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Extreme Chocolate Cake
May 23, 2010

This recipe is nearly identical to a recipe I have been using for 20 years. The only difference is that my recipe calls for 1 cup of cold water and 1 cup of piping hot coffee in place of the milk and boiling water. This time, I tried it with the milk and hot coffee, and I loved the result. There are 2 tricks to getting the layers out of the pan intact. The first is to use the right kind of pan. I use extra-heavy Wilton 9" round cake pans. They have slightly higher sides than conventional cake pans and they are made of pale aluminum with a dull finish. This helps the cake cook evenly, but it also ensures that the cake develops a crust flexible enough to withstand turning the cake out onto the cooling racks. The second trick is to grease the pan heavily and then flour it. A light wipe with a greasy paper towel might make the flour stick, but it won't be enough to keep the cake from sticking to the pan. I lied. There is a third trick. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack precisely 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven. That gives the cake time to firm up a bit, but not enough time for the shortening you used to grease the pan to adhere to the cake. And yes, the recipe yields a soupy batter. It's supposed to be that way. Don't use a springform pan. If your cake overflows the pan, you are probably using dutch process cocoa instead of regular unsweetened cocoa powder or a premium cocoa. Don't. You need the acidity of Hershey's regular to offset all that baking soda.

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