Friday, January 18, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Buttercream Cake

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa with a little twist.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup good cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 tbsp brewed coffee

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rack in the middle.

-Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with wax paper, butter the paper, and dust the pans with flour.

-In a bowl, combine together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

-With mixer, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla.

-Combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee.

-On low speed, add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix them until it blended.

-Pour the batter into two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, remove from the pans, and allow to finish cooling.

-Place one cake on a serving plate, flat side up (I placed the cake flat side down or you can cut the top to make it even). Frost the top of the layer with chocolate buttercream. Place the second layer on top also flat side up (I still placed it flat side down), and frost the top and sides.

Chocolate Buttercream
11.5 oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tsp water
2 tbsp Grand Mernier (optional)

-Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water until smooth. Set it aside.

-With a mixer, mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in a bowl over simmering water until they are warm to the touch, about 5 minutes. Whisk on high speed for 5 minutes, or it holds a stiff peak.

-Add the butter on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and grand mernier, if using, and mix for 1 minute or until the chocolate is completely mixed.