My little girl turned seven this past Sunday! How did this happen? Often I want time to move faster, to get past some of the obstacles of having small children, and then I look up and think to myself – stop! – don’t go there yet! I am very proud of how she’s growing up, how mature she is (most of the time), how smart, independent, kind and happy. I know that my husband and I only have a small play in how she’s developing – we try hard to support her and provide an environment where she can thrive.
Since we are on vacation during her actual birthday, we decided to host a birthday party with her friends before we left. We had a few big planning hick-ups, last minute changes to our plans – but she took it with stride and truly enjoyed her time with her group of friends. That’s all that really matters. It’s not about the perfect theme or the perfect decor – all that counts is that she spent 2 hours with her friends – they laughed, squealed, ran around like tornadoes and ate cake. This is the cake – a dark, moist chocolate cake with Swiss Meringue Frosting – perfectly decadent and pretty to look at. That’s all you really need to celebrate, right?
This cake is very similar to my other chocolate cake I usually make. I decided to try something new for a change. They are almost interchangeable, both are super moist and super easy to make. Next time I’d make my mascarpone frosting again though (strawberry one and chocolate one) – I find it’s the easiest to make and I like it better than butter based frosting.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup strong, hot black coffee or espresso
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- For the Frosting:
- 5 large egg whites )
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 pound unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 3 x 8" cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper.
- In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Divide among prepared pans. Batter will be liquid.
- Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean, about 35 minutes. Try not to over bake.
- Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.
- For the Frosting:
- Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
- With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed, gradually add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
- Add vanilla and salt and mix well.
- Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.
- Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks
Recipe from Sweetapolita. This can also make two 9 inch layers that will be thicker.