Sunday, April 1, 2012

Country Fair Chocolate Layer Cake

Country Fair  Chocolate Layer Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2006 ed.), pg. 59.

I think this is the best chocolate cake I've ever made. It is outstanding. I made the cake layers a few weeks ago, planning to take this to a work function, but plans changed and I ended up freezing it. We had company this past weekend so I whipped up the icing and finished the cake. The icing is absolutely beautiful and spreads nicely. I was amazed how beautiful the cake was when I finished it. The cake is dense, rich and delicious. Everyone agreed, even those who are not particularly chocolate lovers, that this cake is a winner!

Cocoa Cake Layers

2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 TBS strained unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
1/4 lb (1 stick) sweet butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk 

Adjust rack to center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans, dust them with flour, and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa and set aside.

Cream the butter. Add the vanilla and then the sugar and beat well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating well after each addition.
On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the milk in two additions. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth evenly.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the layers just begin to come away from the sides of the pan. Cool the layers in the pans for 5-6 minutes. Cut around the sides of the pan with a small sharp knife. Carefully remove the cake layers from the pans and cool completely.
Prepare a flat cake plate or serving board by placing four strips of wax paper around the outer edges of the plate. Place one cooled cake layer upside down on the plate, checking to see that the papers touch the cake all around. (You can also use a cake-decorating turntable)

Chocolate Icing

5 oz. (5 squares) unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 lb (1 stick) sweet butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan (about 3 qts. size), stir the cream and sugar together. Stir over moderate heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat and let simmer for exactly 6 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, stir until it is melted, then add the butter and stir until it is melted. Add the vanilla and stir.

Partially fill a large bowl with ice water. Place the saucepan of icing in the bowl of water and stir frequently until the mixture is cool. Then stir constantly until it begins to thicken. Remove the pan from the water and stir briskly with a rubber or wooden spatula until it becomes smooth and thick enough to spread. (This should only take a few seconds or a minute). If the icing is too soft, return it to the ice water briefly, then remove and stir again.
When the icing is thick enough, quickly spread it about 1/3 thick over the cake layer on the plate. Place the second cake layer right side up on top of the other layer. Pour the remaining icing over the cake and spread.

Remove the wax paper strips by pulling each one toward a narrow end.


Carlee said...

Now that looks amazing!! I have to try it!

Emily said...

Philip! I am so going to give this a go sometime soon!