If anyone can be counted on to whip up a decadent dessert at the drop of a hat, it's Martha Stewart. Throughout her over 40-year food career, the cooking star and media mogul has proven her confectionary prowess, especially in regards to baking cakes. Stewart released a cookbook completely dedicated to the baked treat in 2013 and has got quite a few tricks up her sleeve when it comes to all things cake-making, including one involving the ingenious use of cocoa powder that dates back a couple of decades.
Considering she keeps an entire kitchen drawer devoted to her chocolate collection, it's no surprise that Stewart's various chocolate creations have reached icon status over the years. But if there's one that really takes the cake (pun fully intended), it's the star's Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Stewart debuted the luxurious, layered confection on a 1999 episode of "Martha Stewart Living," while simultaneously sharing her universal secret for upgrading any chocolate cake: Dusting the cake pan with cocoa powder before pouring in your batter. Not only will this help you effortlessly remove your cake from the pan after it's finished baking, but it will also add an extra layer of rich, chocolatey goodness to your final result.
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Stewart Replaces Flour With Cocoa Powder For A Delicious Non-Stick Finish
As most bakers are probably aware, greasing and dusting your cake pan is an essential way to ensure that your perfectly baked cake layer doesn't start crumbling and falling apart as soon as you start prying it out. Typically, this process involves coating the pan with some butter or shortening, then dusting it with a thin layer of flour to create a barrier between the fat and your batter. The dry coating will help prevent the grease layer from simply baking into the batter, allowing it to remain slippery by the time you take the pan out of the oven and are ready to unmold your cake.
Unfortunately, the flour can sometimes leave behind residue on the outside of the cake, and can even lead to the cake developing a drier, thicker crust. To avoid this problem, and to ensure that a chocolate cake is free of dry, unattractive splotches of white powder, Stewart recommends dusting the pan with some cocoa powder instead. Per her Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe, Stewart's method is to first line the pan with parchment paper, butter the parchment, and finish off with a dusting of cocoa powder (remembering to tap out any excess).
Of course, you can apply this tip to any sort of chocolate cake. If you're using a Bundt pan or other intricate mold, simply skip the parchment paper. In the end, you'll be coating your cake with more chocolate flavor while also making sure it won't stick to the pan. Genius.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.