Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Magic!

This is one super easy chocolate cake, one of the easiest I've ever made. I only needed a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon and with a few quick stirs to combine everything together, I'm done! The best thing is the cake turned out moist, velvety and very soft! And because the texture was so soft it felt fluffy light on the palate. I couldn't believe it because I had my doubts, and was actually expecting a kueh-like flop as the batter was really thin like pancake batter. What a pleasant surprise it was!  

The only complain I'd nit-pick about is the presence of a  strong bicarb pong. As you can see from the recipe, it calls for 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Maybe my tongue was not as sensitive as my nose, though I could smell, I couldn't taste any unpleasant soapy alkaline aftertaste. The baking soda must have been neutralized by the acidity of the natural cocoa powder. The reaction between the two also explains how the cake got its fabulous deep dark hue and its name. Black Magic indeed! 

On a side note, in baking especially chocolate cakes, it is very  important to use the type of cocoa powder specified in the recipe. Recipes that are leavened with baking soda usually require natural cocoa (Not Dutch processed!) so that the alkalinity of the baking soda can neutralize the natural  cocoa's acidity. On the other hand, those that are leavened with baking powder would require Dutch processed cocoa powder. In case you really need to make substitutions from what is called for (bearing in mind the results will most likely differ along with the substitutions), try the formula here.

I am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #7: Chocolate Delight (May 2011), hosted by Doris of Tested & Tasted.

Black Magic Cake
(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes here)


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong brewed coffee (or use 2 tsp instant coffee granules disoolved in 1 cup water)
1 cup buttermilk  (or use 1/4 cup buttermilk powder dissolved in 1 cup water)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 175 ° C. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center.
  2. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans.
  3. Bake at 175 °C for 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack. Fill and frost as desired.


I've baked mine into cupcakes which took about 20 minutes to bake and frosted them with Chocolate Ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
(from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa)

8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp instant coffee granules

Cook the chocolate, heavy cream and coffee granules in a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.


  1. This is truly a black magic cake! Look soft & moist. Btw, thanks for sharing the cocoa formula link :)

  2. it look like the one that i recently baked. yours look so moist and yummy! (:

  3. hi, i can really see that this cake is so moist..so never judge the outcome by its batter?? haha! and thanks for sharing those notes on the mixing of leavening agents with the cocoa powder.

  4. Hi DG, Jasmine & Lena, thank u all for the kind comments. I'm glad you find the link for the cocoa substitutions formula useful :)

  5. Hi, This cake looks so moist! Can' t believe it is so simple to make :)


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