Chocolate layer cake with strawberry sauce.
Told ya, I am into cakes this week. This is a chocolate cake that I slice horizontally to end with four layers and fill with rich and velvety chocolate buttercream. I glazed the cake with a shiny chocolate glaze and let it drip down the sides. This is an Ina Garten cake recipe that I slightly adapted to make this cake. I like the simplicity of the execution: mix all the dry ingredients in the mixer, then add all the wet ingredients and it’s done. The filling and glaze are also pretty simple to make, but it does take a little time.
I bake the batter in one cake pan so the sides are nice and smooth. You can bake it in two pans if you wish, or slice it in 3 instead of 4 layers.
The glaze is very shiny but becomes dull when you refrigerate the cake, so be sure to take it out of the fridge about an hout before serving. This will return the shine to the glaze and soften the buttercream filling.
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 oz)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup dutch proces cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder mixed with 1 cup boiling water, cooled
7 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar), sifted after measuring
1 teaspoon espresso powder mixed with 1 tablespoon boiling water
5 oz dark chocolate
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Strawberry or raspberry syrup:
2 basket berries
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 8″ cake pan with 3″ high sides or spray with oil. Line the bottom with a round of parchment.
Place the cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix at a low speed for a minute.
Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla and while the mixer is running pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture on medium speed.
Pour in the cool coffee in a slow and steady stream mixing continuously.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, set the pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake is cooked through. You can stick a skewer into the middle to see if it comes out clean, or careful;ly touch the top of the cake with your fingertips to see if it is ready.
Remove from oven and let cool, then remove from the pan and leave to cool on a cake rack.
To make the filling:
Heat the chocolate in the microwave in short intervals until it melts. The chocolate will retain its shape as it softens so stir it to see if it has melted. This should not take more than a few seconds.
Place the butter in the bowl of the mixer and beat until very light, about 4 minutes.
Add the vanilla.
Add the powdered sugar, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides once or twice.
Add the coffee and mix it in.
To make the glaze:
Melt the chocolate in the microwave, then add the soft butter and then the corn syrup.
Mix and set aside.
Cut the cake in 3 or 4 layers.
Spread the buttercream on 3 layers and then stack them one on top of the other fin ishing with the top layer.
Place the layers on a rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment (to catch the drizzles).
Pour the glaze over the top layer letting it drizzle down the sides.
With an icing spatula smooth the glaze on the sides. You can scoop the glaze that drips on the parchment and use it to correct empty spots.
Refrigerate the cake until an hour before you are ready to serve it.
Decorate with fresh berries and flowers.
Serve with strawberry or raspberry syrup: cook the berries and sugar until they break down, then puree with an immersion blender.