading the frosting out till it starts dripping over the sides. Smooth and style as you go. I kept mine simple. 
Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake - Cocoawind

Tip 1: Before I add the frosting, I stick strips of parchment paper under the cake to catch the wayward drips of frosting. 
Tip 2: The frosting should be spreadable but not dripping. Add little more icing/confectioners sugar if your frosting is too runny or a little bit of boiling coffee or water if it is too thick. 
Cut a big slice and enjoy as a dessert or with a hot cup of coffee. 
I am sending this to Kolkata Food Blogger’s ongoing event

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