This week I was asked to bake a pair of cakes for a wedding shower! Of course I was delighted to say yes… and my aunt (who was hosting the shower) requested the Chocolate Ganache Cake from right here on Pretty/Hungry!
Well friends… I’ve learned a thing or two since my first attempt at this cake.
For one thing: I’ve learned the proper way to make chocolate curls. Big, beautiful, robust chocolate curls. And apparently it doesn’t involve taking a potato peeler to a bar of Baker’s. But don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that because, obviously, neither did I!
All you need to know in order to make big, beautious chocolate curls like these, you can find right here!
(Thanks to the ever-helpful Ree Drummond and her mad kitchen skillz.)
For another thing: I don’t care how big of a hurry you’re in, a cake from a boxed mix is just going to taste like air. It just is! So if you can find the time, the cake you should use for every chocolate layer cake you make from here to eternity can be found on foodnetwork.com. It is Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, made famous by my best friend Barefoot. (Ina Garten The Barefoot Contessa, for those of you who aren’t on a first-name basis with her.)
*A few hints on this cake though.
1) The icing ain’t good! I make a different recipe or use a can. The one on the Beatty’s recipe is like biting into straight butter (which is just weird.)
2) My little parchment paper trick doesn’t work with Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. The batter is too watery and it slides right under your parchment paper. Best to just grease your pans really well and send up a prayer as you cautiously jiggle the cake from the pan once its cooled. Do those two things and you have nothing to worry about.
3) I make a 1.5x recipe when I use this cake. I like to do my cakes in three layers, and they’re just too thin if I try to spread one recipe’s worth of batter between three pans. I’ve even included a handy converted recipe below for those of you who would like to make the Beatty’s cake in a 1.5x quantity! Thought ya might like that.
Thirdly, I learned that I need to either buy or make more icing. I was scrimping with that first cake and just barely had enough. This time I bought three cans (for two cakes), whipped them together (to make sure the color was consistent) and I ended up with the perfect amount! (I hear some you out there hatin’… but I don’t wanna hear it! Canned icing is a godsend for the dish-washing-a-phobic housewife who hates dirtying up her KitchenAid.)
A rousing success all in all!
And now each one of you has everything you need to march into your own kitchen and make your very own one of these! Except of course the ten bucks worth of chocolate you’ll need in order to make it! (Kidding… it might be more. I can’t remember. I’m also phobic about saving my receipts.) But if someone’s paying you to make it because you’re such an expert after reading the How-To’s… then its totally worth it anyway!
And now, as promised… here is the printable recipe for the Beatty’s Chocolate Cake (converted to 1.5X as much!)
Oh and just for kicks I threw in the Ganache recipe as well. (Ganache is what goes between the layers and it is YUM.)
Also, I love you.
Beatty’s Chocolate Cake x 1.5
-2 C. + a scant 2/3 C. all purpose flour
-3 C. sugar
-1 C. + 2 T. dark cocoa powder
-3 tsp. baking soda
-1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 1/2 tsp. salt
-1 1/2 C. buttermilk
-3/4 C. oil
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
-1 1/2 C. freshly-brewed (cooled) coffee
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round or square cake pans. (You can also butter the pans, line them with parchment paper so it sticks to the butter, then grease and flour the parchment.) Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Whisk together to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Begin to add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing with an electric mixer on low speed until all is incorporated. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine. Scrape the batter into the three prepared cake pans with a rubber spatula (distributing as evenly as possible.) Bake for 32-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pans completely. Then carefully run a knife around the edge of each, loosening the cakes from the pans. Invert them onto a flat surface (slightly wiggling the pan to free the cake from the sides.) Layer with icing or ganache (or both!), and decorate as desired!
-4 oz. heavy cream
-8 oz. good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
-1 tsp. pure vanilla (or the seeds from one vanilla bean)
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it is steaming and slightly bubbly. Remove from the heat and add in the 8 oz. chopped chocolate. Swirl the saucepan around so that the cream coats the chocolate, then allow the chocolate to sit in the warm cream for 1-2 minutes. Then blend the chocolate into the cream by whisking until it is smooth and shiny! Spoon into mouth.