Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Double Chocolate Layer Cake
I promised I'd get back with you on that chocolate cake recipe, and I like to keep my promises. I'd also like to tell you that it's my "own" recipe, as if I came up with it, but it's not. I found it on Epicurious the first time I made it, and then, a few years later, I found it in a cookbook, Gourmet Today, the bright green one in the right hand margin. And apparently, Gourmet got it from a restaurant, Engine Co. No. 28, in downtown Los Angeles.

(And for the record, my fingers just typed downton, rather than downtown, which means I've been far too absorbed by a certain British TV show. I should probably post on that someday, but in the meantime, I have other things to be too absorbed by. Like how Mad Men is about to come back on on Sunday night. But I digress.)

All that to say that if even good old Gourmet magazine shared the great recipes of others, as long as I cite my sources, should I be ashamed to do the same? I think not. My role, as I see it, is to share the best of the best with my readers. And this, my friends, is a REALLY good chocolate cake, that I'd be proud to serve to anyone.

Here's what's great about this cake: it is dense, but not too dense. It is moist. It is rich. It is delicious. Some of the deep dark richness comes from adding strongly brewed coffee to the cake. The frosting is a ganache, which means it is basically melted chocolate mixed with cream. Lovely.

Next time I make this, I believe I'm going to make an adjustment or two to this recipe. First, I'd add a pinch of salt. probably, to the icing. I just felt that it needed a bit more zing. Maybe even a liquor would be nice? Like some kirsch (cherry brandy)? Or maybe Grand Marnier? Or Irish Cream? Or Kahlua? Any of those would be lovely, I'd think.

OR: a whipped cream kind of frosting in between the center layers, flavored with vanilla? That would also be lovely.

I'd just like some other flavor to break up the dense chocolate loveliness a bit.

But that might be just me. Maybe you can't get enough chocolate. And if you can't, sistah, then this is the cake for you! It certainly was the cake for my son, the chocolate fan. He loved it.

*NOTE*: The recipe called for TWO 10" cake pans, and to bake it at 300º for 1 hour - 1 hour and 10 minutes. I didn't have 10" cake pans. I had 9" cake pans. So in the recipe that I am giving you, I'll tell you how to make it for those. You'll need THREE 9" pans, to hold all the chocolate goodness, and then you'll need to reduce the baking time to around 45 minutes, or whenever a toothpick inserted in the center of the layer comes out clean. (So now you have directions for either way!) If you have 10" cake pans, I'd suggest you use them, because that way you'll have what will seem like more icing to work with, since you'll only be icing the surface area of two circles, rather than 3. Clear as  mud chocolate ganache? Good!
After icing the first two layers.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake


For cake layers:

3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 c. hot brewed coffee
3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. all -purpose flour
1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1 1/4 t. salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1 t. vanilla

For frosting:

1 lb. fine-quality semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
2 T. light corn syrup
1/4 c. butter (1/2 stick)

3 9" cake pans*(see NOTE above)


Make cake layers:

Preheat oven to 300º and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
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, approximately 45 minutes. 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: 

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.
Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable.
Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

My chocolate ganache was still pretty soft. I could have refrigerated it a bit to get it to firm up, but...
Then you'd have missed out on seeing me pour it.

After the icing had "set" for a bit.
 It's a little messy, but I had run out of time for my fast approaching party.

 Are you a fan of chocolate cake? What flavor might YOU add to jazz the ganache up just a bit?