Recipe 66: Black buttermilk cake


2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup water

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, lighltly beaten

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the cocoa powder and water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Let cool.
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Blend well. Add the cocoa mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  1. Make the frosting. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the cocoa powder and buttermilk. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
  1. Using a handheld mixer, beat the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and walnuts into the cocoa mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. Pour over cooled cake.


Yield: 10 servings


Cocoa cookies

1 3/4 stick unsalted butter

2 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and flour until sandy in texture Add the granulated sugar and egg and continue mixing until the dough is smooth and comes together. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or bakers’ Silpat.
  1. On a lightly floured work surface, pound the dough until it is 1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut the dough into 1 1/4-inch circles and place on the lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  1. Whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar until it forms firm peaks. Spread a generous layer of cream on a baked, cooled cookie. Sandwich with another cookie on top. Enjoy with the cookie shake.

Yield: about 30 cookie sandwiches


Sakori cookies

2 cups ground hazelnuts

2 cups ground walnuts

2 cups sugar

4 large egg whites

Pinch five-spice powder

  1. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or bakers’ Silpat. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  1. In a medium pot fitted with a candy thermometer, stir all the ingredients together over a low flame until the mixture reaches 105°F. Use a teaspoon to scoop small rounds from the mixture and place on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool and serve with chocolate chai.

Yield: about 60 cookies


Chocolate-covered peanuts

1 pinch wasabi powder

2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

45 salted peanuts

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or bakers’ Silpat.
  2. Mix the wasabi powder with one teaspoon water. Stir until smooth.
  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in a bowl in the microwave. Remove from heat and stir in the wasabi. Dip 3 peanuts at a time in the chocolate and place on the baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Serve along White Chocolate Cosmopolitans.

Yield: about 15 servings

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