Double Chocolate Layer Cake
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, it’s been a long year. A year in which time slowed down to a stand-still, but I still managed to be shocked by how quickly my baby became a toddler and how bright the sun is when the clouds clear.
I made this cake, an old favorite, for Stella’s second birthday back in (cough) September (when I started writing this post). It felt right to make something tried and true, something I could bring to (nut-free) daycare, something I knew she would devour (she asks for chocolate before breakfast). It’s been a year too lacking in celebration, comfort and carefree chocolate consumption. But things are turning around. It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, where chocolate is king and love the kingdom. Let’s let it reign.
So here’s to being two, to the New Year, and to chocolate. Because no matter how sticky things get, we could all use a little chocolate cake to make things stickier.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE
This is the CLASSIC. If someone you care about loves chocolate, and there’s any reason to celebrate (birthday? graduation? redundancy?), there’s a reason to make this cake. Recipe will make 10 slices. Keeps on the counter/in the fridge for a few days at least. You can freeze the cake for a few months and then whip up fresh frosting when you’re ready to layer and serve.
1 3/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + a few dashes of vinegar or lemon juice, left to sit and curdle 5 mins)
1/2 cup oil (such as canola or vegetable)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup hot coffee
FROSTING (makes enough to frost the outside only…double to use in the middle, too)
4 ounces (115 grams) dark chocolate
3/4 cup (175 grams) butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream or sour cream (optional)
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp strong coffee (optional….you can use more cream/milk/sour cream instead)
heavy cream, whipped (for filling)
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sifting is important, because cocoa tends to lump.
In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Gently mix these ingredients into the flour mixture. Once combined, add the hot coffee and stir until just combined.
Divide batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 35 – 40 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely before removing from the pan.
Meanwhile, make the frosting: melt chocolate in a double boiler (or very slowly in a pot, being careful not to let it stick and burn); allow the chocolate to cool a bit. In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with a handheld mixer for a few minutes until fluffy. Add egg yolk, and beat for another few minutes. Mix in the cream (if using) and icing sugar. Beat in the chocolate and coffee (or alternative liquid). Be careful not to overbeat.
The frosting makes enough to frost just the outside of the layer cake…I think it’s best filled with barely sweetened whipped cream.