buttermilk chocolate cake +

i had just enough buttermilk left to make one more cake, and so i turned to ina garten’s  signature buttermilk chocolate cake recipe with a few tweaks, bells & whistles, of course. (that’s what the + stands for).

the recipe turns out a wonderfully moist cake with a chunky, homespun texture. i decided to whiz it up a bit by planting some poached pears into the batter.  and then glazing the top of the cake with melted white chocolate and shaved almonds.

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake +
(makes one 9 inch round cake)

Dry Ingredients
Flour 1 ¾ cups
Sugar 1 ½ cups
Cocoa powder ¾ cup  (I use either Cacao Barry or Valrhona)
Baking soda 1 tsp
Baking powder 3 tsp
Salt A pinch
Wet Ingredients
Buttermilk 1 cup
Coffee 1 cup
Canola Oil ½ cup
Eggs 2 eggs
Vanilla 1 tsp
Add-in & Toppings
Poached Pears 3 pears, sliced in half
White Chocolate 100g, just melted
Sliced almonds ¼ cup, toasted
  1.  Butter and flour a 9″ (diameter) x 4″ (depth) round cake pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.  Set aside and pre-heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together into the bowl of your standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You really do need to sift the cocoa powder b/c it has a tendency to clump).
  3. Mix all wet ingredients together in a small bowl and then, with the mixer on lowest speed, pour the wet into the dry.  Mix until just combined.
  4. Place poached pear halves in the bottom of your pan (as shown in the picture above).  The batter will push the pears out to the sides of the pan.
  5. Pour batter over the pears.
  6. Bake for 1 hour.
  7. Remove cake and let it cool for 20 minutes in the pan before inverting to flip and cool on the rack.
  8. When the cake is completely cool, melt some white chocolate (mine was melted but fairly thick, not quite tempered). Spread the white chocolate on top of the pears with a metal spatula.
  9. Then toast the almond slices and sprinkle on top.

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