For The Cake:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
For The Frosting: *(See Note Below for Variation)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
To Make the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter the bottoms of two 9-by-2-inch (23cm x 5cm) round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Lightly butter the paper and sides of the pans and dust with flour.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until just blended. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating after each addition.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread it out evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around the inside of each pan to loosen the cakes. Invert onto the rack and lift off the pans, then carefully peel off the parchment paper. Let the cake layers cool completely before frosting.
To Make the Frosting:
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates. Set the pan over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan and stir until melted. Let cool slightly. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the corn syrup, vanilla and salt. While beating, gradually add the chocolate and beat until smooth.
To Assemble Cake:
Brush away any loose crumbs from both cake layers. Place one layer, top side down, on a flat serving plate. With an icing spatula, spread about one third of the frosting evenly on top. Place the other layer, top side down, on the first layer and press gently. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake to seal in any crumbs, then thickly coat the cake with the remaining frosting. Serve immediately or keep covered at room temperature until ready to serve.
Makes one 9-inch layer cake; serves 10-12.
*Note: Frosting Variation
Not everyone likes chocolate, and we should all get what we like on our birthdays. To make vanilla frosting, in a bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) room-temperature unsalted butter, 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/3 cup heavy cream,
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp. salt until smooth. Use immediately. This recipe makes 3 cups frosting. If desired, sprinkle 2 cups lightly toasted shredded coconut over the top and sides of the frosted cake and press gently.
Date: April 7, 2003