Thursday, August 06, 2009

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

I read about this recipe on this blog and had to try it. The blog author had done a showdown between this chocolate cake recipe and Martha Stewart's recipe. Chef Ed Kasky's recipe, which won the taste-test, has received more than 1,200 comments on Epicurious.

It has quite a following. I had to know what all the fuss was about, so I tried the recipe. It was good. Better than good. And it was easy too. Too easy. I've never had such a magnificent time icing a cake. The ganache goes on easily and tastes sublime. This will most certainly please every chocolate lover.

I may have spoiled the look with sprinkles, but I was taking the cake to a toddler play date. And well, toddlers love sprinkles. I also put raspberry jam in the middle instead of more icing. I used 9-inch round cake pans instead of 10 because that's what I have.



3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Ganache frosting:

1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter


Make cake layers:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  4. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting:

  1. Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
  2. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
  3. Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.
Inspiration: From Chef Ed Kasky, as published in Gourmet Magazine, March 1999.