Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake 

Winter days can seem to stretch on forever, but you can brighten someone's day by baking this decadent chocolate cake that's so easy it literally just takes minutes to assemble. It's similar to my own stash of favorite cake recipes - ones that are tattered from use with splashes of coffee and smudges of chocolate around the edges - but, quite frankly, one of the best I've made. Or tasted, for that matter. Many thanks to Julia Turshen for taking this recipe to absolute perfection. 

If you can get your hands on Cacao Berry cocoa powder and some really great dark chocolate, like Valrhona 70% Guanaja, it will help this cake turn out to be a 10, the perfect score I'm giving it.   The beautiful thing is you can bake it even without those fancy ingredients (using semi-sweet chocolate chips, for instance) and it will still be a wonderful cake.

Get ready for rave reviews. And just a warning: there will be no leftovers.


Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake
by Julia Turshen

Makes one two-layer 8-inch cake


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (use a high quality, like cacao berry if you have it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup strong black coffee, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3/4 cup roughly chopped semisweet chocolate (I used 70% dark Valrhona)
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Middle layer

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam


Fresh raspberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, beaten eggs, coffee, buttermilk or yogurt and vanilla. Whisk until the batter is smooth. Divide evenly between the two cake pans.

Bake until cakes are firm to touch and a knife or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 - 30 minutes. Transfer the cakes in their pans to a cooling rack to cool completely. Then invert the cakes onto a work surface and peel off parchment.


Bring a small pot of water to boil and then lower heat to barely a simmer. Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl and set over the pot of simmering water, being careful the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream and maple syrup. Frosting will be smooth and quite silky. If necessary, refrigerate until it reaches spreadable consistency. Alternatively, you may need to add a few drops of hot water and stir until it reaches desired consistency.


Place one layer of the cake onto a serving platter. Spread with the raspberry jam. Place the second layer on top and smooth frosting over all.  Allow cake to set for at least an hour, or refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to blend.

To serve

Slice and plate, garnishing with fresh raspberries. Absolutely decadent!!

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