This past weekend our Dad turned a year older. Don't worry Dad, I won't reveal how young you are! He is a HUGE fan of chocolate so it wasn't difficult deciding what to bake for his special day. A few months back I had baked this chocolate cake for Alex's birthday, but I'm always wanting to try new recipes so I went with a new take on this common delight. With a few basic ingredients for the cake and some chopped chocolate for the glaze, this recipe was a piece of cake! It was perfectly moist and not too rich. Everyone devoured it and went sneaking back to the cake plate to grab another slither. Our mom's birthday arrives at the end of the month. I'll have to whip up something equally as yummy for her!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Colorful confectionary sprinkles and/or nonpareils
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter bottom and side of pan.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium-low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture (batter will appear curdled).
Transfer batter to cake pan and smooth top. Bake until cake begins to pull away from side of pan and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.
While cake cools, bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 1 minute. Gently whisk until smooth, then stir in corn syrup. Cool completely, gently stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes (glaze will thicken).
Pour glaze onto center of cake and spread to edges with a spatula. Decorate with sprinkles and/or nonpareils.
Note: The above recipe makes one 9-inch round cake. I doubled the recipe to make a double-layer cake.