Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Another lovely chocolate cake recipe I have discovered! This one is adapted from a recipe by Gourmet Girl. I found it by luck when I was Googling for "chocolate mayonnaise cake with eggs." It is different from my August chocolate cake as it has a softer, less dense crumb, but both get Five Stars in my opinion.

I promised it to a friend, Carla, for her birthday; her sister used to make a mean chocolate mayonnaise cake that she recalls with fond memories. I was invited to visit her in her new home in Brookline, Mass, and along went the cake as well, on the Acela Express to Boston. It was a successful journey - I was worried at first as I thought the buttercream frosting would get gooey but the air conditioning on the train was plenty cool enough to be like a fridge. Only slight repair work was required to patch up the sides with the buttercream.

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

2- 9" round cake pans, greased and floured

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1- 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mayonnaise
1-1/3 cup water

Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

2. In large mixer bowl with paddle attachment beat sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy on high speed, about 3-5 minutes. Add mayonnaise, reduce speed to medium and beat a couple of minutes longer.

3. Add flour mixture to batter, alternating with water- starting and ending with flour. Pour batter into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and middle of cake looks set. Leave cake in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

For the syrup
(Note: The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.)I used the syrup recipe in the Daring Bakers Opera Cake challenge. See ...

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan


½ cup (125 grams) water
⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. of the flavouring of your choice (i.e., vanilla extract, almond extract, cognac, limoncello, coconut cream, honey etc.)

1.Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.

2.Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

For the buttercream
This recipe makes enough buttercream to comfortably frost a 2 layer 9" cake.

(Note: The buttercream can be made up to 1 month in advance and packed in an airtight container. If made way in advance, you can freeze the buttercream. Alternatively you can refrigerate it for up to 4 days after making it. To use the buttercream simply bring it to room temperature and then beat it briefly to restore its consistency.) Also from the Daring Bakers Opera Cake challenge.

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan
•a candy or instant-read thermometer
•a stand mixer or handheld mixer
•a bowl and a whisk attachment
•rubber spatula


1 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 grams) water
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (Note: If you are flavouring your buttercream and do not want to use the vanilla, you do not have to. Vanilla will often enhance other flavours but if you want an intense, one-flavoured buttercream, then by all means leave it out!)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
flavouring of your choice (a tablespoon of an extract, a few tablespoons of melted white chocolate, citrus zest, etc.) I used a couple of drops of pure orange oil - very good.

1.Combine the sugar, water and vanilla extract in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.

2.Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C) [*Note: Original recipe indicates a temperature of 255◦F (124◦C), however, when testing the recipe I found that this was too high so we heated to 225◦F and it worked fine] on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Once it reaches that temperature, remove the syrup from the heat.

3.While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.

4.When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden!

5.Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).

6.While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass.

7.With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny.

8.At this point add in your flavouring and beat for an additional minute or so.

9.Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).

Before frosting, drip the sugar syrup on to the base of the bottom layer and the top of the top layer of cake. It's probably not necessary to use it all - just enough so most of the surface is drizzled on.

Remove buttercream from fridge - when it's spreadable, cover the top and middle of the cake plus the sides. I used fork prongs to give the frosting some peaks and snazz it up a bit.

Over the weekend we ate half the cake, altho I must say in our defence that we had a visitor for afternoon tea who helped us out. It is absolutely delicious, has a rich mahogany color and goes perfectly with a buttercream frosting. I can't wait for another occasion to make it again, perhaps this time with a different flavor of frosting - pale green tinted with crushed pistachios would be nice. Oh well, I'm dreaming right now. Have to wait for an invitation from someone.

I'm submitting my Chocky Cake to Laurie's new event, Layers of Cake

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