|(Okay, so no more cell phone pictures for the blog.)|
I know it has been a LONG time since I drafted my 27 while 27 to challenge myself in the kitchen. A lot has happened since January and this blog has fallen by the wayside. To say that this year has been a bumpy ride would be the understatement of the century! The most difficult part has been dealing with the illness and passing of my dear aunt "Emo" in April.
My Aunt was one of the most selfless people I have ever known. There are only a couple of people in my life that could cheer me up no matter how down I was feeling and Emo was one of them. Just hearing her sing-song-y voice could put a smile on my face. She is greatly missed by my entire family but we know she is with us in spirit and we will be able to join her again one day.
This year has also given me and my family great reason to celebrate. My youngest sister turned 18 and graduated from high school. Our church held a luncheon and asked me to prepare a cake for the graduates. This was the perfect opportunity for me to tackle an item on my 27 while 27 challenge items. I decided on a chocolate cake (I also made a chocolate chip cookie cake, which I will save for another post). While scouring the inter-webs I came across a glorious creation dubbed the "Tuxedo Cake." The cake is beautiful! It contains 3 layers of moist, delicious chocolate cake; whipped cream frosting (which happens to be my favorite); and a chocolate ganache topping. I also just realized that I can cross ganache off of my list to make for this year - woo hoo!!
Chocolate Cake (Makes 3 – 8” Layers)
1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
2 cups water
1 cup canola oil 4 cups sugar 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 4 cups all-purpose flour 4 large eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 tbsp. baking soda ½ tsp. salt 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Frosting:
4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ tsp. clear imitation vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips½ cup heavy whipping cream¼ cup clover honey2 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line three 9-inch round cake pans (or two 10-inch round cake pans) with parchment paper. Butter and flour the inside edges of the pan, shaking out the excess flour.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, water and canola oil; heat until the butter is melted. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and flour; whisk to blend. Pour the melted butter mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk. Add the baking soda, salt and vanilla to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting, at least 2 hours.
To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until thoroughly combined and stiff peaks form.
Assemble and frost cake. Refrigerate until the frosting has stabilized, at least 1 hour.
For the ganache, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 1-2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Blend in the honey and vanilla. Pour over the cake, allowing some of the chocolate to drip over the edges.
Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set and the whipped cream frosting is firm, at least 1 hour.
Adapted from Annie's Eats