My best friend is home and I wanted to try a mini “naked” cake.
America’s Test Kitchen
1.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 sour cream, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
Frosting, as desired
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease your pans. I used Crisco vegetable shortening to grease two 4 inch ramekins, and two 2 inch ramekins. The recipe calls for two 6 inch pans.
- Combine chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over mixture, cover, and let sit until chocolate is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk mixture gently until smooth. Let cool to room temperature then whisk in sour cream and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Using a mixer at low speed, beat butter (softened) and sugar until sugar moistened, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat mixture until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add egg and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with chocolate mixture. Give batter final stir by the hand.
- Divide batter between the pans, smooth tops and gently tap each pan on counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake cakes until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking.
- Let cakes cool and use spatula to remove cakes from pans. Let cool outside of pans and frost.
Recipe made two mini 2-layer cakes: 4 inch cake on the bottoms and 2 inch cakes as top layer.
I’ve used this recipe at least 5 times and it works every time. It’s easy to do and makes a beautifully moist chocolate cake. The best part of the cake (for me) is that it isn’t overly sweet.
When frosting, I typically wait until the cake is completely cool and then do an initial “crumb” layer, refrigerate, then do another final layer. This time, I wanted to go for the more naked cake look and use minimal frosting. I waited until the cake cooled (which I expedite by putting it in the freezer until it’s cool, but not cold), then frosted it with a thin layer of vanilla frosting.
I finished the cake off with some fresh blueberries and sifted some confectioners sugar on top.