Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, March & April 2006
Notes: I made a big chocolate cake to celebrate the successes of Dr. S' grad students this week. Instead of a double boiler, I just gently microwaved the hot water, chopped chocolate and cocoa powder. It came out looking like it seized, very stiff and pasty but as I added the sugar, it magically turned smooth and glossy. The rest of the cake was problem-free and the layers baked up nicely.

As they cooled, I worked on the rich frosting. It's certainly calorie-laden, made with a pound of chocolate plus 8 tbsp of butter plus more than a cup of heavy cream. Immersed in ice water, the mixing bowl rapidly cools the icing, so you need to stir constantly until the right consistency is reached. Whipping the mixture not only lightens the texture, but the colour as well.

This was an outstanding success. Both cake and frosting boasted a real, deep chocolate flavour. It really should be eaten at room temperature, as the fridge firms up the frosting and it doesn't have the same dissolve in your mouth feeling. Highly recommended.

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