i know most cooks don't bake, and most bakers don't cook... but i could be either. all baking is is measuring properly and in the case of this recipe below, knowing how to not overwork your batter/dough.
chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting:
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1 c buttermilk, shaken
½ c vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 c freshly brewed espresso
chocolate buttercream, recipe follows
preheat the oven to 350° F. butter 2 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans. line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. in another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. with mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 min, until a cake tester comes out clean. if you're using 9" pans, you'll definitely want to check them after 30 min. cool in the pans for 30 min, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. with a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.
6 oz good semisweet chocolate (recommended: callebaut, valhrona or scharffen berger)
½ lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 t vanilla
1¼ cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 T instant coffee powder (i use medaglia d'oro instant espresso powder)
chop the chocolate into fairly small placesand place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water. stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 min. add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 min. turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. dissolve the coffee powder in 2 t of hot tap water. on low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. don't whip! spread immediately on the cooled cake.