I should have known that Ina Garten had the best chocolate cake recipe all along; she is, after all, a goddess. There have been a few times in the past when I thought I had found The Perfect chocolate cake recipe, but every time I thought I had found my go-to, I started to get consistently bad results. Weird textures and sunken tops and what-not. I was a little skeptical when I read all of the glowing reviews surrounding this cake; everyone, and I mean everyone, said it was The Best Chocolate Cake Ever. And that it was easy to boot! Can one recipe really deliver all that? It turns out that the answer is a resounding Yes! Ina really does have the best chocolate cake recipe: it is a snap to make (no whipping, no careful folding, no fancy ingredients, just mix-mix-pour) and it produces a cake that is moist and rich and perfectly springy. My dad gave it perhaps the best compliment a cake can receive when, with eyes as wide as saucers, he stared at me quite dumb-founded and said, “What?! You made this from scratch?!” High praise indeed.
I have a favorite chocolate frosting recipe that I use for everything, and it worked beautifully with this cake. I highly recommend it! I chose not to make the chocolate buttercream included in the recipe from The Barefoot Contessa because it contains a raw egg and that grossed me out!
*I almost forgot my asterisk! We don’t drink coffee, but adding coffee to chocolate cake deepens the chocolate flavor and really makes it sing, so I don’t like skipping that or adding water instead (blah!). So I use Pero, which is just an instant beverage powder that is made from malted barley and chicory and smells vaguely coffee-esque. It can be found near the teas, coffees, and hot cocoas at the grocery store.