Thursday, August 4, 2016

Restaurant-quality Chocolate Layer Cake

Okay folks! That Australian-sounding steak place has this. A 5-star buffet restaurant-casino-hotel in Vegas has this on their dessert bar.

I am sure this is NOT the recipe but this cake surely tastes like the ones being served in those places I just mentioned.

What triggered me to make this cake was the craving. It's been almost a year since I have a similar cake locally served in a defunct restaurant here in town. In fact, it's been awhile since I had a good quality chocolate cake frosted with a chocolate and butter ganache. And I really need another slice. Soon.

Problem is: just for sitting there to order one would cost me almost 12 bux (inc. tip and tax), no beverage.

Well-I guess it's about time to try baking this cake by Emily Luchetti. Since she's a professional baker for years in some fancy restaurants-I thought I would try this recipe.

When it looks like it-make it!

Reading the recipe, I thought it did not have much fat in it (butter or oil) and it would end up like a chocolate sponge cake if I don't add a bit more of oil so I did. I only had 4 oz of white chocolate chips instead of the original 10 oz bittersweet as called in the original recipe for the chocolate ganache frosting so I used dark cocoa blend to compensate what's missing. Having a kitchen scale helped to solve that problem.

This is a very easy recipe with only a few (high quality, pricey) ingredients (and a lot of each ingredient too that can break your pocketbook) but it ended up to be just what I thought it would be: decadent and rich. Eat moderately!

It's not something I can make again-to soon.


For the Chocolate Cake:

Unsalted butter, for greasing
¾ cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
¾ cup water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped or broken into 1-inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil or some other neutral cooking oil
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk

For the Chocolate Frosting:

4 ounces white baking chips
6 ounces dark blend cocoa (Hershey's)
1 cup heavy cream
⅔ cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces


1. Make the chocolate cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottoms and sides of two 9-inch cake pans with butter and dust evenly with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

2. In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder with the water to make a paste; set aside.

3. In a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water, melt the chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, stir the chocolate until smooth and evenly melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

4. Through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, sift the flour and baking soda; add the salt.

5. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula and stir in the eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. On low speed, add the reserved cocoa paste and melted chocolate and mix until well combined.

6. Still on low speed, add half of the sifted flour, then half the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour and then the milk, until combined.

7. Divide the batter between the greased and coated pans. Using an offset spatula or rubber spatula, spread out the batter. Bake the cakes on the middle rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Run a paring knife around the inside edges to loosen the cake. Place a plate or sheet pan on top of each cake and invert the cake. Remove the pans and allow the cakes to cool completely.

8. Make the chocolate frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.

9. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and sugar, stirring often until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes.

10. Pour the warm cream/sugar mixture over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chocolate begins to soften. Carefully fold in the cocoa. Whisk until smooth and allow to sit for another 5 to 7 minutes to cool slightly.

11. Whisk the butter into the chocolate, adding only 1 or 2 pieces at a time and whisking until they're blended in before adding the next.

12. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it seems spreadable, 20 to 30 minutes.

13. To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers bottom-side up on a cake plate or platter. Using an offset metal spatula, ice with about 1 cup of the frosting. Place the second layer, also bottom-side up, on top of the frosting. Spread the remaining frosting over the side and top of the cake. Slice and serve.