For years I have been on a quest to find the best recipe for a chocolate cake. Yes, the cakes always look moist, shiny and delicious in book photos, but once I bake them… they fall short. They either dry out in one day or aren’t moist, or chocolatey enough to begin with. I have tried using melted chocolate, I have made versions with butter, I have tried oil, buttermilk and even mayonnaise and while I have never met a chocolate cake I didn’t like, none reached the level I was looking for… until now. This cake is a version of a recipe that I found online and adapted for the menu at Acme Southern Kitchen. While most Southern chocolate cake recipes call for buttermilk, this cake uses Greek yogurt for the fat and acid component, and I think it is the key to this recipe, that and the addition of rye flour. The rye gives it a nutty, more robust flavor in my opinion. Though you can make it without the rye and use only All Purpose flour if you like, I just don’t want to hear that you told someone, “ oh that cake wasn’t all that great.” Of course it’s not… because you didn’t add the rye flour.
Also, don’t skimp – use good chocolate, it also makes all the difference in this cake. I made this cake using about every cocoa out there and the darker and the higher the quality (and yes…the more expensive) the better.
The Perfect Chocolate Cake
(and I’m not kidding)
1 ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Gently Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup High Quality Dark Cocoa (I use Valrhona)
½ cup Rye Flour (just go with me on this)
1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
9 oz Coffee (room temp)
6 oz Canola Oil
1 cup Whole Fat Greek Yogurt, Unsweetened
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Finely Ground Black Pepper (just go with me on this)
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter and flour (or use cocoa) a 9 x 13 cake pan.
Sift all of the dry ingredients, including chocolate, and set aside.
In bowl of standing mixer combine yogurt, eggs and vanilla; mix on low until combined. Add half of dry ingredients, mix completely. Add half of the coffee and mix until combined. Add remaining dry ingredients, mix until combined, add remaining coffee and mix until combined. Scrape bowl and mix another 30 seconds.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake is starting to split and toothpick comes out clean.
The Most Delicious Chocolate Frosting
3 ½ cups Confectioners’ sugar
1 stick Butter (room tempera)
4 oz Cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup Valrhona Cocoa Powder
½ cup Milk (room temp)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
½ tsp Salt
Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
Add butter, cream cheese, milk and vanilla extract.
Mix on low speed until smooth, creamy and free of lumps.