Monday, April 13, 2009

Hershey's Black Magic Cake, Trimmed

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Hershey's Black Magic Cake, easy to make and to eat.

In my experience, the best cake recipes are those given by people whom you can trust. I have tried many cake recipes from food magazines and the net but nearly every try was a disappointment. I forgive (but not forget) too easily though and gave in one more time, this time to Hershey's Black Magic Cake.

I don't know which came first, this cake or the others that are similar to it, like the Red Velvet Cake, for example, but if you bother to check, many cake recipes out there on the net use the same ingredients and amount as this cake with only the flavoring ingredients substituted. This will be a great basic cake on which to develop other cakes because the texture of the cake is soft and moist, and all the ingredients are thrown into the mixer bowl; you don't have to separate the eggs. You just mix everything together. In one bowl. The end result is a cake that will surprise you, pleasantly.

I really thought that the cake would turn out hard and dense because the batter was very watery. It was like unwhipped cream. I also had reservations because I reduced sugar by half a cup, baking soda by 3/4 teaspoon because I dislike the smell and salty alkaline taste, and salt by 3/4 teaspoon for health and taste reasons as I figured that the reduction in salt would balance the reduction in sugar. I also substituted 1/2 the veg oil with melted butter. Just thought that butter would taste better, yet didn't want to go all the way to make this a sinful black magic cake. So with all those changes, I just wasn't sure if the black magic was going to work.

Hershey's spell was too good to be broken because my trimmed cake turned out fine.The texture of this cake is soft without being airy like a sponge or chiffon cake, and crumbly without being dry. I think the texture is nearly like some cake mixes but the taste is way better. Even the color is beautiful-- a rich dark brown. I wonder if other cocoa powders give the same color. The only thing I didn't like was the frosting, which I took from Pioneer Woman's post on choc sheet cake. (I did make it a sheet cake which is an excellent way of serving an informal cake. Southern US in origin, sheet cakes are cakes baked in a shallow tray or pan to give a one-layer cake .) I used PW's recipe because it calls for cocoa powder instead of block choc which is convenient and cheaper, and also there's no need to bring out the mixer; you just hand-whisk everything over the stove. However, I found the frosting too much like glace icing and although I reduced the sugar (and the butter and replaced the milk with cream), the frosting was too sweet, slightly gritty and tasted like a sugar, choc powder and milk mix. Which it was anyway. It just wasn't creamy and smooth enough and didn't do anything for the cake. The next time I do this cake, I will take the trouble to get some choc chips and make a ganache.

If you've never made a cake before, start with this. Make it a sheet cake.

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Hershey's Black Magic Cake, Trimmed

  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used cake flour)
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda (or use 2 t as per original recipe; cake may be even softer)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee mixed in 1 cup boiling water, cooled
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or use melted butter, or half butter half oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

1. Oven at 180 C. Grease and flour two 9" round cake tins for making a layered cake. You can't use one tin and cut into 2 horizontal layers because the cake is crumbly. I doubled the recipe and used a 33 cm x 33 cm x 2.5 cm high (13" x 13" x 1") cookie sheet to make a sheet cake. Use a slightly higher tray if you have one.

2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder together into a mixer bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Pour into the prepared tray/tins and bake 30-35 minutes for the round tins and40-45 minutes for the tray until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

4. Cool and pour a choc topping/ frosting on top. I recommend a choc ganache.


Katie said...

Wow, that cake looks incredibly moist! It's breakfast time over here and I'm really craving chocolate cake now!

TeaLady said...

I feel the same way, Terri. I usually go to the foodie blogs before I go the books for a new recipe. Has worked for me.

BTW - cake looks great.

Plain Jane said...

Oh dear! So 'sinful' looking, Terri. I am going to try this this afternoon!! :-)

Art of Eating said...

Lovely cake, look moist just the way i like it for chocolate cake.

kampungboycitygal said...

looks like red velvet to me hehe..too bad tht we din get to meet in kk :(

worldwindows said...

Moist and compact. Love that intense colour too.

cherry potato said...

Wow, this cake looks very moist and attractive!

Frrequent Reader said...

Mmm.. Indulgent and moist. I'm going to try this too. =] Why not try a peanut butter and cream cheese frosting? Think it'll go great too !
This is like food porn~!

Agnes @ rB said...

Yummy~ very sinful looking =D

Anonymous said...
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Precious Pea said...

I can imagine how rich and moist and chocolatey it tastes!!!

Sophie said...

Looks like your changes worked out great! The cake looks divine.

Simply June said...

Terri, I just made this cake today after reading your blog on Monday....... I followed the exact measurements per the original recipe. Might need to take your advice on reducing the baking soda...Nevertheless the cake is so moist, so soft and so YUMMY!! I paired it with a semi sweet chocolate ganache. Divinely Delicious! Thanks again!

terri@adailyobsession said...

katie: there's a reason i post my recipes..

tealady: thnx. have u made this b4?

plain jane: how did it turn out?

artof eating: yes, it was moist

kampungboygirl: u were too busy...come again :0

worldwindows: tt's right, it was moist n dense n yum

cherry potato: make it soon n tell me

pp: make it for precious' birthday? r u bringing ur little ones to aus?

sophie: thnx :)

simply june: oh so happy tt u did well n like it:)

Anonymous said...


debbie said...

Hi Terri,

This cake looks tempting and sounds like it's pretty simple to make. It'll be my first time baking a cake and i want to do it for my bf's birthday as he's been very sweet and supportive lately.
I browse through the recipe, and realized you've added a cup of coffee? May i know what is this for and if i can replace this with something else since the bf doesn't like coffee very much.
Thanks. Appreciate your help.

Unknown said...

Hi Teri,
Great recipe and yet simple. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I just baked this cake for my husband's birthday today. I have doubled up the portion of your recipe and used Van Houton cocoa powder instead of Hershey since i cant find it at nearest hypermarket. I made it into 3 layers with semi sweet chocolate ganache (by using 3 8" of round cake tin). The texture of the cake is soft and moist but the aroma of the cake is just fine to me. May be because of the brand of the cocoa powder that i used. Anway, the cake is good and everyone finished it without leaving a drop on the plate. Thanks and God Bless.

elspeth said...

I ALWAYS make this cake. It is amazing. I put the one bowl buttercream icing from the Hershey's website on it, and it is delicious. I've got a paper copy, but I always just get it online.

elspeth said...

Debbie - the cake does NOT have a coffee flavor. It just enhances the chocolate flavor, much like the buttermilk and the salt that is also added. Use coffee, your boyfriend will love the cake either way.

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