Friday, February 15, 2019

Chef Tess' Favorite Chocolate Layer Cake

Chocolate Cake. It is an icon. One thing that I've been working on the last few weeks for my regular job is perfecting some pretty amazing cake recipes.  I have one that has especially hit the mark for me and I wanted to add it here on the blog for all my regular readers to enjoy. It is pretty much the best chocolate layer cake that I've ever had by far!  It uses a little buttermilk to accent the chocolate flavor and comes together fairly easily.  Frost it with your favorite whip cream or in this case, easy buttercream frosting.  

Chef Tess' Favorite Chocolate Layer Cake
2 ½ cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup hot water
½ cup (1 1/2 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, cut into 16 pieces and softened
2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Easy Buttercream Frosting
1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar (5 ounces)
Pinch table salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream

1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl; set aside. In the second bowl, whisk hot water, cocoa, and vanilla until smooth; set aside. 
2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, until combined. Slowly add cocoa mixture until incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with few crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool completely in pans, about 1 hour. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
4. FOR THE FROSTING: In a standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners' sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until the mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla, and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

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