My mother made the best cakes; yellow, white, chocolate and pound cake. I loved chocolate cake for my birthday, but it wasn't as rich as this one...sorry Mom!
Let's face it, baking has evolved into a whole new level with all the television shows, magazines, baking contests, etc. It was bound to happen that I could take Mom's recipe and elevate it to a new chocolate richness. One of the reasons why this cake is so good is the ganache frosting. We didn't even know about ganache when I was growing up. The recipe my mom used was the one from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can; it had confectioners' sugar and butter in addition to cocoa. Ganache is made with two (or three) ingredients--Chocolate, my favorite is bittersweet, and Heavy Cream. The third ingredient, you can add for shine, is light Karo syrup. Easy to make, but you do have to have patience for it to set up for frosting. Ganache can also be poured over cakes/desserts or refrigerated to make the centers of Truffles.
Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting
3/4 cup Dutch-processed Chocolate, sifted
3/4 cup hot water
4 oz Bittersweet chocolate, melted
3/4 cup Sour Cream
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the sifted cocoa and hot water together. Melt the bittersweet chocolate in the microwave, 25 seconds at a time, stirring between until thoroughly melted. Add the melted chocolate to the cocoa mixture and whisk again. Finally, add the sour cream and stir to incorporate. Set aside.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Butter and add a parchment round to the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Butter parchment, then dust with cocoa powder. (You want to use cocoa powder so you don't see any "white flour" marks on your baked cake.)
Whisk together, in a medium bowl, the dry ingredients. Alternatively, add the dry ingredients and cocoa mixture to the butter mixture, ending with dry ingredients. Beat on medium to combine. Remove bowl from the stand mixer and use the rubber spatula to stir batter to make sure everything is combined.
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Karo light syrup
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream on the stove over medium heat until bubble appear around the edges--don't let it boil. Add the Karo syrup to the cream, then pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it set just a few minutes, then whisk it to combine. The frosting will take several hours, at room temperature, to set up. Use a large whisk to stir the mixture every 20 minutes, adding air and cooling the chocolate. Believe me, it does set up without putting it in the refrigerator...just be patient!
Place one layer on a cake plate and add about 1 1/2 cups of frosting to the top. Place the second layer on and add almost the rest of the frosting. (I left out some to decorate the top.) Frost the top and pull it down over the sides. I used my new "Russian" tips/Rose to add buds going around the center. Finally, I grated some white chocolate on top. Enjoy!