1 1/2 ounces (best quality) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate liqueur, divided OR for a non-alcohol chocolate liqueur substitute: Combine
4-8 teaspoons chocolate extract plus 4-8 teaspoons instant coffee in 1/2 cup water, divided
For Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup chocolate liqueur, OR for a non-alcohol chocolate liqueur substitute:
Combine 2 1//2 to 3 1/2 teaspoons chocolate extract plus 2 1/2 to 3 1/2
teaspoons instant coffee in 1/8 cup water
1 1/2 ounces (best quality) dark chocolate, coarsely grated for garnish
To Make The Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
2. Place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth and let cool.
3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
4. Beat butter in mixing bowl until creamy, using electric mixer at medium speed. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk and 1/2 cup liqueur (or non-alcohol chocolate liqueur substitute mixture), beating until smooth at low speed. Stir in melted chocolate. Divide batter among prepared cake pans.
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on racks. Chill cake layers in freezer for about 30 minutes or until firm.
To make the Buttercream Frosting:
Beat butter in bowl until smooth, using electric mixer at medium speed. Sift sugar and cocoa over butter and add liqueur (or non-alcohol chocolate liqueur substitute mixture), beating until smooth, using low speed.
1. Brush chilled cake layers with remaining liqueur (or non-alcohol chocolate liqueur substitute mixture). Place one layer on serving plate. Spread with 3/4 cup butter cream. Repeat with second layer. Top with third layer. Spread remaining butter cream over top and side of cake.
2. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Or refrigerate until needed. Remove 1 hour prior to serving. Garnish with grated chocolate.
Yield: One 9-inch three-layer cake.
To Make Homemade Chocolate Liqueur:
Makes: 1 pint
2 tsp. Pure chocolate extract
1/2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup Vodka
1/2 cup Sugar syrup (see recipe below))
1/2 tsp. Fresh mint or a drop Peppermint extract, optional
Mix all ingredients and let mature 2 weeks. The chocolate tends to settle on the bottom and may need to be stirred before serving. Finished version will tend to be thin, but is still quite tasty and excellent for mixing in coffee or pouring over desserts. Add glycerine to thicken if desired.
Tip: For chocolate mint, add 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint and a few drops of peppermint extract. Let mature 2 additional weeks.
Recipe for Sugar Syrup:
Sugar syrup - simple syrup
Makes: 7 cups
4 cups water
1 pound sugar
Dissolve sugar in water and bring to a boil. Cool before using.
Date: July 7, 2002