My husband just had a birthday and I had visions of a delicious, fancy cake but as I've told you before my husband likes things simple and requested "a plain chocolate cake." Looking through my cookbooks I came across this cake and then dismissed it because it was named Classic Dark Chocolate Layer Cake. Eventually I ended up coming back to it because it just looked so good. Unlike the name, this cake has no dark chocolate in it (which I love but my husband doesn't.)just a hefty 3/4 cup of baking cocoa! It's your basic, good old fashioned chocolate layer cake. The buttermilk and sour cream gave it a nice moist texture and the layers baked up nice and tall. In my opinion the icing was the best part.
Classic Chocolate Layer Cake
A Passion for Baking
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I used salted and it was fine)
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder, measured then sifted
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar, measured then sifted
1/2 cup half and half or water (I used half and half)
optional: chocolate curls for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray two 9 in. round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper circles. Place pans on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet and mix, adding buttermilk and sour cream as mixture blends. Blend on low speed about 3 minutes scraping sides and bottom once to incorporate all ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake on middle oven rack, 35 to 40 minutes, until cakes barely spring back when gently pressed with fingertips. Let cool in pan.
For icing, in a mixer bowl, on low speed, blend melted chocolate with butter. Add vanilla, cocoa, and half of confectioners sugar. Add remaining confectioners' sugar and mix slowly. Once sugar is more or less blended in, whip on high speed, using whisk attachment, adding a bit of half and half or water to get a light, fluffy consistency.
*If not using icing right away, rewhip before using. Add additional warm water (1 tbsp. at a time) to get correct consistency.*
To frost cake, semi-freeze layers first, 20-45 minutes, for easier handling. Turn flatter side (the bottom) of 1 layer down. Ice that layer. Top it with other layer, with bottom of cake facing up. Press down lightly and finish icing sides and top of cake Add chocolate shavings or curls, if desired. Makes 12-14 servings.
Posted by: Sallie