I made this for my son, James', 14th Birthday Party and it was a big hit. The idea came from combining several different cake recipes and a little imagination. The cake is super moist but holds it shape beautifully under the rich chocolate silk frosting. Beneath each layer, there are 3, is a layer of rich chocolate ganache. To crown off the top of this beautiful cake, I used Lindt Chocolate Truffles, it is just so sinful and good ! Trust me, it is worth the effort ! ****Made Cake # 2 for my Sisters Birthday, it was a big hit ! She thought I had bought it at a bakery !!
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Um... YUM! This super delicious, uber chocoalte-y cake is a force to be reckoned with. From the creamy, dreamy icing to the moist layers of cake, this is a chocolate lover's dream come true.
RICH CHOCOLATE CAKE (3 LAYERS)
butter or margarine, softened
eggs, room temperature
pure vanilla extract
all purpose flour
baking powder *not a typo, just 1/2 tsp.
CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING WITH GRAND MARNIER
semi-sweet chocolate chips
grated orange zest
SATINY CHOCOLATE FROSTING
semisweet chocolate chips
(2 sticks) butter or margarine
CAKE GARNISH #1
bag of Lindt truffles, milk chocolate and white chocolate
jar of chocolate jimmies/chocolate sprinkles
CAKE GARNISH #2
bag M&M's of your choice
27-oz can of creme filled Pirouettes (Pepperidge Farm)
FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 3 9-inch layer cake pans (I use Wilton, they are the best) cut out circles of wax paper and line bottom of pans. If you have Wilton Bake-Even Cake Strips, use them. If not, you will have to level cakes after they are cooled.
Combine boiling water and cocoa, stir till smooth and set aside in fridge to cool.
Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 min is perfect.
In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt.
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Beat at low speed of mixer, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not over beat or cake will be tough!
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 or until top springs back. Do not over bake!
Cool in pans 10 min. then flip out onto a large plate and put in freezer. Don't worry, I know what I am doing. This keeps the cakes from falling apart and won't leave crumbs in your icing.
GANACHE FILLING: Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Stir in the Grand Marnier and the orange zest.
Transfer hot chocolate to a relatively deep stainless steel bowl and immerse into a bowl of ice water, then whip with a hand mixer until it is thick and fluffy.
Once it is desired consistency, take out of ice bath or it will continue to harden; set aside.
SATINY CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Combine chips, milk and butter in a LARGE sauce pan, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat; blend in powdered sugar. Set pan into ice bath; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until frosting is fluffy and holds it shape. It should make a peak with a spoon and hold it. Remove from ice bath or it will continue to harden!
CAKE ASSEMBLY: Remove frozen layers from freezer and put on a platter lined with wax paper strips. Just cut them and slide them slightly under cake, they will catch all the mess and when you gently pull them out your platter will be all clean and pretty.
Spoon about a 3/4 C of the ganache filling on your first cake layer and repeat until you reach your third layer. *DO NOT ice the top layer!*
Frost the top with the SATINY CHOCOLATE FROSTING first, then start on the sides. Smooth top as much as possible with a flat knife dipped in hot water.
Take your chocolate jimmies (chocolate sprinkles) and gently take your hand and press them up the sides only. Continue until you have gone all the way around. GENTLY remove the wax paper strips and discard.
Put remaining filling into a piping bag and pipe 12 medium size swirls onto top of cake. I used a #21 tip. Space them out before you start piping to make sure you get 12 and they are even.
Top each swirl with either a Lindt chocolate truffle and a Lindt white chocolate, alternating. If the bottom of your cake is messy where you pulled out the paper, you may use the same tip and pipe a border around the base of the cake.
Chill in refrigerator immediately. Before serving, let cake set out at room temperature 30 min so the chocolate will soften back up slightly. Enjoy!
ALTERNATE GARNISH: Pipe a border around top and bottom lip of cake. Take Pirouette creme filled wafers and line them up around the sides of cake. (They do not have to be all the same height). Add M&M's to the middle of the cake .
***Finished Cake #2 in my photo #2 made in (3) 9-inch pans. Serves at least 14, huge cake.