24 Years of Award Winning Baking & Dessert Video Recipes

breakfast & brunch bars & squares cupcakes shortbreads breads youtube channel
about us
recipe index
substitutions
ingredients
glossary
conversions
weight vs volume
chocolate recipes
healthy baking
pumpkin recipes
apple recipes
eggless recipes
comfort foods
blueberry recipes
cranberry recipes
biscotti recipes
pudding recipes
english tea party
trifle recipes
ice cream recipes
strawberry recipes
lemon recipes
candy recipes
christmas cookies
christmas baking
christmas candy
valentine's baking
easter baking
halloween baking
thanksgiving baking
baking history
bibliography

 
Subscribe Now
 

The "Chocolate" in Chocolate Layer Cakes Recipe

Printer Friendly Page

Chocolate Layer CakeIn making a dense and fudgy American-style chocolate butter cake three types of chocolate can be used: cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, dark chocolate (semisweet or bittersweet) or a combination thereof.  All three of these chocolates make delicious butter cakes but having a basic understanding of them will help you in choosing a recipe or to simply explain why one chocolate cake recipe is different from another. 

When used alone in cakes, cocoa powder imparts a full rich chocolate flavor and dark color.  Cocoa powder can also be used in recipes with other chocolates (unsweetened or dark) and this combination produces a cake with a more intense chocolate flavor than if the cocoa wasn't present.  

Most recipes call for sifting the cocoa powder with the flour but to bring out its full flavor it can be combined with a small amount of boiling water.  (If you want to try this in a recipe, substitute some of the liquid in the recipe for boiling water.)  Often times, you may notice that more butter and leavening agent are used in recipes containing cocoa powder.  This is to offset cocoa powder's drying and strengthening affect in cakes.  There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed and it is best to use the type specified in the recipe as the leavening agent used is dependent on the type of cocoa powder.   Some prefer using Dutch-processed cocoa as a slight bitterness may be tasted in cakes using natural cocoa and baking soda.

Unsweetened chocolate imparts an intense pure chocolate flavor in cakes.  This is chocolate in its purest refined form which has no sugar added hence its strong and bitter flavor that cannot be eaten out of hand.  Mainly used in American style cakes and in recipes that contain lots of sugar and fat.  Sometimes it is combined with dark chocolate or cocoa powder in recipes to further intensify the chocolate flavor in the cake.  The most common and readily available unsweetened chocolates are found in grocery stores (Bakers and Hershey's).

Dark chocolate gives a less intense chocolate flavor in butter cakes than unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder.  The flavor of the chocolate in a cake is  dependent on the brand used as each has its own unique formula (type of beans, processing technique, amount of sugar added).  In making an American style layer cake where there are so many other competing flavors, brands found in grocery stores (Baker's, Hershey's, or Ghirardelli) are adequate.  The more expensive American brand (Scharffen Berger) or European brands (Lindt, Callebaut, Valrhona, Cacao Barry) have such depth and nuances of flavor that are better showcased in cakes or tortes that have less ingredients that won't diminish or mask their fine taste.  I would recommend saving the expensive chocolate for the cake's filling and/or frosting where you can appreciate the smooth and creamy texture and complexity of flavors.

No matter what chocolate you choose for your chocolate butter cake, good ingredients and proper technique will always ensure excellent results.

Subscribe Now
 
     
 

 

 

New Videos

   
   

 
 

Contact Us   Privacy Policy

Use of materials on all pages on the domains Joyofbaking.com, joyofbaking.mobi, the Joyofbaking.com Facebook Page, @joyofbaking on Twitter, the Joyofbaking.com RSS Feed, the Joyofbaking.com email list the Joyofbaking1 YouTube Channel and any emails sent from @joyofbaking.com are entirely at the risk of the user and their owner, iFood Media LLC will not be responsible for any damages directly or indirectly resulting from the use.

References cited may include a link to purchase the referenced book or item on Amazon.com. Joyofbaking.com receives a commission on any purchases resulting from these links.

This website and the contents are not endorsed or sponsored by the owner of the "Joy of Cooking" series of books or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc. and is not related to the  "Joy the Baker" books and website. Video icons by Asher.

Content in any form may not be copied or used without written permission of Stephanie Jaworski, Joyofbaking.com.  Students and non profit educators may use content without permission with proper credit. 

A baking resource on the Internet since 1997

Copyright  1997 to 2021 iFood Media LLC