Magical Double Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake is rich and delectable and will likely become your family's favorite, whether at special celebrations or as a weekend treat. Baked with our low-protein Cara Club pastry flour, it is a delicate balance of air and structure, and as chocolatey as can be. The marvelous ganache recipe by Fran's Chocolates takes this cake to a higher level of decadence.

Jerilyn Brusseau, Dark Chocolate Ganache recipe with permission by Fran Bigelow

Prep Time

1 hour and 30 minutes

Bake Time

23-25 minutes

Total Time

3 hours and 30 minutes

Yield

One 2-layer 8" cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

¾ cup plus 1½ tablespoons (190g) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups (300g) brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons (10g) pure vanilla extract

½ cup (118g) boiling water

1 cup (225g) buttermilk

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (98g) (not Dutch process)

1 teaspoon Espresso powder

2 cups (247g) unsifted Cara Club flour* (see Baker's Notes)

1¼ teaspoons (8g) baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

For Fran’s Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling:

8 oz (228g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup (231g) heavy cream

For Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3½ cups (454g) unsifted powdered sugar

1 cup (100g) Dark Cocoa Powder

2/3 cup (160g) whipping cream

1½ teaspoons (8g) pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Optional: 2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Baker's Notes

This recipe was developed specifically for Cara Club wheat soft pastry flour, which has certain unique attributes. It is perfect for tender cakes.

 

The recipe for this ganache comes from Fran Bigelow's book "Pure Chocolate." Here's what she wrote about it:

 

"This traditional ganache gives cakes a lovely dark-chocolate velvet finish. The only techniques you need to remember are to start with a well-chilled cake and not to incorporate any air as you gently stir. A resilient ganache such as this one can be gently reheated and used again as a glaze, sauce, or filling. And it does not lose its sheen with refrigeration."

Instructions:

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and position the rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. Carefully weigh your ingredients using your kitchen scale.
  3. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and brown sugar together for three minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla and eggs to the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Whip until well incorporated.
  5. Add boiling water to the buttermilk. Stir in Espresso powder and cocoa. Stir well to blend thoroughly, let stand a few minutes.
  6. Combine the remaining dry ingredients. Slowly add 1/3 dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer. Mix in. Then slowly add 1/3 buttermilk/coffee/cocoa mixture to the batter in the bowl.
  7. Continue alternating 1/3 dry ingredients with 1/3 buttermilk-cocoa mixture, mixing well after each addition. Beat at medium speed for one minute to be sure all ingredients are incorporated.
  8. Butter and flour two 8" round cake pans. Trace and cut out circles of parchment paper to fit the pans.
  9. Divide the batter equally between the pans using your kitchen scale.
  10. Bake at 350°F until the cake feels springy to a light touch, about 23-25 minutes. Midway through the baking, gently rotate the pans 180°, to ensure even baking.
  11. Remove from the oven and let cool on rack for 30 minutes.
  12. Invert each cake pan onto a plate and then turn top side up using another plate.
  13. Let the cakes cool completely, about 1.5 hours, and then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to make sure the crumb is cold.
  14. While the layers are baking and cooling, prepare the ganache.

To make the Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless-steel mixing bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan heat the cream over medium-high heat until it begins to boil.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit 1 minute and then start gently stirring with a rubber spatula from the center out, until smooth.
  4. Cool at room temperature 30-60 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  5. As ganache continues to cool, it will become beautifully thick and creamy and will be very easy to spread.

To make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip the butter until soft.
  2. Add vanilla and beat well. Scrape the bowl with rubber spatula.
  3. Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder separately. Then combine and sift together for smooth buttercream.
  4. Slowly add combined powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add salt to the cream and stir until dissolved.
  6. Add salt/cream mixture to butter/sugar mixture and blend well.
  7. Optional: to add sheen to buttercream, blend in 2 teaspoon corn syrup.

To assemble the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a serving plate. Spread the Dark Chocolate Ganache as generously as you like. Cover with the second cake layer, top side up, and frost with the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. If you can, let set up for about an hour before serving.

Baker's Notes

This recipe was developed specifically for Cara Club wheat soft pastry flour, which has certain unique attributes. It is perfect for tender cakes.

 

The recipe for this ganache comes from Fran Bigelow's book "Pure Chocolate." Here's what she wrote about it:

 

"This traditional ganache gives cakes a lovely dark-chocolate velvet finish. The only techniques you need to remember are to start with a well-chilled cake and not to incorporate any air as you gently stir. A resilient ganache such as this one can be gently reheated and used again as a glaze, sauce, or filling. And it does not lose its sheen with refrigeration."


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