The cake I used I got from a Today show segment a while back, but can't find the origin of the recipe. It makes a 3 layer 10 inch cake, but I used one batch to make 2 6in and 2 8in layers. It's a good cake but wasn't as moist as I wanted this time...oh well. I will keep searching for that perfect cake recipe!
1/2 lb butter
1 c Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate
3 c sifted cake flour
2 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 c buttermilk
1 T vanilla
1. Melt butter and then stir in chocolate; cool to room temp
2. Sift together all dry ingredients and stir together in large mixing bowl
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs lightly then stir in buttermilk and vanilla.
4. Combing egg mixture with dry ingredients, slowly, stirring with large whisk or a mixer
5. Add in chocolate mixture and blend well but try not to overbeat
6. Pour batter into greased and floured cake pans (should make 3 layers of a 10 in cake)
7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I think my cakes took longer, maybe 40-45 for the 8 in and 30-25 for the 6 in.
8. Allow cakes to cool before removing from pans, torting, frosting. I stuck mine in the freezer for about an hour before removing from pans. It makes it easier to cut the cakes if they are cold!
**I tried using those bake even strips that you wet and put around your cake pans to keep the cakes from doming in the middle. I'm not sure if they really made a difference but am not getting rid of them just yet. I used them on the 8 in pans and was impressed there was no rise in the middle. The strips were too big for my 6 in pans so I baked without, and they actually came out perfect!
I used my Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the frosting and coated with chocolate ganache.
Chocolate Ganache (Barefoot Contessa)
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 lb chocolate chips
Heat cream and chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until chocolate melts.
Here are photos of my frosting and stacking process
8in cake layering process:
6 inch cake:
I put the cake on top of the soup can so I could frost and cover the cake board completely. I learned from Rose Levy Beranbaum on YouTube that professionals make sure the frosting covers the cake board. For every tier you see on a stacked cake, there is a cake board under each layer...that is the trick!
**Make sure to refrigerate after frosting so it can set
Ganache process - very messy and not as perfect as I would like...probably would've looked better if I didn't try to make sure the whole thing was covered and instead just have drizzling down the sides, but that wasn't the look I was going for..oh well!
**Refrigerate so the chocolate can set
Map out where the 6 in cake will rest, and insert straws to act as support. Insert one and then remove it to cut it to size to be flush or just above the cake. Cut all others accordingly.
Carefully place 6 in cake on top and centeredGarnish with fondant or candies to disguise the imperfections along base of cake. I don't like the fondant balls I ended up using, but they were the easiest! I tried to just do a strip but it was too hard to cut in straight lines. :)
Here's a picture of the cake after being cut
One last note - I think it almost took me longer to blog this than it did to make it! :)