Thursday, February 26, 2009

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

This is the cake that I made for my husband's birthday, but I forgot to take a picture. Drat! So I remade the cake for my birthday. Yea! It is a cake recipe from Ina Garten, so moist and delicious. The frosting is pretty basic, and the ganache recipe is from Nick Malgieri's book just titled Chocolate. All together it is pretty delicious. You definitely need a glass of milk with this one.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed.

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

Coffee Buttercream Frosting (for filling)

2 sticks butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
¼ cup kahlua
3 Tbs really strong coffee, or dissolve instant espresso in Kahlua

Beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add sugar, Kahlua and coffee, and beat on low. Add sugar and Kahlua until consistency and taste are what you want.

Chocolate Ganache (whipped for frosting)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 pound (16 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup (sweeter, shinier)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened (richer, more flavorful)

Let the butter stand at room temperature until softened but still cool. Add the butter in chunks to combine during mixing.

To make ganache:

Place chopped chocolate in a medium-sized, heat proof bowl. Note that hot cream will eventually be poured over it and must cover it entirely. If whipping later, use a stand mixer bowl, which is perfect.

Pour cream into a medium saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate. Shake bowl, and allow to stand for about 2 minutes.

Stir with a whisk until smooth. If using ganache for a frosting, whisk in the optional room temperature butter chunks and corn syrup until smooth.

* To whip, place ganache in a mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium-high, until mixture is fluffy and has lightened in color. Do not overwhip or mixture will become grainy. Use whipped ganache immediately.

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