Chocolate Layer Cake
It’s the ultimate old-fashioned, everything-you-could-wish-for Valentine’s Day cake!
2 Cups Unbleached Flour
2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Not Dutch-Process)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Cup Softened Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sugar
4 Large Eggs (Room Temperature)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
2/3 Cup Whole Milk
3 Large Egg Yolks
1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Unbleached Flour
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (Divided)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter (Cut Into Tablespoon Pieces & Softened)
8 Ounces Melted & Cooled Milk Chocolate
2 Ounces Melted & Cooled Unsweetened Chocolate
To Make The Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust pans with flour. Knock out any excess. In a small-size bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and kosher salt. In a large-size bowl beat together butter, brown sugar and white sugar, using an electric mixer at medium-high speed for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add chocolate and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined. Turn speed to low and add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in 3 batches. Begin and end with flour and mix just until combined. Divide batter between cake pans and spread evenly. Place in oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remember that each oven heats differently so make sure to check at 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of each cake layer. If it comes out clean then pull the cake out of the oven. Remove from oven and cool cake layers in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of each layer. Invert onto racks. Peel off paper and cool layers completely.
To Make The Frosting: In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan heat milk over a medium heat until hot. In a medium-size bowl whisk together yolks, flour, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and kosher salt. Remove milk from heat and add to egg yolk mixture while whisking. Transfer mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat. Whisk. Reduce heat to a simmer and whisk for 2 minutes. Mixture should be very thick. Transfer to a large-size bowl. Cover mixture with a buttered round of parchment paper and let cool for 50 minutes. Now add vanilla extract and remaining powdered sugar to the mixture. Beat with cleaned beaters at medium speed until combined well. Increase speed to medium-high and beat in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until smooth. Add chocolates and beat until well combined.
To Assemble: Halve each cake layer horizontally using a long serrated knife. Layer cake, using a heaping 1/2 cup frosting between each layer, then frost top and sides with remaining frosting.
Makes 1 Chocolate Layer Cake. Serves 8
Victoria’s Note: Cake layers can be made (but not halved) 1 day ahead and kept, well-wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature. Frosting can be made 1 day ahead, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature (do NOT use a microwave) and beat with a mixer before using.