SO amazing! (just turn off that switch in your head that’s calculating how many hours you’ll need to work out to work this off!). Borrowed from ‘The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook’, by Ina Garten, this is definitely going in the special birthday cake rotation. Give yourself the time to get all of the ingredients to room temperature, it makes a difference – enjoy!
Chocolate Buttercream Cake
Chocolate Cake – you need 2, 8-inch round cake pans
1 3/4 c. flour AND 1 c. cocoa
1 1/2 t. baking soda AND 1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. butter, room temperature
2/3 c. EACH sugar AND packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature AND 2 t. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk AND 1/2 c. sour cream – both at room temperature
2 T. brewed coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter your 2, 8-inch round cake pans – then line them with parchment and butter the parchment as well. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Using your electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on high speed for about 5 minutes until the mix is lighter in color and fluffy, then add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream and coffee and then to the butter/sugar/egg mix add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended, scraping down the sides as needed.
Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans and bake on the middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely. At this point you could continue on with the making of the chocolate buttercream, but I made these a few days ahead, wrapped them well and froze them. On the day you plan on serving the cake, make the buttercream, ice the cake and then give the cake time to be in the fridge for an hour or 2 before serving so that it can be nice and cold and the buttercream has time to stiffen and set.
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate AND 8 oz. semisweet chocolate – both chopped
1/2 c. egg whites (for me this was from 4 large eggs), room temperature
1 c. sugar
1/8 t. cream of tartar AND 1/2 t. salt
1 lb. butter, room temperature
2 t. vanilla
2 t. instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 t. water
2 T. dark rum
Carefully melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring it in between heating’s until it’s smooth, then allow it to cool a bit. Using your electric mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt, then remove the bowl from the mixer and place it carefully over a pot of simmering water and whisk with a hand whisk until the egg whites are warm to the touch. This is to help dissolve the sugar and this took only about 2 minutes for me. Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and then beat on high speed for 5 minutes until the meringue is cool and holds a stiff peak.
Add the butter (eventually the whole pound!) 1 tablespoon at a time to the meringue while beating at medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add the chocolate, vanilla, espresso powder dissolved in water and rum and mix for 1 minute until the chocolate is completely blended in. If the buttercream seems too soft, allow it to cool and then beat it again.
Place one cake on a serving plate flat side up (I usually slide 4 strips of parchment under and around the cake for easy clean up), frost the top, add the second cake, frost the top, then frost the sides and set it into the fridge until it’s time to WOW everyone. Due to the buttercream insulation, this cake also keeps very well for a couple of days in the fridge.
- Category: Cakes, Frostings