Simple Pleasures Made Simply Delicious: Chocolate Chip Cake
The older I get, the more I firmly stand by the conviction that we don’t need a special occasion to make—and eat— a cake. After all, special occasions are sometimes few and far between.
Each year, for our family birthdays, I bake any cake requested by the birthday person. Nick, my stepson, is always the easiest; he likes a simple Butterfinger cake that is truly a no-fail recipe. Doug generally chooses a chocolate layer cake with cream cheese icing or a cheesecake, both of which are fairly easy and low-key.
|Copyright, Doug Kapustin Photography, 2014|
Tate, my daughter, isn’t a big fan of desserts (Yes, she IS my daughter but I can’t explain that one!) so her choices vary, but they are usually some variation of a yellow cake and a chocolate topping. Ali, my stepdaughter, prefers that I choose something different each year based on the ingredients I know to be her favorites. All in all, I have no tough customers when birthdays roll around.
That being said, when my birthday arrives, I also get to request a cake that my husband makes for me. It’s only fair to say that I am a tough customer, unlike my family members. Doug really doesn’t enjoy cooking, but to his credit, he always goes above and beyond by making exactly what I request to the best of his ability. Every year, I begin saving recipes a year in advance, and I try to choose something that will be both challenging and rewarding. Last year, I requested a blackberry cobbler with homemade buttermilk ice cream, and the year before, I wanted a super moist and full-flavored coconut cake with at least two layers. I believe the year before that was a giant Napoleon. For my next birthday, I think I want a flourless chocolate cake with a raspberry coulis. We’ll see if I change my mind before October, though.
Today’s cake—sans special occasion— is made with buttermilk, and it is perfect anytime. I covered mine in toasted coconut rather than the chocolate shavings that were in the Family Circle cover photo, where I first saw the recipe. The tang of the buttermilk coupled with the bittersweetness of the chocolate chips makes for a winning dessert. The only concern I have is that this cake is very easy to over-bake, and we all know that over-baking means dryness. I’ve made it several times, and I even used the entire egg rather than only egg whites in one version. That works too. Even the icing for this cake is a nice change; no butter, just heavy cream, sugar, and melted chocolate.
Whatever you occasion, you’re sure to love this dessert! Happy Mother’s Day, 2014 to all of the wonderful moms out there; I hope you get pampered all day!
Chocolate Chip Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 egg whites
¾ cup buttermilk
1 bag (12 ounces) mini chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
Chocolate curls, to garnish (optional) OR Toasted coconut
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat two 8 x 2-inch straight-sided round cake pans with nonstick spray; line bottom of pan with waxed paper. Coat waxed paper with spray. Set aside until batter is ready.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
With mixer on medium speed, beat butter and granulated sugar in bowl until light. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition. Stir in 2/3 cup of the mini chips. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Spread level.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 37 to 39 minutes, or until cakes spring back when pressed. Cool in pans on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert cakes; remove pans and paper. Turn right side up; cool completely.
Place remaining chips (1-1/3 cups) in a glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds and stir. Heat 45 seconds more; stir until smooth. Set aside. In large bowl, beat together confectioners sugar and heavy cream until blended, 1 minute. Beat in half of the melted chocolate, then remainder. Beat 1 minute, until shiny, smooth and good spreading consistency, scraping down bowl halfway through.
Place one cake layer on a pedestal or platter. Spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Top with second cake layer. Spread side and top of cake with remaining frosting (if frosting becomes stiff, use warm spatula to spread). Garnish with chocolate curls.
Original recipe from Family Circle magazine, also at this link: