Monday, October 12, 2009

Applesauce Chocolate Cake

Here’s a good recipe for chocolate cake that uses apples – applesauce, to be more precise. It helps keep the cake moist (and it also helps get rid of a huge bag of apples, if you make your own applesauce). I got this recipe from Baking Bites.

½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cups sugar, divided (1 cup + ¾ cup)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 350 °F and line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the pans and the paper well.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla extract and 3 egg yolks until smooth.

In another large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy at low speed. Turning the mixer up to medium-high, gradually blend in the remaining ¾ cup sugar and keep beating until the egg whites reach soft peaks. Set aside for the moment.

Alternating additions, blend dry ingredients and applesauce into the oil mixture. Start and end with additions of dry ingredients and mix only until no streaks of flour remain.

Stir in 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten up the batter. Fold in remaining egg whites in two or three additions, mixing only until no streaks of egg white remain and color is uniform.

Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Turn cakes out onto a wire rack and remove parchment circles, then allow them to cool completely before frosting.

Buttermilk Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened (or margarine)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp buttermilk (or lactose-free milk with a splash of lemon juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt together butter and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in 30-45 second intervals, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth. Cool for 10-15 minutes, or until mixture is at room temperature.

Transfer butter mixture to a larger bowl. Beat in cocoa powder, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla, beating until frosting is smooth and slightly fluffy. Add additional powdered sugar to thicken, if needed (depending on the weather, you may need more one day and less another). Frosting should be at room temperature before using.

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