I stumbled upon this cake recently and have been dying to make it. Basil butter cream and Ina Garten’s chocolate cake… Sounds equally interesting and incredible. If you’ve ever tried Ina’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake recipe, which I have before, you will know that it’s a home run every time. She adds a cup of freshly brewed coffee into the batter and it really brings out the rich chocolate flavor. When we decided to make this cake we had no idea that the trip to the grocery store would turn into three trips to three different stores due to the Nashville “Flash Freeze.” The low was six degrees Sunday night, which is not normal for Nashville. Apparently people got a little nervous and cleared out the grocery stores. The shelves were bare and it looked like we were in the middle of a natural disaster. Persistence paid off and the multiple trips were worth it.
This cake is the best and the buttercream recipe is a new favorite. It would be so great with Rosemary or Rose, or maybe a splash of Grand Marnier.
Chocolate Cake with Basil Buttercream
Beatty’s Chocolate Cake via Ina Garten
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low-speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
*Batter will be very runny, but do not worry*
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely, removing parchment paper.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (three sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream and basil. Heat until simmering but make sure it doesn’t boil. Remove from heat. Let the basil cream cool and then refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight. Remove basil leaves from the cream and discard.
In a heavy saucepan, whisk the flour and sugar together. Add in the basil cream and cook over medium heat, whisking every now and then until the mixture thickens. It takes about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat on high until cool for 7-9 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in the cubed butter, mixing until combined. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the frosting is fluffy and doubled in size. About 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Set frosting to the side.
Place one of the two cooled cakes on a cake stand. With an offset spatula or knife, spread the top with a layer of basil buttercream. Place the next cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting all over the cake in an even layer. Garnish cake with fresh basil and serve.