Chocolate cake

January 27 is Chocolate Cake Day. Here’s everything you need to celebrate all year round


BestReviews is reader supported and can earn an affiliate commission. Details.

If chocolate cake is one of your favorite treats, you’ll be delighted to know that there are holidays set aside to honor the delicious delicacy. January 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day, and whether you’re celebrating all day or all year, anytime is the perfect time to bake chocolate cake.

To guide you through this endeavor, we turned to our baking expert Andrea Boudewijn, a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef who operates Superfine Bakery in Los Angeles, California. Whether you’re a professional baker or have never baked a cake in your life, Boudewijn’s tips will help you create a cake that looks as good as it tastes.

Gather the ingredients

While flour, oil, eggs, chocolate and sugar are the key ingredients used in most cake recipes, Boudewijn suggested other specific ingredients for exceptional results. Using baking soda instead of baking powder is a must, she said. “Chocolate, although it is not acidic for us, it is part of the acid family. You need something to react against it to make it rise. And baking soda is stronger than baking powder and it will create the chemical reaction that makes nice shiny bubbles inside the cake.

Buttermilk also raises the acidity of chocolate, she says, and helps the dough rise. Because buttermilk is simple to prepare, she advises that you don’t have to buy an entire carton.

“The measure I use is ½ cup of whole milk – you want high fat milk – so 1/2 cup of milk to about 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice, then mix it up and let it sit on the counter for five or 10 minutes. Boom, you’ve got buttermilk,” she said. “That’s about the amount you need for an 8-inch round.”

These two ingredients also enhance the flavor of boxed cake mixes. Boudewijn also recommends adding Black Onyx cocoa powder for a rich, deep flavor.

Whether you’re using a spoon, spatula, or blender, thoroughly mixing ingredients is key to achieving even results. “I used to work in a jumbo 20-quart desktop blender, a really big one. And I had to use my arm and my hand to get down to the bottom of the bowl. So it was a challenge. And it was fun, but it still made a good chocolate cake to mix it all up and everything in there,” Boudewijn said.

Improve flavor

Most chocolate lovers agree that the flavor is tempting on its own, but it pairs well with other flavors as well. Orange, mint, coffee, raspberry and cardamom are some of Boudewijn’s favorites that pair well with chocolate. She advises home cooks to check out The Flavor Bible, a book that looks at flavor pairings, for ideas on mixing chocolate with other flavors.

Add the icing

When it comes to topping a chocolate cake with frosting, there are many options that pair well with the chocolate flavor. Boudewijn said “knowing your audience” is essential. Pistachio, almond, vanilla, and coffee frostings are popular options. Boudewijn also suggests lightly dipping the cake in dark rum for a syrupy glaze. And of course, chocolate frosting on a chocolate cake is always a fan-favorite combination.

Decorate the cake

For some bakers, it’s important that a cake tastes good and looks fabulous. Boudewijn said there are simple ways to spruce up a cake. Using a spatula, melted chocolate can be applied with eye-catching patterns. Piping requires a star-shaped tip and slow, steady application for beautiful results. Candies, sugar and cookies like rolled wafers can create a professional looking finish.

The best products to make a chocolate cake

While these will arrive after National Chocolate Cake Day technically ends, we don’t think anyone will blame you for extending the celebration.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer is a must-have for anyone who loves to cook, thanks to its durable construction and exceptional performance. The classic model includes a 5-quart stainless steel bowl, pouring shield, whisk, dough hook and flat beater.

Sold by Cooking aid, Home deposit, Kohls and Amazon

Set of round cake pans

Set of 3 Metallic Round Cake Pans

This mold set includes three sizes for making beautiful layer cakes. The non-stick surfaces are made without BPA and produce great results.

Sold by Amazon

The bible of flavors

The bible of flavors

From main courses to desserts, The Flavor Bible is full of unique ideas for creating recipes with chef-inspired flavors.

Sold by Amazon

Pirouline Wafers

Pirouline Artisanal Rolled Wafers

Not only do Pirouline Chocolate Cream Filled Rolled Wafers have a delicious flavor, but their attractive swirling appearance makes them ideal for decorating pastries and cakes.

Sold by Amazon

Small OXO Good Grip silicone spatula

Small OXO Good Grip silicone spatula

This silicone spatula features an angled tip ideal for stirring ingredients and scraping bowls. It is made of durable silicone with a non-slip finish that provides a reliable grip during use.

Sold by Amazon

Jellybean Foods Black Onyx Cocoa Powder

Jellybean Foods Black Onyx Cocoa Powder

It is the intense flavor of this cocoa powder that makes it the ideal ingredient for many chocolate recipes. It comes packaged in a sturdy jar that keeps it fresh between uses.

Sold by Amazon

German Bakers Chocolate

German baker’s chocolate

German’s Chocolate by Baker’s has been a staple for baking lovers since 1780, thanks to its premium ingredients and natural cocoa that produces delicious chocolate recipes.

Sold by Amazon

Registerhere to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.

Jennifer Manfrinwritten for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

Source link