Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
- 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 cup dark brown (muscovado) sugar, packed
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ½ cup corn or any flavorless vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup strong black coffee, cooled to room temperature
- 10 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with baking or parchment paper. Butter paper liners and sides of pan. Set aside.
- Whisk or sift together flour, white sugar, muscovado sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well until combined. Set aside.
- Whisk together buttermilk, vegetable oil, beaten eggs, vanilla and cooled coffee. Blend well.
- Gradually sift dry ingredients over wet ingredients in batches, mixing with a rubber spatula after each addition. Batter would be slightly thin. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Gently tap pans on a hard surface to release air pockets.
- Bake in the middle rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until tops are springy when lightly touched with a finger and tester inserted comes out with very few crumbs or if clean.
- Allow cakes to cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of cakes to loosen, then turn out onto wire racks. Peel off baking paper liners and allow to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours or so.
- Place chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
- Pour cream in a saucepan and set over medium heat until bubbles begin to form along the edges. Once cream is fully heated through, remove pan from heat and pour cream over chocolate. Set aside for about 2 to 3 minutes to allow chocolate to melt.
- Stir ganache until smooth. Stir in coffee-flavored liqueur and vanilla. Place ganache in the refrigerator to cool and thicken. (You can make ganache a day ahead.)
- Once ganache has thickened, beat on medium speed until soft peaks begin to form. Set aside.
- Cream butter over medium to medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add confectioners’ sugar, about ¼ to 1/3 cup at a time, until all of the 3 cups are mixed in. Add milk, about a teaspoon at time, until moistened.
- Alternately add remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon milk until desired spreading consistency is achieved. You need not use all of the remaining sugar and milk. Beat in vanilla extract until well-blended.
- Increase speed to medium and beat buttercream from another 3 to 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Slice each cake layer horizontally using a serrated knife to make 4 layers. Divide filling into three equal portions.
- Place the bottom cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Spread with 1/3 of the filling and top with second cake layer. Repeat until all of the cake layers and filling are used. You should have the final cake half as the top layer.
- Reserve about ¼ of the buttercream for decoration, if desired. Using an offset spatula, frost top and sides of cake, creating peaks and swirls as you go. If desired, pipe decorative designs all over cake using the reserved buttercream.
- Chill cake for about 8 to 24 hours until filling and frosting are completely set. Cut into wedges before serving.
- Makes 10 to 12 servings.
- If desired, frost cake and smoothen. Sprinkle with edible glitters and silver dragees.
- Another variation is to frost top and sides of cake as smoothly as possible. Melt about 2 to 4 ounces dark chocolate and pour into a heavy-duty plastic bag. Snip off a corner and use to drizzle melted chocolate decoratively over the smooth buttercream frosting.
- You can omit the chocolate drizzle and instead, sprinkle top of cake with finely grated dark chocolate. Shave off a few chocolate curls from a bar of slightly softened dark or bittersweet chocolate and press onto the sides of cake for decoration.
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