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Chocolate Agave Layer Cake

Posted By Nicole On April 18, 2008 @ 2:43 pm In Cakes,Cakes - Frosting,Chocolate,Recipes | 19 Comments

Chocolate Agave Layer Cake

Honey can be a great ingredient to bake with because it really adds a lot of moisture to things. It also helps to keep baked goods moist over time, so a cake or bread that has honey in it will often taste fresher than one without after it has been stored for a couple of days. Agave syrup, or agave nectar, has this moisturizing property, as well, and I took advantage of it by including it in this chocolate cake recipe.

The chocolate cake is a fairly basic one, the kind that I would have wanted to have a giant slice of after school when I was little. It is more substantial than some cakes, somewhere halfway between a very fluffy cake and a pound cake, but is very moist and tender. Agave syrup replaces some, but not all, of the sugar in the recipe. I found that the finished cake had a slightly better texture when some sugar was still used. The agave sweetener doesn’t have a strong flavor profile and is even more subtle than honey, so you can’t taste any unusual flavors in the cake to detract from the chocolate

For the frosting, I went with cream cheese. I generally prefer cream cheese frostings because they’re a bit more interesting to my tastes than a regular buttercream. I debated about using honey or agave syrup in the frosting, wondering whether I should opt for the more flavorful ingredient or stick with the same sweetener I used in the cake. Ultimately, I opted for honey. It matches well with the cream cheese and adds another interesting hint of flavor to the finished cake. Fee free to use agave syrup, if you like.

Be careful not to overbake this cake. As moisturizing as agave syrup can be, it also can help dry out a cake quite quickly if it is left in the oven too long. Use a toothpick to check the cake a bit early. It’s ok if a few moist – not wet – crumbs stick to the toothpick. You’ll want to pull it out of the oven before the cake really begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Chocolate Agave Layer Cake
with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup agave syrup/nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round pans and line them with circles of greased parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by agave syrup and vanilla extract.
Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the milk, before stirring in the remaining flour mixture. Mix only until just combined. Divide evenly into prepared pans.
Bake for 22-28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry or with some moist crumbs attached. Do not overbake.
Turn cakes out onto wire cooling racks, peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely.
Cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for a day or so if you don’t want to assemble the cake right away.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 tbsp honey
1/4 cup milk
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat at high speed until smooth, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar until a thick and spreadable consistency is reached. More milk can be added to thin the icing, if necessary.

Level the cake layers and place one on a serving tray or cake stand. Top with 1/2 of the frosting and spread into an even layer.
Place second cake layer on top of the first and top with remaining frosting, spreading into a nice thick, even layer.
Store in an airtight container or serve.

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