Lets talk about how to choose recipes on epicurious.com. There are two major criteria: a high fork rating and an old recipe. If a recipe has two forks, but is brand new and has only been reviewed twice, well then the fork rating is rendered moot. If, on the other hand, a recipe was first published in 1999, has 1400+ reviews and has still managed to hang on to its 4-fork rating, in that case, you probably have a winner. I mean, it’s possible that 1400 reviewers are wrong, but mass hysteria over a double-chocolate layer cake seems unlikely. As it turns out, those reviewers have never been so right.
A couple of weeks ago, my two favorite almost-twins had their birthdays. I wanted to make an over-the top cake for the joint celebration, but I was having trouble choosing one. Then it kinda dawned on me: what’s more over-the-top than a cake that contains 20 oz of good chocolate…AND 1.5 cups of cocoa powder. No frills, no fancy techniques or liqueurs or ingredients; just good, old-fashioned chocolate cake. And honestly, who would say no to chocolate on chocolate?
This cake. was. amazing. It’s extremely moist and the depth of the chocolate batter is massively boosted by the addition of good dark coffee. Coffee does amazing things to chocolate, just ask Ina, she’ll tell you. The cake was so moist, that I lost some of it to the cooling rack. It’s possible I was rushing it a bit, no biggie.
The “frosting” is really nothing more than a straight-up ganache, so you can imagine the intensity. I was a little concerned (re: cheap) about the cost of 20+ oz. of “fine-quality” chocolate, so I used about half Hershey’s Special Dark and half Green and Blacks 70%. I can only imagine what the result would have been if I had splurged for the good stuff. I’m fairly sure, however, that the birthday cake massacre that ensued that night meant that the rest couldn’t have cared less.
Double Chocolate Layer Cake (Best Cake Ever)
Taken directly from Gourmet
This cake will officially go into my repertoire; everyone needs a good chocolate cake, right? Be sure you have enough people to finish this cake though- it’s too dangerous to have around and damn good for breakfast with a cup of coffee. I used 9″round cake pans instead of the 10″ called for and it worked out just peachy.
3 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 c. hot brewed coffee
3 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1 1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 t. vanilla
16 oz. fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 c. heavy cream
2 T. sugar
2 T. light corn syrup
1/4 c. unsalted butter
- Heat oven to 300°F. Grease two 10″ or 9″ round pans and line them with parchment paper.
- Finely chop chocolate and pour hot coffee over it. Let melt and stir until smooth
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until thickened and pale (~3 min)
- To eggs, add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and chocolate-coffee mixture. Beat until combined
- In another large bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt
- Add the sugar mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until incorporated
- Divide batter between pans bake for ~1 hour or until the tester comes out clean
- Let the cakes cool completely in the pans
Meanwhile, make the ganache frosting:
- Finely chop the chocolate
- Bring the cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking until sugar dissolves
- Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to melt, stirring until smooth
- Add the butter by tablespoon into the chocolate and stir until melted and combined
- If the frosting is too loose to spread, refrigerate to a spreadable consistency
- Once the cakes are cool and the frosting is spreadable, layer her up!