My mother in law sends me baking magazines she finds in the grocery store. One of those magazines is Fine Cooking. The cover picture is a Hot Chocolate Layer Cake and every time I pick up this magazine I think about making it. The other day when I picked it up I decided it was time! I am so glad I made it because it turned out great. The cake is super moist and the frosting is chocolatey and perfectly sweet.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup canola oil
4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa power
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups sugar
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. FOR THE CAKE; Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment paper, and flour pans.
2. In small saucepan, combine butter, oil, chocolate, and 1 cup water. Heat over medium heat, whisk until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar and cocoa powder. Pour hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk to combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in buttermilk, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt.
3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack.
4. FOR THE FROSTING; In medium saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter and vanilla bean and seeds; split lengthwise and scraped seeds out. Stir until the butter is melted. Remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the chocolate until melted. Whisk in sugar, cocoa powder, syrup, and salt until smooth-be sure the cocoa powder dissolves completely. Pour into a 9×13-inch pan and freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or refrigerator overnight.
5. Remove the frosting from the freezer or refrigerator. Transfer to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to soften. Change to a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
6. ASSEMBLE THE CAKE; Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1 1/2 cups of the frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with another cake layer and 1 1/2 cups frosting. Top with the last cake layer.
7. Put 1 1/2 cups of the frosting in a small bowl with an offset spatula, spread this frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Spread the remaining frosting in a smooth layer over the top and sides of the cake. If necessary, you can rewhip the remains frosting to loosen and lighten it. Remove the waxed paper strips. ( Assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Let cake come to room temperature before serving.)
NOTE: Cakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. The frosting can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Recipe source: Fine Cooking Magazine