Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
For the filling and frosting:
3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 pound white chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Serves 12-14 slices.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
2. Stir the semi-sweet chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
3. Using an electric mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until well blended. Beat in the lukewarm, melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add in the cocoa powder mixture in three additions, alternating with milk in two additions.
4. Divide the batter equally between prepared pans. Bake the cakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the cakes, they should be soft and airy after 45 minutes. Cool the cakes in pans on drying racks for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each pan to loosen the cakes. Cool the cakes completely on the racks. Peel off the parchment paper.
5. Bring one cup cream and butter to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Once the butter has completely melted, add the white chocolate and the vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the white chocolate filling into a small bowl; cover and freeze until cold, about two hours.
6. Let the remaining white chocolate mixture stand at room temperature until lukewarm, about 20 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining two cups cream and almond extract in a large bowl until peaks form. Working in three batches, fold in the lukewarm white chocolate mixture. Refrigerate the whipped cream frosting just until medium peaks hold, folding occasionally, about three hours.
7. To frost, place one cake layer on a platter. Spread the chilled 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate filling over the layer. Top with the second cake layer. Spread whipped cream frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Chill until cold and set, about one hour.
For a Fourth of July family barbecue, my sister and I embarked on an highly-anticipated baking adventure: the making of our very first cake. We searched the internet and flipped through pages of several cookbooks before ultimately deciding upon this recipe from Bon Appetit. We slaved over each component of the dessert; a process that started in the morning progressed late into the afternoon. When I finally took my first bite of the cake, the hours of labor all paid off.
I savored the dessert slowly, in disbelief that such a creation had come from my own kitchen. Two layers of perfectly moist chocolate cake, separated by a sliver of white chocolate ganache, and slathered with the fluffiest, cloud-like white chocolate frosting you will ever taste: a chocolate-lover’s dream. You are missing out on dessert heaven if you have not tried this cake. The recipe requires multiple steps but each and every one is completely worth it. Do not be intimidated by the involved process because, while somewhat lengthy, it is difficult to mess up. Even for a first-timer such as myself, this cake fell nothing short of flawless.