Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Triple-Triple Chocolate Cake

This is an epic chocolate cake. There is no other way to describe it. Hidden inside it are three super moist layers of rich dark chocolate cake, and three types of chocolate ganache. And don't forget the macarons on top with the same three ganache(s?). For those who aren't experienced chocolate gluttons, this cake will knock you over and leave you gasping for air. It's intense. But so darn good. It's just...a little ugly. But hey, if something looks ugly, just cover it with some ribbons or bows right??
My icing skills are to blame. As well as my lack of organisation. Layered cakes are my arch-nemesis. It just so happens that I was making this cake for Regex Man's birthday, and the first layered chocolate cake I ever made was his Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel birthday cake which was a disaster from start to finish. That cake broke in two, fell on my face, was lopsided and the icing made it look like a giant poo. I was scared to try again. But just like last year; a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache was requested by the birthday boy and by golly that was what he was going to get! I may have gotten a little carried away. I was originally planning to have four layers, and an extra layer of mint chocolate ganache. But sanity prevailed and three layers was more than enough. But feel free to add/substitute different flavoured ganache into the cake, strawberry or mint chocolate would be awesome!
So, things were going smoothly. I baked the cakes (the same gorgeous chocolate cake recipe I used for A's fish tank cake, it's perfect-not too sweet), I was layering the cake. Then I realised I had forgotten the white chocolate ganache. Don't ask me how I managed that. There was panic, mad scraping of ganache off the cakes, rushed fixing up of the cake, and the dark chocolate ganache started to set before I could smooth it out. :( Same mistake as last time. So the outside of the cake was not great looking. I had those crazy neon blue macarons leftover from my blueberry cheesecake macaron recipe, and so I used the extra ganache to fill those. Macarons just add a little bit of wow to an otherwise boring looking cake.

The cake tastes amazing and I love the look of the different layers of ganache. It's not as sweet as you might think but it's definitely rich. After one slice I don't think I can eat anymore chocolate for the rest of the week! But I definitely need to work on my cake decorating skills.
Triple-Layered Triple Chocolate Cake
(adapted from Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe)
Butter, for greasing the pans
275g (1 3/4 US cups) plain flour, plus more for pans
500g (2 US cups) sugar
75g (3/4 US cups) good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
240ml buttermilk, shaken
120ml vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Butter 2-3 19cm round cake tins (I used two and filled one with 2/3rds of the mixture). Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. (I don't have a paddle attachment but my regular hand mixer worked fine) In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. (If you used two tins like me, wait until completely cool before slicing up cake into layers)
For the chocolate ganache:
300g dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa Lindt)
150g milk chocolate
150g white chocolate
600ml pouring cream

Break up chocolate into small pieces and place in separate bowls. Slowly bring cream to just to the boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and cool for a couple minutes. Pour 300ml of cream over the dark chocolate, 150ml over the milk and 150ml over the white. Leave it to melt for a minute, then stir each of them to combine. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat each ganache separately until it is shiny, fluffy and just holds its shape (take care not to overmix or mixture will split, white chocolate especially). When ready to assemble, spread white chocolate ganache over bottom layer, cover with second layer of cake, then spread over milk chocolate ganache, top with final layer and cover entire cake with dark chocolate ganache. Make sure to work quickly or ganache will set. Serve at room temperature, run a knife under hot water before slicing up.

Optional: Use any leftover chocolate ganache to fill macaron shells and decorate on top of cake. See here for the recipe I used for the macaron shells.
Happy Birthday for Friday Regex Man! (And Happy Birthday Von!)
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  1. Awesome chocolatey craziness! And layers! Without getting face-caked! :)

  2. omg what are you talking about Steph this cake is anything but ugly! I love how you used three types of chocolate ganache, it's definitely a cake for chocolate lovers :) can you make my birthday cake too? hehe

  3. Sono estasiata da questo tripudio di cioccolato! bravissima ;)

  4. that is freaking epic! and dude it is the least ugliest thing i have ever seen! mad props to all the crazy awesome layers!

  5. How awesome is this cake Steph. AMAZING. I love the cute blue macs on top.

  6. Oh my ! It looks AWESOME (again) ! I am so happy u have a blog haha (since I got chance to see these pretty food).

  7. Holy smokes, DUDE this looks heavenly. I'm not licking my screen I swear. Looks like the chocolate didn't implode on you this time around - WOO!!! <3

  8. yummm so much chocolate..... seriously to die for!
    it reminded me of my simnel cake with the macarons on top!

    Boy, I haven't make macarons for a long time.... Need to get back into it.

  9. Thanks for the birthday cake Steph :) it is truly epic and I feel very honoured :D

  10. This cake is incredible and it looks fantastic with those gorgeous macarons!

  11. This looks amazing, although next time I make a layer cake I think I'll have a mental picture of your previous disaster! lol. And macarons on a cake are a guaranteed spectacular!

  12. What a beautiful cake! I love the blue macarons on top!

  13. Beautiful! That blue is awesome. I have to say I was a tiny bit disappointed that you didn't end up with cake falling on your face, as this is such a great mental image, but I'm mainly glad you ended up with such a top end product :D

    I also would like to see more of that plate.

  14. You are loco woman! I don't know what you are on about but that cake looks nothing like ugly. How cute are the macs on top?

  15. Think I'll be moving back to Australia now!!!! Seriously though that is one awesome cake - such a treat for a chocoholic!

  16. Looks like it was a big success!!! No cake face episodes this time? :P Looks absolutely beautiful

  17. Bookmarked and will be baked soon. Lovely photos. Icing with ganache is much work.

  18. the cake looks so gorgeous, how in any way does it look ugly? (:

  19. OMG! Tastes amazing!!! Thank you for sharing Regex Man.

  20. Steph, your cake looks beautiful with layers of chocolate goodness!! Truly ugly cakes cannot be covered with ribbons or bows :p

  21. Oh my gosh!! How could you say this is an ugly cake?! It
    s beautiful!!! Even without the macarons and ribbon. I can only imagine how fabulous it tastes

  22. Pretty sure you have the meaning of ugly mixed up somewhere. For this decadent chocolatey goodness is far from ugly! I love the little macarons on top, and the layered inside is just beautiful.

    I am dying for a taste!

  23. no need to substitute anything! delicious! and it's a super cute cake!

  24. So much chocolate!! Looks amazing. I mite try in make it, probally wont look as pretty though. :)

  25. shez - Yay for layers! :D I'm so happy you can actually see the layers!

    Jacq - Aww thanks Jacq! Rough icing just bugs me :( Hahaha of course, I'm open to all requests :D

    SUNFLOWERS8 - Thank you so much!

    chocolatesuze - heehee thanks dude!

    Karen @ Citrus and Candy - Bahaha :D Oh Karen!

    A cupcake or two - Aww shucks thank you! The macs were a bit of an after thought but did the trick

    Iron Chef Shellie - Will do! :D

    Bean Sprout's Cafe - Aww :) Thank you so much! I'm happy i have a blog too lol

    Margaret Tran - :D Thank you!! I'm not opposed to screen licking at all. LOL it tried to but I battled on

    billy@atablefortwo - Thanks for linking to your blog billy, now that you mention it your cake reminds me of this!

    Caffeine - You're very welcome Regex Man :D It was fun! Happy Birthdayyyy

    Lora - Thank you so much!

    Helen (Grab Your Fork) - ROFL I know, I'm a little bit scarred by that experience. Thanks!

    Chocolate Shavings - Thank you! :) It's definitely better than without them!

    Conor @ Hold the Beef - Heehee thanks, how neon is it?! I remember freaking out when I first made them. LOL I think I will avoid cake face :P The plate is awesome, it's called 'Raining Cats & Dogs' :D

    Phuoc'n Delicious - LOL I must be! I just got so annoyed the icing dried before I was done smoothing it!

    Chele - Hehe yes come back! Thanks!xx - Thanks <3

    Maria - Thank you!

    the dainty baker - Still nowhere as pretty as some of your cakes! Thanks :)

    pickyin @ Life is Great - Ooh yay! Good luck! Actually I found ganache a lot easier to work with than buttercream, you just have to work fast!

    CarinE - Thank you so much!

    Chelle - Aww thanks :) I guess I am very picky about how the outside looks!

    Anonymous - He was very understanding of why his bday cake was missing a slice out of it LOL :)

    Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - AHAHA so true Ellie, so true :)

    Brenda - LOL I can't help but be hard on myself! It was very tasty :)

    Celeste @ Berrytravels - :D haha thank you! i was actually very pleased with how distinct the layers turned out!

    mademoiselle délicieuse - It's starting to look like a triple chocolate cake!

    Adriana - Aw thank you!

    sharia - Ooh I hope you do try it! I'm sure yours would turn out lovely!

  26. Amazing cake! I think I've found my birthday cake! My hubby likes bakery cakes but I like homemade. He can't cook so I bake my own. I spend weeks pouring over fabulous blogs like yours searching for MY cake and here it is. I think I'll put a layer of chocolate mousse and only 2 ganaches. The cake itself looks wonderfully moist and I can't wait to bake it! Thanks for the recipe!

  27. that cake looks amazingly delicious!

    definitely on the to make list.

  28. Macarons certainly do finish off a cake quite well but I can never wait long enough to do that after making them... Looks really deliciously moist from where I am sitting!

  29. Not ugly at all, striking and unlike anything I've ever seen! If it tastes half as good as it looks, I'm in! :D

  30. This certainly looks rich! I love the colour of the macarons :-)

  31. Ohmeegosh your layer cake turned out beautifully! See, you CAN do it :) Love the turquoise macarons decorating the top too.

  32. This is some chocolate cake - what a beauty. Love the three separate ganaches. AND then decorating with the notoriously difficult macaroons is just taking the proverbial!

  33. this is darling. i love the bright color of the macaroons.

  34. That cake looks and sounds AWESOME - and I think all chocolate freaks would agree. :)

  35. Man i have to try this recipe! Looks darn delicious! drools.

  36. Amy - Ohh yay! I hope it was a worthy birthday cake! CHocolate mousse sounds great!!

    succuleux - Hope you do make it! Thanks!

    Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! - Haha I know what you mean, I actually had these macs stashed in the freezer so it seemed like a good way to use them up!

    Gummi Baby - Aww thank you! It tastes just as good :D

    Maria @ ScandiFoodie - Haha yes it was pretty intense :) Thanks!

    Emma @CakeMistress - :) Heehee I guess I surprised myself! Thank you so much!

    Choclette - Haha thank you! It's been my favourite chocolate cake to date!

    Dina - Thanks so much! The colour of the macarons were a mistake which I somehow used to my advantage ;)

    Patty - Hehe thank you!

    Alberta Leong - Let me know how it turns out if you try it! xx

  37. wwoooaaa! amazing, I adore chocolate, that's why I adore this cake three times! I love your blog, I will follow you :)

  38. Alice - Thanks so much! Thanks for following :)

    choco - Hi, thanks so much for linking but I don't do link exchanges xx

  39. Hi,

    I am planning to adapt this recipe into a mars bar layered cake using your chocolate cake recipe and whipped milk chocolate ganache but with a caramel filling.

    just wanted to ask, using the whipped ganache, was it hard to fill the cake and stack it? as in, did the layers move around and the ganache ooze out of the sides?

    thank you for your advice :)

  40. Caroline - Mars bar layered cake sounds AMAZING! The whipped ganache stacks great, you can whip it to a stiff peak, if you overwhip the mixture and it splits u can always remelt it and rewhip. As the ganache cools it will set and be quite solid, so if you're worried about it oozing you can make the ganache for each layer separately, spread it on and let it set before putting the next layer on top. Hope it works for you!

  41. thank you so much for your quick reply :)
    feeling much more confident about it now so thank you heaps!

    ps. I have been a long time reader of this blog but had never commented before. I love your blog and everything you make so much!

  42. Made this devine cake a couple of weeks ago for my brothers birthday but topped it with lindt minature chocolates!! It was soooooo delicious that l decided to make it for the Sweets Table Contest but expose it's lovely layers!!! You can check it out here and l linked back to your blog which l totally adore!! You have brought back a bit of my childhood especially the fruit tingle cake and the blackcurrant pastille cupcakes are AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!!

    that is amazing, stunning, breathtaking!
    i'm in love. yes. with a cake.
    Just stumbled upon ur blog and i'm HOOKED!
    great work!


  44. Art in a cake ....TALENTED! x

  45. By pouring cream do you mean single cream or whipping cream for the ganache? I googled pouring cream and most sites said this is the same as single cream, however i am whipping the single with the chocolate now and it is way too runny to frost. Please help!

  46. This cake is delicious, and it's definitely rich. The dough is perfect, moist and not too sweet (which I would have expected, as 500g sugar sounds a lot).

    When reading the description I decided to do the 3 kinds of ganache one after the other in order to not having to rush... but this was a stupid idea as it took ages before they were holding their shape. After staring at the white chocolate/cream mix for more than 1.5 hours it was still fluid, so I re-heated the mix and added another 25g of white chocolate. Then, suddenly, it worked. The milk chocolate one required "only" 1 hour of meditation and the dark one was alright after about 30 minutes.

    Everybody liked the cake, but the leftovers next day were even better, and I know why :). They came chilled, as I had put them in the fridge. Next time I will serve the cake chilled right away. Thanks for that recipe :)

  47. Do you have any tips on how to do the layers?

    I assume you have to first cut off the rounded top of the cake? Is this best to do from the fridge, or just cooled?

    1. Chilled overnight makes it the easiest to trim your cake layers. Use a long sharp knife to trip the rounded top off.


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