Today, I'm sharing another recipe from our big, birthday bash last weekend. Since all three of us who had birthdays each have our own favorite birthday cake, I decided the combo birthday party needed a not-playing-favorites, brand new recipe. (Keep in mind, I am an awful cake and cookie decorator! It is my so far, unsuccessful goal to one day change that).
I can't remember where I read the first mention of this recipe but thank goodness I did! Evidently, it's the most reviewed cake recipe on Epicurious.com with over 1400 reviews. I guess it's one of those love-it or hate-it recipes with the majority of those who have tried it being in the former rather than latter category.
All of that being said, this was one of the most amazing, sensational, delicious chocolate cakes I have ever tasted!
The cake batter made too much for my 9" cake pans, so I made cupcakes with the rest of the batter and shared them with friends. The cupcakes turned out perfectly, probably because they were a little more well-baked.
The cake really doesn't need any ganache or frosting at all, it's that good. You could serve it plain, with some raspberry whipped cream or raspberry ice cream on the side.
Chocolate-Lovers Chocolate Layer Cake
Adapted from Epicurious
Serves 12 to 14
For cake layers:
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee (I used decaf so we wouldn't lose any sleep!)
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 large eggs (the original recipe calls for only 3)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
For ganache frosting:
1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
For Raspberry Whipped Cream Filling
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2/3 jar of good-quality raspberry preserves
2 10" or 9" cake pans
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans with Crisco. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper then dust pans with sifted cocoa powder. Tap out excess.
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, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes if using 10" pans, or about 50-55 minutes if using 9" pans.
Cool layers completely in pans on racks. If necessary, run a thin knife around edges of pans (you probably won't need to do this if you carefully greased and dusted the pans with cocoa) and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers are best made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature. This firms up the cake and makes it easier to handle.
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. I put my in the refrigerator until spreadable, checking on it every 10-15 minutes.
Make raspberry filling: With an electric mixer with the whipping attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the raspberry preserves.
Spread filling between cake layers up to 1/2 inch from sides. Spread chocolate ganache and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days (we found the cake still tasted great after over 5 days!). Bring cake to room temperature before serving.