I decided to give another chocolate cake recipe a whirl: Horseradish Grill’s Chocolate Chocolate Layer Cake (The first link is to the I.C.E. curriculum version; see also here for the Nick Malgieri cookbook version. Update: these links do not work, so go here). And yes, it is yet another variation on Hershey’s Black Magic Cake, just like my most recent favorite, Zoe’s Devil’s Food Cake.
The difference? More sugar, more eggs, chocolate instead of cocoa for the chocolate flavor, less leaveners (like baking soda and baking powder) and a higher fat content. The result: a moister, denser cake. The baked layers do not feel springy; they feel a bit like flourless chocolate cake or brownies. After 40 minutes at 325 degrees, the cake felt not quite done, and I left it in the turned off oven for another 5 minutes.
The recipe is from, of course, the Horseradish Grill, but the recipe was published in Nick Malgieri’s Chocolate: from Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers (p 84; Nick says he got the recipe from the restaurant’s chef at the time, Scott Peacock). The recipe is now part of the Institute of Culinary Education’s (I.C.E.) pastry curriculum, which was created by and is overseen by Nick Malgieri.
The Horseradish Grill serves the cake with whipped cream and strawberries (and charges $8 a slice). After making the cake, I can totally see where this would be a restaurant dessert workhorse.
Instead of layering it with a rich ganache frosting, I went with a simply cocoa whipped cream. The basis for the chocolate whipped cream topping was a recipe for chocolate mousse filling/frosting from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook. But, I really didn’t measure the amounts of cocoa and sugar that I added. To a pint of Rich’s Whip (dairy-free whipped topping), I added a spoon of coffee powder, a few spoons of cocoa, and a few spoons of sugar. I added more cocoa until it was cocoa-ey enough. You do not have to worry about overwhipping Rich’s Whip. Impossible.
What I did: I went with strong coffee as my liquid, and I used dairy-free “sour cream” instead of real sour cream. I decorated the sides of the cake with grated chocolate.
My husband gave this cake his ultimate praise: “more Duncan Hines-like than Duncan Hines.” By that he means supernaturally moist and rich. The cake stays moist and yummy even after days in the fridge. Fantastic.