Happy birthday Elise!
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.
For the classic chocolate cake
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract
For the chocolate frosting
180g dark chocolate, chopped
180g milk chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tbs light corn syrup or golden syrup
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, chopped into 1 inch pieces
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.
In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 1/4 cups hot water and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl.
Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.
Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.
Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.
Make the chocolate frosting
Place the chopped chocolate and milk chocolate in the bowl of am electric mixer. In a small saucepan bring cream and syrup to the boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, gradually add the butter and mix until well combined and smooth. Chill frosting for a few minutes until it can hold its shape.
To assemble the cake
Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top.
Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.)
Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up.
The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days