15 January 2010

Most Popular Web Recipe: Double Chocolate Cake

From Denny: This is one popular chocolate cake recipe! Over 1,000 reviews on Epicurious.com. It's rare to get up to 100 reviews for any recipe let alone this many. Tanya Steele of Epicurious shows us how easy it is to make this old-fashioned confection. This gorgeous decadent cake would be perfect for Valentine's Day too. Your friends and guests would be so impressed, begging you for the recipe! :)

Another odd thing about this recipe is that the cake layers take far longer to bake in the oven than the usual 25 to 35 minutes. These layers bake at a much lower temperature and for far longer, up to an hour or so. Putting the cake together for the oven and to spread the ganache icing takes only a few minutes.

This recipe was first published in Gourmet magazine and is now the most popular recipe over at Epicurious.com.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake


Serves: 12 to 14

Chef Ed Kasky used Callebaut semisweet chocolate for the cake and Guittard French-vanilla chocolate for the frosting, but any fine-quality semisweet chocolate will produce a wonderful result in either.


For cake layers

• 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
• 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
• 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
• 3 large eggs
• 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 such as Callebaut
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Special equipment

• Two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans


Make 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 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 (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency). Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

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