Cheese Wontons
Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus

Double-Chocolate Layer Birthday Cake

(Makes 12-16 servings) from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sunday, July 6, 2008; Cooking section, page 3N.
Ingredients:
3 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped.  (I use ghirardelli semisweet bars)
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened regular cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, shaken well
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting (see recipe below)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and set a rack in the middle level.  Grease two 10-inch round cake pans.  Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease the paper.

In small bowl, combine chocolate and coffee and let stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth.

In large bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another large bowl, using electric mixer, beat eggs until slightly thickened and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes with a stand mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer.

In 4-cup glass measure, combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla and chocolate-coffee mixture.  Gradually add mixture to eggs , beating until well combined.  Add sugar-flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.

Divide batter between pans and bake in preheated oven until toothpick in center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes.

Let layers cool-to-touch in pans on wire racks, about 30 minutes.  Then run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks.

Carefully remove parchment paper and let cool completely.  The cake layers may be made up to 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.  Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides.  Cake will keep, covered and refrigerated, 3 days.  Serve at room temperature.

Frosting
Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pound good-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I use ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips, and finely chop these)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:
In medium saucepan, bring cream, corn syrup and sugar to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted.  Add butter, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a medium bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally, until it's spreadable.  (Depending on the chocolate, it may be necessary to refrigerate the frosting to bring it to spreadability.)

Comments

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Julia S.

I can't wait to make this cake! I've actually had dreams about it!!

Thanks for sharing!

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