Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2006 ed.), pg. 60.

At the library where I work, we have a party every semester for the staff members who are having birthdays.  I took this cake to our party a few weeks ago. It is a three-layer cake layered and covered with a fluffy, mocha-flavored whipped cream frosting. (If you don't like the mocha flavor, you can omit the coffee or espresso).

Cake Ingredients:

6 oz. (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup water or prepared coffee
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) sweet butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs (graded large or extra-large)
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter three 9 inch pans and line the bottom with baking liner paper. Butter the paper and dust with fine bread crumbs or flour.

Place the chocolate and water (or coffee) in a double boiler over hot water until melted. Set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix well. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter into the three pans and smooth.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Let the cake layers cool 10-15 minutes. Take a sharp knife and cut around the edges before removing from the pans. The top of the cakes will be slightly crusty - this is ok!  Let the cakes cool completely before icing.



Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

6 oz. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup honey
2 TBS. water
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream
Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. dry powdered (not granular) instant coffee or espresso

Combine the chocolate, honey, water and salt in the top of a double boiler over hot water. After the chocolate melts, set aside and allow the chocolate to cool completely.

Use a chilled whisk or beater attachment in a chilled electric mixer bowl and whisk the heavy cream (and the coffee if using) until it holds a definite shape.

Gradually fold some of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate until the chocolate is thin. Transfer both mixtures to a large bowl and fold them together.

Place a cake layer (upside down) on the serving platter and place strips of wax paper underneath to keep the plate clean. Spread the frosting between the cake layers (placing all the layers upside down) about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick, leaving enough to cover the top and sides. Carefully remove the wax paper strips.

Refrigerate several hours or all day before serving. The whipped cream will thicken and stiffen slightly.


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