Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

Blog post


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz. white chocolate melted

For the cake, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and mix 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour with 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder. Spread room temperature butter in your cake pans and dust with the flour cocoa mixture so your cake batter won't stick while in the oven.

In a medium bowl, mix the 2 cups of flour and 1/4 of the cocoa powder with 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs with the brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp of granulated sugar at medium-high speed until thickened, about 5 minutes. At medium speed, gradually add 1/2 cup of the oil and beat for 3 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then add the remaining oil slowly.

* Note on the melted chocolate - I like to set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate. This way I control how the chocolate melts so it doesn't burn. Fill a small cook pot with water and place a heatproof glass bowl on top of the cook pot so it sits on top, without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Place the chocolate in the bowl and as the water starts to boil the heat will melt the chocolate.

Continuing with the mixer, at a low speed, beat in the buttermilk and vanilla. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently mix in the dry ingredients by hand. Give the batter a good quick whip to get it light and fluffy and pour in the 2 floured cake pans.

Bake for about 25 mins until the cake edges slightly pull away from the sides and your toothpick tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan about 20 mins or so before dumping out on a cake rack to continue cooling before frosting.

Time to frost. I prefer to use my food processor, but you could also use a blender. Pulse the granulated sugar until powdery. Transfer the sugar to a medium heatproof bowl and whisk in the egg whites and salt. Make another double boiler as you're going to warm the egg-white mixture. As the heat starts to cook the mixture, use a handheld standing mixer and add the vanilla beating this mixture until stiff and glossy. About 8 minutes or so. Beat in the butter, little at a time, as the mixture gradually becomes light and fluffy. If it appears runny at any time, transfer the bowl to the freezer for 5-10 mins, then return to the mixer and continue.

Make your melted white chocolate with a separate double boiler, and add this to the egg-sugar mixture. Scrape the side of the bowl and the bottom to make sure all is incorporated.

Frost and decorate - have fun with this part, you've worked hard on all these components to make a delicious and beautiful cake. 

Adapted from Food and Wine, February 2012


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