Chocolate Cake

In college I had a hard time picking a major, like so many do. I ended up studying Humanities, emphasizing in Media Arts. I studied film and how it fits into the arts as a whole. To this day I am as much of a film enthusiast as ever. So from the very beginning of Project Food Blog, I have been looking forward to this particular challenge, when we would be asked to create a tutorial video.

 Fancy camera

I recruited both my husband, Steve, and our friend, Jake, (both of them also film enthusiasts) to help with the video. Together we brainstormed, probably having a little too much fun doing so, and decided to make a short film inspired by one of our favorite directors, Wes Anderson, featuring one of my favorite recipes. Wes Anderson has a very distinctive style (maybe you know some of his films— Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and most recently, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and I hope those of you familiar with his films will appreciate the nod.

My crew

Ready to rock

It was pretty easy for me to pick a recipe to feature. As a baker I am particularly fond of cake and one of my favorites is this chocolate cake. Not only is it the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever come across, but this cake is one of my all-time favorite cake recipes period. And I’m not even a chocolate person, it’s just so incredibly delicious. Hopefully my video will convince you that this cake is something you’ve got to try, and show you how easy it is to make.

On camera

I’m not going to lie, the video was a lot of work. We worked for over 16 hours total on filming and editing. And that’s not including the hours I spent obsessing about it. But it was so much fun! This has got to be one of my favorite Project Food Blog challenges to date. Our hard work paid off and I am extremely happy with how my video turned out, and I am excited to share it with all of you.

I hope you love it as much as I do! A special thanks to Steve and Jake, because without them this video wouldn’t have been possible.

Voting for Challenge 7 begins on Monday, November 15th.

Update: Voting is now open!

Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Sky High Cakes
Makes 1 double-layer eight inch cake

2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 cup freshly brewed coffee, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 eight inch cake pans, lining the bottoms with parchment paper.

Sift together the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and buttermilk and mix on low until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and coffee. Add to the mixer bowl in three additions, mixing after each addition.

Pour evenly into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Chocolate Ganache
Makes 5 cups

1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup brandy

Melt chocolate and butter together in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Add the heavy cream and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the brandy. Cool to room temperature. Frost cake as desired.

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    43 Responses to Project Food Blog Challenge #7: Annalise Makes Chocolate Cake

    1. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite says:

      My husband and I just watched this and we are both drooling. WHAT A CAKE!!!! You make the decorating look so easy too. Well done!

    2. Brie: Le Grand Fromage says:

      dang, that is one delicious cake. very cute video – good luck!

    3. Hot Polka Dot Mom says:

      Oh my, oh my. I was absolutely drooling by the end of your video. Seriously. I am SO going to make this cake. Fabulous video. Well done.

    4. kaitlin says:

      YES you make that look so easy…i loved it.
      also can't get over how much you look like your mom. seriously.

      i think it's SO great how you are doing so much with your baking. you're a pro. i vote every time…obviously.

    5. Amelia PS says:

      i think you should add "drooling" as a side effect of your video!!! :)

    6. kristin @ delishliving says:

      Wow, you did SUCH an awesome job! I learned a few tricks or two as well :) This cake looks unbelievable! Best of luck to you!

    7. Maria says:

      Very cool video! Loved it! Now I want a piece of cake:)

    8. Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) says:

      So cool to see you in action, Annalise! You're a beautiful and talented baker! Thanks for sharing this excellent video, these beautiful photos, and your stories leading up to the finished product. This is a lovely cake and a job well done!

    9. Lucia from Madison says:

      I have been baking for a very long time and this is the best baking video I have seen. Love the music and the whole style you used. The cake looks fabulous!

    10. Cathy @ ShowFoodChef says:

      Very fun! Nice film tribute and style, too.

    11. Cathy @ ShowFoodChef says:

      Very fun! Nice film tribute and style, too.

    12. Cathy @ ShowFoodChef says:

      Very fun! Nice film tribute and style, too.

    13. Cathy @ ShowFoodChef says:

      Very fun! Nice film tribute and style, too.

    14. Cathy @ ShowFoodChef says:

      Very fun! Nice film tribute and style, too.

    15. M (@notarevolution) says:

      Love the video! And I really want a bite of that cake. Yum!

    16. Geoff & Cami Brown says:

      it turned out soooo great!!! i hope you win!!!

    17. Geoff & Cami Brown says:

      it turned out soooo great!!! i hope you win!!!

    18. Geoff & Cami Brown says:

      it turned out soooo great!!! i hope you win!!!

    19. Geoff & Cami Brown says:

      it turned out soooo great!!! i hope you win!!!

    20. Geoff & Cami Brown says:

      it turned out soooo great!!! i hope you win!!!

    21. Lizzy says:

      That cake looks delicious…I am sure it was a piece of cake to prepare as well

    22. Mariko says:

      I love Wes Anderson too. So much.
      I want those cake pans! They're nice and high and the cake looks delish.

    23. Daydreamer Desserts says:

      Great job! That chocolate cake looks absolutely mouthwatering. :)

    24. Cherine says:

      Great video and the cake is mouthwatering with all that chocolate glaze ;)

    25. Leila Hamilton says:

      I loved this video! fantastic job!
      Leila @ My Barbarian Table

    26. Lizzy says:

      This video is so good!!! I went to school for Visual Media…. love the overhead shots! Great job…. looks mouthwatering!

    27. Mindy says:

      Loved the video! Passed the link on my fb page and hope it brings some votes your way!

    28. Delishhh says:

      Great video, i love the music and easy to follow.

    29. Diana says:

      This looks amazing! Just voted for you! :)

    30. Jen Chesnut says:

      Awesome & soooo yummy annalise! I just voted for you.

    31. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says:

      I totally love the video, but just had to pause in the middle of watching to tell you THANK YOU for measuring your ingredients out onto paper and then sifting into a bowl — all this time I'd been measuring into one bowl and sifting into another, dirtying up two! Now I know there's another way! So, um, I kind of love you right now.

    32. Lori Lynn says:

      I am envious of your frosting skills, you make it look so easy!
      Good luck!
      LL

    33. CrystalsCozyKitchen says:

      Congrats on making it this far! Sending a little red heart your way. Good luck. The chocolate cake looks absolutely delish!

    34. nico. says:

      that was so wes anderson; I loved it! especially where you prepare the ingredients. I am definitely giving this a vote before even LOOKING at any of the others. also, the cake looks amazing; I love jam fillings :)

    35. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says:

      Okay, back to comment again now that I've finished. You taught me something I hadn't thought of AND made a fun video! You have a vote from me!

      My entry combines stop-motion animation, makeshift music videos, some very off-key singing, my cheesy sense of humor, and enough tips and tricks to empower you to make over 27 different cheesecakes! Come see if you'd like :)

    36. Shannon says:

      WOW!!!! Great video and now I want chocolate cake big time

    37. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot says:

      I adore your video! I love how it has a music video feel as well as a cooking show look. I especially liked the shots of your taste testing and the close ups. And that cake! Omg! Chocolate, coffee and cinnamon!? Love! You have my vote for sure and good luck!

    38. eataduckimust says:

      i love the creativity of the shots combined with the music and pacing. great video! i really need to find me some chocolate cake now….

    39. Ben says:

      Watched this a while back and meant to say… Your experience + effort you put into this are apparent. Great video. I'm impressed!

    40. Heena @Tiffin Tales says:

      I've been meaning to leave a comment here since the longest time. Better late than never I guess. Frankly, you had me at 'chocolate cake'. But it is such a classic that many people are not able to live up to the expectation that comes with those 2 words. Yours did – it's fantastic. And I want a slice, like right now! You've got my vote. Good luck!
      P.S. Linked to your site in my recent post.

    41. Sana says:

      Watching you ice (sp?) that cake was truly beautiful!

    42. Lee says:

      What are the brand of cake pans? Mine are not good.

    43. camille says:

      its ok if i use 9 inch baking pans???

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