10 December 2009

Progressive Dinner: Double Chocolate Layer Cake

Welcome to day four of the Progressive Dinner Party, hosted by the Book Blog Social Club. Are you ready for dessert? I sure hope so.

Here is a wonderful cake that I've made a few times for New Year's Eve. It is rich and heavenly. I usually make it the day before and take it out of the refrigerator about four hours before I plan to serve it.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

From Gourmet magazine, March 1999
Serves 12-14

For cake layers

  • 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
For ganache frosting
  • 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
Special equipment
  • Two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans
Make the cake layers: Preheat oven to 300°F 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, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 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 1½- 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 (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).

Assemble: Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Notes from Beth Fish Reads
  • Make sure your cake tins are 2 inches deep (as called for in the recipe). If you have shorter tins, don't use all the batter.
  • Variations: I once filled the layers with homemade blueberry filling. Yummy. Raspberry would work too.
Be sure to check out the other recipes from today, like Colored Sugar Cookies from Meghan at Medieval Bookworm and White Chocolate Cheesecake from Marg at Reading Adventures. For more recipes see the Book Blog Social Club.


Julie P. 12/10/09, 8:11 AM  

Absolutely sinful!!!

bermudaonion 12/10/09, 8:58 AM  

What time should we be there on New Year's Eve?

Jen - Devourer of Books 12/10/09, 10:34 AM  

So you're going to make this for us at BEA, right? I think this one is beyond my baking patience, but I'm thinking of sending the recipe to my husband's grandma who loves to bake and asking for her to make it.

Rachel 12/10/09, 11:43 AM  

Yum! I'm going to have to try and make that sometime soon.

Margot 12/10/09, 12:11 PM  

What a wonderful recipe! I gained five pounds just reading it. I love to lose myself in an afternoon of baking a special dish like this. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Florinda 12/10/09, 1:26 PM  

I've never been ambitious enough to make a cake (and frosting) totally from scratch, but this one definitely sounds like it's worth the effort! Like Kathy said, what time should we be there on New Year's Eve :-)?

Unknown 12/10/09, 1:33 PM  

This recipe sounds wonderful - can't wait to try it.

WinterWrite 12/10/09, 11:31 PM  

Yum. I'll bet the coffee adds a more deeper flavor to the cake. And the ganache frosting sounds absolutely delightful!

Lisa 12/11/09, 1:00 AM  

Oh my good golly, a cake made for someone whose favorite food group is chocolate.

Kristen 12/11/09, 6:13 PM  

This sounds terrible. (Do you think if I keep repeating that I'll start to believe it? My waistline can't afford for me to make something like this that I wouldn't be willing to share with anyone else!)

Anonymous,  12/11/09, 10:32 PM  

Sounds delicious!

Michelle 12/16/09, 7:29 AM  


Seriously, this is my type of cooking I'll tell you, LOL.

I'm not much good at cooking "real" food (ie: anything healthy or entre like) but man baking is something even I can do. I may have to give this one a go for a New Years treat.

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