A Quest - for Perfect Chocolate Cake

I'm in search of a recipe for the perfect chocolate cake. I had the perfect chocolate cake just over a month ago at the Old Village Hall Restaurant & Pub in Lanesboro, MN. It was a mocha chocolate cake and it was rich and dense and oh so yummy. Recently, I had another chocolate cake that was close to as perfect as the first - this one a Chocolate Truffle Turtle Cake at The Roasted Pear. I asked for the recipe. I didn't get it.

I'm tempted to call the Old Village Hall and ask for their recipe but I don't mind a quest. So I'm on one - in search of a recipe for the perfect chocolate cake. The cake I want to bake is kind of like a flourless chocolate torte but more dense. The ones I've had have been topped with chocolate ganache so that's a must. I believe both had a chocolate crust but I'm not hooked on the crust idea.

Tuesday night I tried a recipe from Chocolate Cakes - 50 Great Cakes for Every Occasion. The recipe, Peppermint Patty Cake, called for 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate and 1 1/2 cups of peppermint patties and it's covered with chocolate ganache (made with cream & chocolate - yum!). I baked the cake according to directions - and it flopped. Okay, not completely but I couldn't get the cake out of the pan (despite buttering the pan - the recipe didn't call for me to flour the pan as well. I think flouring it, or using a springform pan, would have helped). In the end I had a mass of chocolate mush on my countertop and it didn't resemble a cake at all.

Owen suggested I throw it out and start over. I wanted the cake for my brother's birthday at noon on Wednesday and it was late Tuesday night so I couldn't start over. Instead, I took the gloppy mess and formed it into a cake shape with my hands. Then I covered it with ganache. And even though there were a few spots where the texture was a little off (the peppermints congealed in places) we ate it - all of it - within two days.

My brother Joel and his son Liam - and the birthday cake that didn't work but still tasted great.

I'm thinking I might take the recipe and tweak it a bit and see if I can come up with my own recipe for a perfect chocolate cake. I'm sure it will take me awhile to find the perfect recipe - but I don't mind a quest, especially one that involves chocolate!


Nina Patten said…
Cakes are so tricky. I am a big fan of buttermilk when I bake--gives richness and a great blend with chocolate. I may have a recipe to share with you.

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