Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chocolate Layer Cake

This is the cake to make for the chocoholic in your life. I most recently made this one for my husband Greg's birthday. To balance the copious amounts of chocolate in this dessert, I recommend adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt on the side. I think you'll really find that the coffee brings out the chocolate flavors more than you might think!


For the cake you'll need...
- Butter or vegetable shortening to grease your cake pans.
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup coffee
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting you'll need...
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- An additional 1/4 cup chocolate chips set aside. Don't put these in the frosting.
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 TBSP instant coffee powder
- 2 tsp hot water

How to Cook It

The cake...
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease two 8-inch cake pans.
2) Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl.
3) In a separate bowl, mix in the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
4) Set your hand or stand mixer to a low speed, and gradually add your wet ingredients to the dry.
5) Pour in the coffee and mix until blended.-- For this cake, the fresher the coffee, the better! Make sure you let it cool first though. Too hot, and you'll scramble the eggs. Yuck.
6) Divide the cake batter between the two greased cake pans.
7) Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
8) Allow cakes to cool completely before you frost them.
9) Put the first cake on a cake plate or pedestal, round side down in preparation for frosting.

The frosting...
1) Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips using either a microwave or double boiler. Be careful not to burn the chocolate! While the chocolate cools to room temperature, you can get the rest of the frosting ready.
2) Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy.
3) Add the vanilla and egg yolk. Continue to beat for 5 minutes.
4) On low speed, add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth.
5) In a separate bowl, add the 2 tsp of hot water to the instant coffee powder. Stir until dissolved and blend into the frosting mixture.
6) Using a spatula, scrape the chocolate in and mix until well-blended.

Time to frost your layer cake...
1) Spread a thin layer (about 1 cm) of frosting on the flat side of the bottom cake layer you set aside.
2) Place the top layer above, being sure it's rounded side up.
3) Scrape the rest of the frosting onto the top layer.
4) Use a flat spatula or knife you're comfortable using to spread the frosting evening over your cake.

The chocolate drizzle...
1) Time to use that 1/4 cup of chocolate chips you set aside.
2) Use the same method to melt these that you decided on for the chocolate you added to the frosting.
3) Once melted, let cool a little, but not to room temperature.
4) Drizzle over the top of your cake randomly for an abstract effect. Delish!

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