Michael's dark, decadent cake is one not to miss!
- For the Chocolate Crème:
- 2 Cups 60% or higher dark chocolate (chopped)
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 Cup sugar
- For the Cake Batter:
- softened butter (for greasing pans)
- 1 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour (plus more for flouring pans)
- ¾ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ Tsp salt
- 1 ½ Cups sugar
- ½ Cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1 Cup sour cream
- 1/3 Cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ Cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- For the Icing:
- 1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 3 Cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- flakey sea salt to garnish
- Begin by making the Chocolate Crème. (This can be done up to a few days ahead of time and kept refrigerated.) Place the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl with a strainer set over the top and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy and no longer grainy.
- Meanwhile, place the milk and cream in a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Bring the mixture up to the point just before boiling (192ºF). When the milk/cream mixture is up to temperature and bubbles start to form around the side of the pot, remove from heat and begin tempering the egg mixture. Start by adding a few tablespoons of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, while vigorously whisking. Continue whisking in a few more ladles-full of the hot cream mixture. Then, pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the cream mixture, whisking constantly. Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture back up to a simmer, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (183ºF). Remove from heat once mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Strain the thickened custard through the strainer over the chocolate. Let it sit for a few seconds, allowing the chocolate to begin melting. Stir chocolate mixture until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the chocolate crème. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Prepare 3, 8” round cake pans by greasing with softened butter. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottoms of the pans. Then, butter the parchment. Coat the pans with flour, shaking out all excess.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add both of the sugars and the instant coffee.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the remaining wet ingredients. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.
- Place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Set the cakes on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Flip the cooled cakes out of the pans and peel the parchment off.
- For the icing: Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Place in the microwave for 10 second increments to melt. Set aside. Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often to avoid lumps. The, add the egg yolks and vanilla, and mix until combined. Mix in the powdered sugar with a pinch of salt and beat until thoroughly mixed and fluffy. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to use. To assemble: Place one of the three cakes onto a plate with the flat side up. Spread a heaping half cup of the chocolate crème evenly over the top. Place another layer on top with the flat side up. Spread a half cup of the crème in an even layer, repeating the previous step. Top with the final cake, flat side up and gently press down. Next, frost the outside of the cake until evenly coated. Sprinkle the top with flakey sea salt. Slice and enjoy!
- 1. Place the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes before icing the outside of it. This helps to keep the layers in place.
- 2. Dip knife in warm water and clean on a cloth in between cuts.