Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cocoa Layer Cake

Matt made me a birthday cake from heaven this year. It is probably the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten. Have a I said that before? It is rich, and delectable, and moist, and gooey, and if you like chocolate cake, you must try this. He got it from one of our Bon Appetite cookbooks (Feb. 2011).

Thanks babe.

Cocoa Layer Cake

½ c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. lukewarm water, divided
½ c. buttermilk
1 ½ c. cake flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar
½ c. (packed) golden brown sugar
½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend

10 tbsp. (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
1 c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cake: Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350° F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 ½ inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper rounds; butter parchment. Whisk cocoa and ½ c. warm water in small bowl. Whisk buttermilk and ½ c. water in another small bowl. Sift flour, baking soda, and ¼ tsp. salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter in large bowl until pale yellow and fluffy (mixture will appear granular), about 5 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add beaten eggs, then beat until smooth and fluffy, about 15 seconds. Add cocoa mixture; beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beating to blend after each addition. Divide batter among pans (about 1 ¾ c. each).
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, reversing pans halfway through baking, about 18 minutes. Cool completely in pans on racks.

Frosting: Melt butter in med. Saucepan over med. Heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and ½ tsp (scant) salt. Gradually stir in cream. Stir until mixture is very hot and just begins to simmer at edges. Reduce heat to low; stir 1 minute to let flavors blend. Transfer to med. Bowl; stir in vanilla (frosting will resemble chocolate sauce). Chill until just thickened, stirring occasionally, about 1 ½ hours. Let stand at room temperature.
Run knife around cake sides. Carefully invert 1 cake onto plate (cake is very tender); peel off parchment. Spread with ½ c. frosting. Invert second cake onto palm of hand. Position cake 2 inches above frosted cake layer. Carefully slide cake onto first cake layer. Peel off parchment. Spread cake with ½ c. frosting. Repeat with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

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