Prep 55 mins
Cook 35 mins
This is an exceptionally light but oh so heavenly chocolate dessert that makes a perfect ending to any dinner. The cakes can be baked a day ahead of time, wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature. Once the cake is assembled it can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. The ganache needs to chill for at least 4 hours so prepare accordingly. This recipe was modified from the original that I clipped from an article entitled; High & Mighty: Layer Cakes by Tracey Seaman.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1⁄2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated, for decorating
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line two 9" X 2" round cake pans with greased wax or parchment paper.
- Ganache; Melt half of the chopped chocolate in heavy cream over fairly low heat while stirring. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and remaining chopped chocolate until smooth. Place the ganache into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Cake; Sift together the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, chocolate and 1/2 cup of water in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly and occasionally stir.
- Beat the butter and egg yolks until just blended with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the chocolate mixture. Beat in the dry ingredients a little at a time, alternating with the milk, until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. The batter will appear thin.
- Wash and dry the beaters. Beat the egg whites until barely firm in a medium bowl. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter. Fold in the remaining whites until incorporated. Pour batter into the awaiting cake pans. Bake the cakes in the bottom third of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans then place right side up on racks to cool completely.
- Preparing Ganache for Cake; Using an electric mixer, briefly beat the well chilled ganache until thick enough to hold its shape. Over-beating will cause the ganache to be grainy; if this happens, re-melt over low heat and then beat it once more.
- Assembling the Cake: Peel off the wax or parchment paper from the bottom of the cake layers. Place 1 layer right-side-up on a platter and cover with 1 scant cup of whipped ganache. Place the second cake layer upside-down on top of the filling. Cover the sides and top of the cake evenly with the remaining whipped ganache. You can reserve about 1/2 cup of the ganache for decorating if you are so inclined. Using a star tipped pastry bag, pipe simple stars or a scallop trim around the top or the base of the cake. Sprinkle the finely grated chocolate all over the top of the cake. To serve, slice gently with a serrated cake knife.
This recipe took me 1.5 hr to prep and bake, not the 35 minutes stated in the recipe. That also did not include the cooling time for the ganache. No substitute for heavy cream in the ganache; it will not whip up. (I only had 1 cup of cream and tried to use half and half, not thinking). It would be best to make the ganache first, due to cooling time. When sliced, the layers had color changes from the middle to the edge, and edges were crispy. I worried that the chocolate/sugar mixture melted too much of the butter when blended together. I don't know if cooling the mixture more than slightly would have helped with this. I did not think the cake was intensely chocolaty, although my husband liked it. The brown sugar gave it a nice flavor, but overall not worth the effort.
I am serving it tonight but got a chance to get a taste some of the ends, this cake is very good! I used 3 teaspoons of Mexican vanilla and increased the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon. The ganache is just heavenly, and the cake is ready and waiting to be enjoyed tonight by all, thanks Cheryl! .... Kitten:)