Monday, November 17, 2008

Layered Chocolate Cake with Fluffy White Frosting


layered-chocolate-cake
When it comes to Layered Cakes, a beautiful layered Chocolate Cake enhanced with fluffy white frosting, and drizzled with some chocolate shavings on the top will never go out of style! Though I love original chocolate cakes with deep dark chocolate buttercream frosting, the white and brown in this recipe creates a wonderful contrast, both, in looks and in flavor. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or a special occasion, Layered Cakes are the best ones ever! Showing off my recent coursework from my cake decoration class, here's a delicious and moist 3-Layered Chocolate Cake with luscious and fluffy White Cream Frosting.

You can use regular White Buttercream Frosting too, but I found this really nice fluffy frosting recipe from a friend that works much better, as it stays soft and fluffy. It compliments the chocolate cake quite well, which is a recipe I adapted from Martha Stewart Living. By using sour cream and hot water, you end up getting a really moist cake with firm texture. This goes to Lorraine for her Best Chocolate Cake challenge!

Ingredients
Good for 3 individual 9" cake layers

For the Cake
16 tbsp (2 sticks) butter , softened
3 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder , sifted
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising flour)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups hot water

For the Fluffy White Icing
5 large egg whites
2 cups icing sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup packed chocolate shavings - to garnish the top

Method

Making the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans with butter; line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the paper.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium speed, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and vanilla; add to brown sugar mixture in two batches, mixing on medium speed until incorporated. Scrape bowl thoroughly; beat 1 minute on high speed.

Sift together cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; add to brown sugar mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.

Sift flour. Add 1 cup to batter and beat on low speed until just combined. Add 3/4 cup sour cream to batter; beat on low speed until just combined. Alternate adding flour and sour cream to batter until there's none left. With mixer still running on low, slowly add hot water, beating until just combined.

Scrape bowl thoroughly; beat batter on low speed about 20 seconds. Scrape bowl thoroughly once more, then divide batter evenly among the three pans, about 3 cups per pan. Bake 30 to 33 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan. Remove from oven. Cool layers in pans about 30 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to one night before assembling.

Make the Frosting
In large deep bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar. With hand-held mixer, beat until foamy at low speed, about 1 minute. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that bottom of bowl does not touch the water. Beat constantly at low speed until mixture reaches 160F, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat, add vanilla, and beat frosting at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.

Assembling the Layered Chocolate Cake
To assemble the cake, level each cake layer by slicing off their tops. Place bottom layer on a serving platter cut side up. Spread 1/2 cup filling on top. Place middle layer cut side down on top of bottom layer. Spread remaining filling on top. Place top layer cut side down on top of middle layer. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Top with a few chocolate shavings, reserving half for later. You can even plaster some crushed peanuts or almonds to the side of the cake as I did. Allow to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the frosting sets well.

Transfer the layered Chocolate Cake onto a serving platter, then garnish with the reserved chocolate curls or shavings. Then just grab a fork, dig into the cake, pop it into your mouth, close your eyes and experience a taste of sensuous happiness that very few other things can provide!!:)

Related Recipes:
Mocha Pistachio Brownies
How to Frost a Cake in 5 Easy Steps
Mango Cake with Streusel Topping

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