Sunday, July 21, 2013

Black Magic Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache

well...i can now cross the important DOUBLE LAYER CAKE off of my "bucket list".

believe it or not...i have never made a double layer cake from scratch.  i HAVE, of course, made a box cake or two back in the high school days, but fear of the ugly dry crumbly lopsided cake syndrome must have kept me from trying again.

on so many levels...
pardon the poor pun !

i was complimented by many and must agree...
this is the best chocolate cake i have EVER tasted.

aka Ina Garten's Aunt Beatty's Chocolate Cake
BUT ... many thanks to FOODESS.COM for the introduction with her delicious photos



1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa...i used Guittard
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk.  (i substituted with 1 TBSP white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest of the cup with milk...let stand 5 minutes)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup hot coffee

preheat oven to 350 F.  grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans.  i lined the bottom with a parchment round, buttered the round and floured the sides.
in a large bowl of stand mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth...about 3 minutes.  remove bowl and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula...NOTE...batter will be very runny.
pour batter evenly into the two prepared pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes.  i rotated the pans after 15 minutes.  even cooking is key to an even cake.  start to watch after 25 minutes.  the toothpick should come out clean WITH A FEW MOIST CRUMBS.
allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edges and flip cakes out on to a wire rack.  cool completely before handling and frosting.
NOTE...i made the cake the day ahead and kept it in the fridge.  this makes it A LOT easier to handle...this is one VERY moist cake.


14 oz Guittard 70% bittersweet coverture chocolate discs
14 oz heavy cream
4 tsp light corn syrup
1 chipotle pepper with adobo sauce (from the can)... split open
NOTE...this amount was correct for this 2 layer cake.  i had about 1/2 cup of delicious ganache left over.

heat heavy cream, and corn syrup (and chipotle, if using) in a small sauce pan.  bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour directly into and over the chocolate.  if you used chipotle you must pour through a strainer.  allow to sit for 1 minute.  start to gently stir from the middle.  take your time.  you will see it magically come together with a beautiful shine.  stir until you have it all incorporated.  let sit on the counter for at least 45 minutes.  you are looking for a pudding consistency and ABOUT 70 DEGREES.  if you need to speed it up, refrigerate and stir every 10 minutes until pudding consistency.  put this in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.  start slowly and move the speed up to high.  you will see that it forms soft peaks after one minute.  keep a close eye so you DON'T OVER WHIP.  watch it until it gets just a bit more firm.  ice the cake immediately after making.  it will begin to seize up if you take too long.  i found some great visuals at Joe so please check out his helpful photos for the correct consistency.

i have made this cake twice already with rave reviews.  the second was served last night for my bestest friend Carol's B-Day.  i found that the cake travels well.  don't worry that the frosting seems stiff.  keep it at room temperature and it will slice like a dream with a sharp knife.  clean the blade between slices.  i think i fed 16-18 pieces...

NOTES FROM NOVICE LAYER CAKE BAKER....this is a fabulous cake to start with...dense and super moist.  handle with care.  bake the cake the day before and refrigerate.  work with cold cake so it is much easier to handle.
remove parchment round from bottom of cake and put bare bottom cake on flat coated card board round made for a 9" cake.
elevate the cake off your work surface for easier frosting application.
don't be too skimpy on the middle frosting layer...check thickness by sticking your finger in.  you want a good 1/3 inch.
try to get your top swirl right fairly quickly because the ganache will start to stiffen and you can't go back and fix it.
work on your smooth sides after you have your swirls done.  don't be skimpy on the sides either.  as your knife goes around make sure you do not see "cake" peeking through.
don't worry if your top doesn't look "bakery professional".  
THE TASTE TEXTURE AND CHOCOLATE WOW FACTOR WILL DISGUISE ALL MISTAKES. can always hide things with chocolate shavings, fresh berries and such.


Wholesale Gluten Free said...

Dark chocolate has been known to have a bitter taste at these high levels of cocoa. New methods of preparing it have resulted in a creamier taste while still maintaining its health benefits.

Dina said...

this looks like the perfect chocolate cake!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi IS a reeeeally fabulous cake. i'm making it for the 3rd time in 2's that good.

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

This cake looks so dark and moist! I want to just take that slice right off your cake knife! Beautiful photos too!

I must admit that I am a little scared to put chipotle in my chocolate frosting. I must not be as adventurous as you!

Trevor Sis Boom said...

So, um. Chipotle huh? OMG. Of course it is fantastic. I love it when something gets crossed off a bucket list to such aplomb! Good work!

Carsten Møgelvang said...

Hi Jules, stumbled across your blog by accident. You have amazing pictures and very interesting recipes. The double layer chocolate cake is one i have to try. Must bring something to my workplace before leaving for my summerholiday. Looks like a cake that cannot go wrong. However, comming from Europe i am not sure about the measurements. Do you know where to find a reliable converter? Best regards Carsten, Denmark

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Lindsey...don't be afraid of the chipotle. of course you can leave it out, but it does add a little something extra...just don't over do it the first time. thanks for the great comment.

Jules and Ruby said...

HI TREVOR!...thanks for checking in. yes, i try to sneak a little chipotle in everything, as you well know. i love your newest cocktail photo so i'll pop over to "SisBoom" for a visit and comment

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Carsten...thanks so much. for conversions...i don't have a regular site i go to, but i just google when i need one. here's a pretty good one at Diana's desserts...
and another at what's cooking America...
hope that helps...and i'd love to know how your cake turns out if you decide to try it. Xj

Anonymous said...

How thick are the layers supposed to be? Mine are only 1 inch thick.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Anonymous...i think mine were about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch...i'm not exactly sure. does it feel cooked through?. even if it did not rise enough this time...i bet it will still be delicious. this seems like a very forgiving cake. let me know how it works out.

dan (formerly anonymous) said...

You're right. Even though the layers were only 1" thick, it still tasted great and was really moist. I'll have to experiment to figure out why it didn't rise enough. Here's a photo of the final product.

Jules and Ruby said...

HI DAN !, i'm so happy. thanks so much for the report and sending me a photo. your cake came out GREAT. isn't this a fabulous delicious moist chocolate chocolate cake?...i love it. i think i might try peanut butter frosting next with a dark chocolate ganache pour...what do ya think?

Juliette said...

Hi! I've recently been following your blog and I've tried a few, my favorite up to date being the white cake recipe with salted caramel buttercream frosting which was an immense success!
However, tried this one and it failed miserably! The cake didn't rise at all and it came out like a pudding... Reading through, the only thing I didn't do was rotate the cake while it was cooking... My thoughts being that this would have given an uneven cake, but not the pudding I got. Any ideas on what could have gone wrong?

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Juliette...oh my...i'm so sorry this didn't turn out. i wonder, if it could be the type of cocoa powder you used? could it be that it needed even more time? did the baking soda go in? the batter is supposed to be runny, but the cake surely should bake. hmmm i wonder if you should go straight to the original at "foodess", i put the link at the top of the recipe. print the original out and bake directly as she says. maybe it will help? sometimes the slightest change with instructions can help. this truly IS the best chocolate cake i have ever made so i hope you can enjoy it. AND thanks for testing out the white cake.
please let me know how this comes out if you try again...jules

Juliette said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I used Cadbury's bournville cocoa, maybe I'll try getting one from green and black's next time. Thanks for the original recipe, I'll have a look and think about what I can do at my next attempt. Your photos look absolutely awesome so I really want to get this right!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Juliette...i forgot to say...check out the true original from Hershey's. i have that link in the post as well. they are pretty much the same, i just found Foodess had simple nice instructions. good luck

Juliette said...

Hi Jules,
Tried the cake again and it was a success this time! And you're right, it is a delicious, moist chocolate cake! Love it!
I had a look at the original recipe and in the end I increased the amount of baking powder I used (three very heaped teaspoons) and used boiling water for the hot coffee rather than just warm water. Not too sure how much of a difference but it worked this time :D !

Jules and Ruby said...

YAY glad to hear. thanks for the report in case some one else has this problem....jules

Avni said...

Very interesting cake. i really like this black magic cake. thanks for sharing this this blog about
"Black Magic Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache. keep posting such wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

Hello, this looks like a great cake. Do you think it would carry a fondant decoration? I am planning to put whipped ganache as a filling and then cover the cake with a layer of fondant (for my friend's baby shower). The fondant color will be white so should I use a white chocolate ganche? Or would dark chocolate ganache work?

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Anonymous...sorry late reply. i'm not familiar with fondant, but this cake is very very moist...i wonder if it would smooooosh too much. i'm not sure...

also white chocolate ganache is very difficult to do. maybe you know how? i did it once. it is very cloyingly sweet...but i am not a pro...maybe you are? i could learn some things...

Andi Prasetyo said...

Thank you

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Deb Smith said...

I don't hought this was an Accident na Garton originally nsl? She took it from Hersheys? Great cake anyway! I found you via Instagram! Love the way you write. Its like sitting at your table having ng coffee and cake!

Deb Smith said...

Boy, i sure hate that spell checker. I should have worn my glasses!

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