That's why I chose to make a three-layer cake with buttercream frosting and ganache. The ganache is for many reasons, mainly because it tastes like "heaven" and because its smooth, glossy look covers any imperfections in my frosting abilities! ....well...almost!
To be as completely cheesy as possible...you really will eat a slice of heaven when you bite into this monster of a cake!
Active Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour (to let the cakes cool)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 16 slices
- 3 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 canola oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/8 cups cocoa powder
- 3 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (If you don't have a vanilla bean, add another 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract instead)
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I like to use the mini, because I think they melt quicker!)
- 3/4 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 (10-inch) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (You could also grease and flour, but I really love to use parchment paper.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown sugar and oil. Turn the mixer on to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time. Let this mix while you combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Set this dry mixture aside.
- In another small bowl, mix the vanilla into the milk and set aside. Bring your water to a boil and pour over the cocoa. Whisk until smooth. You should now have 4 different bowls of ingredients.
- To the egg mixture, with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl frequently. With the mixer on low speed, add the cocoa. Scrape down the sides and mix until fully incorporated. Don't overmix!
- Pour the batter into the 3 prepared pans. Bake the cakes about 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. When the cakes have slightly cooled, remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. You can also refrigerate cakes to cool.
- Beat butter on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer until smooth, about 20 seconds. Using a paring knife, remove the "caviar" from the inside of the vanilla bean. Add to the butter and mix on medium-high speed about 15 seconds.
- Add the powdered sugar and salt; beat on medium-low until sugar is fully moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add vanilla and heavy cream; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds.
- Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Set in the fridge until ready to assemble.
- Place the first cake on a serving plate. Add a large spoonful of frosting and using an offset spatula, smooth the frosting so that it touches the edges of the cake. Continue with the next layer, and add the final cake on top. Add the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake and smooth.
- For the ganache, in a heatproof bowl, place the chocolate chips and corn syrup. Bring the heavy cream to a full boil and pour over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. If you want the ganache to look extra glossy, run the chocolate through a mesh strainer into another dish. Pour the chocolate over the cake and with a clean offset spatula, smooth the ganache over the top. Let the ganache run down the sides. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from Sandra Lee