Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Triple Layer" Chocolate Cake

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake - made April 1, 2017 from The Stay At Home Chef
The original title of this recipe was Triple Layer Chocolate Cake. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you if you can only see two layers. I actually did make all three layers that the recipe yields except, as usual, I baked them in 8” round cake pans instead of 9” pans. Which made for thicker layers. By the time I was assembling and frosting the cake, I knew early on that a three-layer cake of this much chocolate goodness would probably be daunting for most eaters, even a seasoned veteran such as myself. So I stopped at two layers and froze the third layer, well-wrapped, for a future concoction.
You might scoff that I quaked in my chocolate-loving boots over a three-layer fudge cake but I had used Pernigotti cocoa for this cake and I knew from past experience that that meant no-holds-barred chocolate decadence that would fell even the most stalwart chocoholic. It’s true. I like to tantalize people with baked goods, not slay them flat onto their backs into chocolate-induced oblivion. Most of the time.
I also made up the fudge frosting recipe for this cake and gauged I was going to run short if I tried to make it stretch to 3 layers of towering chocolate goodness. I could have made more frosting, I suppose, but I felt like I had already achieved maximum desired flavor and consistency with what I did make that I felt hesitant to throw my frosting off balance by fiddling with it further. Pernigotti cocoa was also used in the frosting but tempered by whole milk and powdered sugar. Even then, it was powerfully chocolate. And was just enough to cover a two-layer cake.

All that lead in to say….this is an amazing cake. Serious chocoholics should apply, fork in hand, to validate my findings. Soft, moist, richly fudgy chocolate. Your tonsils will hum, your chocolate tooth will sing an aria, your jeans will say “you’re working out later, right?”
One word of advice though – you won’t get that deep dark chocolate look or flavor if you use “grocery store chocolate”. As in, Hershey’s isn’t going to cut it. You really need a high quality cocoa. I favor Pernigotti (I swear I’m not affiliated with them; I just think they have a fantastic product) but you can also use something on the higher end of the cocoa spectrum like Valrhona. If you don’t want as dark a chocolate flavor as I have mine, you can always “cut” the high end cocoa with a Hershey’s-standard cocoa and get something between dark and milk chocolate. I don’t advocate it but it’s an option if you’re not a dark chocolate lover. If funds are tight and you must stick with Hershey’s, it isn’t the end of the world but you may get slightly different results.
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 tablespoons whole milk, more if needed for desired consistency
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 3 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Line with round parchment circles.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the large bowl of a freestanding electric mixer on low speed until combined.
  3. Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Do not overbeat.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the 3 pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center of each pan comes out with a few moist crumbs or clean.
  5. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes then loosen the sides with a small rubber spatula. Turn out the cakes onto wire racks and cool completely.
  6. Make frosting: cream butter with cocoa and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and milk and beat, adding milk teaspoon by teaspoon until desired consistency,

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