The Best Chocolate Layer Cake

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chocolate cake

Dark, rich and insanely chocolatey chocolate cake. Sandwiched with luscious, creamy, light and smooth buttercream frosting…. Don’t tell me you haven’t fantasized about a layered chocolate cake while at work or while watching TV with your mind wandering off to bakery land. I might have fallen in love with baking and baking with chocolate every since I watched Nigella Lawson (fell in love with her too) smoothed a cake with her finger and licked the frosting off it. I’m getting carried away over here. All I’m saying is, a good layered chocolate cake is the most indulgent and decadent dream that makes one incredibly happy. This cake though is just as easy as dreaming of it.

chocolate cake

The cake is a good old chocolate cake but instead of yoghurt for moisture I added milk like I remember a friend’s mother would (some 15 years ago I think). The cocoa I used is dutch processed one from Hershey’s and it’s fantastic. Read more about the difference between natural or regular cocoa and dutch processed kind in Sally’s Baking Addiction. The dutch processed cocoa is darker in colour and richer in taste.

chocolate cake

chocolate cake

For the buttercream I stuck to the classic kind of butter whipped with cocoa and icing sugar with a dash of cream. You do need an electric hand mixer or whisk for this. By hand it will take ages to get done, not to forget it’s going to kill your arm too.

chocolate cake

chocolate cake

Yield:

2 x 8 inch cakes

Prep time:

10-15 mins for the cake

20 mins for the frosting

Ingredients:

Cake:

Dry ingredients:

Flour – 1 and 3/4 cups

Sugar – 1 and 3/4 cups

Dutch processed cocoa (or good regular cocoa. Cadbury is pretty good) – 3/4 cup

Baking powder – 1.5 tsp

Baking soda – 1 tsp

Salt – 1/4 tsp

Wet ingredients:

Eggs – 2

Vegetable oil – 1/2 cup

Milk – 1 cup at room temperature

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Boiling water – 1 cup

Method:

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C while you make the batter.

First, bring all ingredients to room temperature by simply arranging them on your kitchen counter for 15-20 mins.

Line your 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper, grease them and dust them with flour so they’re ready to use.

Take two mixing bowls – mix all wet ingredients except the boiling water in one and the dry ingredients in the other.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients bowl and pour the wet ingredients into it.

Gently mix so the batter comes together. It will be very thick.

At this point, add the boiling water and mix well. Now the batter will be thin like it’s supposed to be.

Pour the batter into the two baking tins. If you have only one, then bake one after the other.

Bake for 40 mins or till the centre is cooked through. Baking time really varies from oven to oven.

Let the cakes cool while you make the frosting. Alternately, you could bake the cakes the previous night and let them cool over night and you can make the frosting in the morning like I did.

Frosting:

Ingredients:

Butter – 250 grams or 2 and 1/2 100 gm packs of Amul butter (I used the salted kind)

Icing sugar – 3 cups (very important to sift so the lumps are cleared)

Regular cocoa – 3/4 cup

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Fresh cream or milk – 1/4 cup

Method:

Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the butter for 2 mins till it turns fluffy.

Slowly add the icing sugar, one cup at a time and whisk.

Add the cocoa and continue to whisk till it’s all incorporated but very thick.

At this point add the cream and vanilla. Whisk at high speed for another 2 mins.

Stop once it reaches the buttercream’s consistency which is light and fluffy. Or refer to the pictures.

Assemble the cake, drop 1/3 frosting on top of one, use a palette knife or a butter knife to spread the frosting. Place the other cake on top and use the rest of the frosting to cover the cake.

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