I love the story of easiest chocolate birthday cake because it is so personal to me and even though I didn't...
What are you guys up to?
- We're already eating that's why we... - Get it baby, get it.
Brad, do you want some chocolate cake?
- Oh I want chocolate cake. - No.
Here's what was happening.
You can get in on this, okay.
So Amber kept making me cakes on my birthday.
I'd come home on my birthday, and it was, like, sh*t everywhere.
Nobody had had dinner.
- Okay, kids are like... - But you got your cake.
Just fubar or what?
Okay, so we developed this.
Remember when I did this with Kat B, alright?
So that this can be the one.
Every birthday from now on, that's the cake.
Alright, Happy birthday.
[Chris makes easiest chocolate birthday cake]
My favorite dessert, whether it's my birthday or not my birthday, is just simple chocolate cake.
Give me the chocolate cake with some chocolate frosting, and I'm so happy.
You know what?
I'm gonna make you a recipe that you can make me every year on my birthday and this is the one.
It's a really lovely, lusciously chocolatey birthday cake that is very simple to make.
The cake itself is even easier than the frosting.
So go figure.
[Prep the pan]
This is just the most standard cake pan, a great way to make this as easy as possible to work with is to brush it very lightly with oil.
Really gotta get myself like, go all the way and get myself a pocket protector, you know?
Just trace the bottom of the pan.
So this is just going to mean that the bottom of the cake is gonna release very easily from the pan.
So, pen side down.
Pen side down!
What if the pan gets in the food?
No, it's not gonna 'cause it's the pan side down, man.
You guys with me?
Wasn't sure what else I was gonna do to explain it any differently.
Pen side down!
[Making the batter]
With a butter-based cake, normally what you would do is you would cream your butter with your sugar, add in your eggs, you build structure, volume, incorporate air, you know, that's how the cake gets a lot of its structure.
This is an oil-based cake so you don't really have to do any of that which is part of what makes it kind of the easiest possible cake you could make, birthday or otherwise.
So I've got one and 1/3 cup all purpose flour, one and 1/4 cup granulated sugar one and 3/4 teaspoon baking powder.
I've got one and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and then I've got 1/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda.
Give it a little whisk.
All right now, next.
This is like one of my least favorite kitchen tasks, which you might remember such things as stripping thyme leaves chopping chocolate.
This is up there for me.
Do you have to sift your cocoa?
Yeah, you don't have to, okay
But Coco ends up being lumpy and kind of fighting against you in that batter.
So whatever you could do to kind of break it up now, you'll thank yourself later.
Hell, you might even thank me.
Gonna whisk this in so this is now gonna incorporate beautifully with the rest of the dry ingredients, no lumps!
Make sure you get all the little bits at the bottom.
So now, for our wet ingredients, we have two large eggs.
Still have not learned how to crack an egg one handed.
I'm on record as saying this is gonna be the year that I cracked that one!
Three quarters of a cup veg oil.
A teaspoon of vanilla.
So at this point, we're gonna put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula because this is going to get really thick.
I just want to incorporate everything, smooth out the lumps, and then I'm going to take this milk here, this cup of milk, I'm gonna heat it up.
The fact of it being hot is going to bloom the flavor of the cocoa and really just opens up that cocoa flavor.
So, anyway, this is very very thick cake batter, looks completely wrong but hopefully in a couple of minutes, it'll look a whole lot better.
I'm not trying to boil the milk, but I want to get it just to the point right before it boils.
That's just gonna be a minute here.
I'm not gonna wander off, not gonna check my Instagram, okay?
Just right here focused on this because I really don't want it to boil over.
I'm not necessarily looking for bubbles to form.
I wanna see that moment where you're about to get bubbles, where you see those like little wisps of steam kinda come in.
I wanna see a wisp!
Give me a wisp, come on!
So now is where we're gonna go back to the whisk.
So at first, it's not really gonna want to cooperate.
You wanna whisk it completely but not kind of over mix.
But honestly, doing it by hand, there's way less of a risk of that.
That's why you want to have your pan prepared ready to go when you are.
I just tamped out a few of those bigger bubbles here and we are taking this right to the oven.
And here we go.
There it is.
All right, cake's ready, done.
So, if you have a cake tester, by all means you can use it.
I just feel like these, they lie, cake testers lie.
They'll tell you whatever you want to hear.
So go with this wooden little skewer, okay.
So if you have any underdone cake, it's way more likely to show up on one of these guys.
This is looking great.
Let's frost it!
All right, so this is four ounces of semi-sweet chocolate.
Try not to exceed 64% cocoa.
The reason being that certain chocolates can get a little bit funky when melted and used in a ganache.
So anyway, bear with me.
Let's go over to the stove.
Part of the base of this frosting is a ganache, which is just a mixture of heavy cream and chocolate.
I'm gonna put these together.
This is 1/2 cup of heavy cream, four ounces of chocolate.
We're doing it over a double boiler.
You'll notice you know it's a non-reactive bowl and the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl here.
So chocolate starting to melt here.
All right, I could lower the heat.
If you see a lot of steam escaping means it's kind of bubbling way under there.
Just lower the heat, calm it down.
Check your feed, all right.
And, yeah, we'll be right back in a sec.
Okay, so it's smooth.
It's well incorporated.
I'm just gonna set this aside, let it cool about 25 minutes or so until it firms up.
And then we're gonna incorporate it into our frosting.
So, ganache has chilled, all right.
I've got room temperature cream cheese.
We need four ounces of this which is half of this bar.
So, our extra quarter teaspoon of kosher salt is going in here into the frosting.
It's gonna help you bring out that chocolate flavor.
It's gonna make everything taste so much better.
3/4 of a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and then 1/4 of a cup of confectioner's sugar.
You know, any electric mixer really makes very short work of this.
So I just want all of this stuff to be nice and smooth, that's gonna ensure that it incorporates very well with the cooled ganache.
So this ganache has not fully set.
It's going to continue to set as it gets even cooler.
But it's a great temperature for incorporating with the cream cheese.
Both of them are kind of matched in terms of fluidity and density at this point.
So you can see that relative to where we started, it's already starting to hold its shape a little bit more.
Just gonna go a little bit further and then we're there.
[Frosting the cake]
The parchment round!
How do ya like them apples?
Here's the thing.
I don't even...
Oh my God!
You're making my cake?
We're, oh my...
I know, I'm sorry I'm making your cake.
- No, I'm so happy. - How do you think I did?
I think you did bring this looks awesome.
At this point, you've done the work.
You just want to eat the cake so why are you going to do something that, like takes forever and stresses you out?
No offense, Claire, you know.
Just easy and looks great!
So show them the spoon technique.
- Everybody is so used to having crappy like, you know, grocery store cakes that like if you actually give people a cake that you make yourself, they sort of freak out in a good way. - Yeah it's super easy.
And you could finish here, this could be it.
You could be done.
I would have liked called it, alright.
We'd be eating by now but that's fine.
Take it a step further.
So do we wanna do the swirls or do we wanna do the lines?
I want to do like your...
- The swoopies. - Yeah, the swoops.
So just kind of press into it with the side of the spoon.
And you get these like lovely little you know, kinda... tails.
And you can do this for hours or just two seconds.
And it's still gonna look great!
Turned out so fabulously well!
Did you see how I did that?
Oh my God.
I was like sitting there like sweating like I'm gonna have to do it on camera.
And I'm just gonna have to do it and pretend like I know what I'm doing.
And then like Kat like angel, swoops in out of nowhere and totally does it for me.
Anyway, let's cut into this thing, right?
You guys ready for cake?
[Get some candles]
This is a sneak preview of my 40th birthday.
Things are like suddenly looking a little darker up here.
Like, can I just draw your attention to how f*cking amazing that looks?
There's no bells, there's no whistles.
Like it's just chocolate cake, it tastes awesome.
Brad, get it.
Get your coffee, let's go.
You get some cake.
You get a cake.
Just a sliver for Hunzy.
It's delicious, Chris!
My only non-cake-liking critique.
I could use a third less cake.
- You want less cake? - You don't like cake, period, that's it.