For the Chocolate Crème: Begin by making the Chocolate Crème. This can be done up to a few days ahead of time and kept refrigerated.
2 cups 60% or higher Dark Chocolate; chopped
Place your Chopped Chocolate in a mixing bowl with a strainer set over the top and set aside.
2 cups Whole Milk
2 cups Heavy Cream
4 large Egg Yolks
1/3 cup Sugar
Place the Milk and Cream in a heavy bottomed sauce-pot. Bring the mixture up to the point just before boiling (192°F). In the meantime, whisk together your Egg Yolks and Sugar in a small mixing bowl until pale and fluffy and no longer grainy. When the Milk/Cream mixture is up to temp., temper the Egg Yolks in by slowly whisking in a ladle of the Hot Cream. Add a few more ladles full then pour the Egg Mixture back in to the Cream mixture.
Over medium low heat, bring the mixture back up to a simmer (183°F), while stirring with a rubber spatula. The mixture should thicken slightly. Strain the anglaise over your Chocolate. Let it sit for a few seconds, allowing the Chocolate to begin melting then whisk everything together until it’s a smooth velvety mixture. Let the crème sit on the counter until it’s no longer steaming then chill thoroughly until ready to use. It will thicken dramatically as it chills.
For the Cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare 3, 8” round cake pans by lightly spraying the bottoms with nonstick spray then fitting with a round of parchment. Once the parchment is in place, Butter and Flour all of the pans, shaking out all excess.
1 3/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (not Dutch-Processed)
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Instant Coffee
1 cup Sour Cream
1/3 cup Water
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 large Eggs
In the bowl of your mixer, sift together the Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt. Add both of your Sugars and the Instant Coffee. Using the paddle attachment with the mixer on low, incorporate everything. 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 thoroughly combine. Divide evenly amongst the three pans and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool then flip out of the pans and peel the parchment off.
1 bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
For the icing: Begin by melting the Chocolate Chips then setting aside.
2 sticks Unsalted Butter; softened
8 ounces Cream Cheese; softened
2 large Egg Yolks
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
pinch of Salt
3 cup Powdered Sugar; sifted
In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the Butter and Cream Cheese together until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often to avoid lumps. Next add the Egg Yolks and Vanilla and mix until combined. Next 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.
Flakey Sea Salt; for garnish
To Assemble: Place one of the three Cakes on to a plate with the flat side up. Spread a heaping 1/2 cup of the Chocolate Crème evenly over the top. Place another layer on top with the flat side up. Spread 1/2 cup of the Crème in an even layer, repeating the previous step. Top with the final cake, flat side up and gently press down.
**Place the cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes at this point and it will be easier to frost.**
Next, frost the cake using most of the icing. Sprinkle the top evenly with flakey Sea Salt. Slice and enjoy!
1. When mixing/making the batter:
- Butter/sugar mix should be a pale ivory color that looks fluffy and feels grainy.
2. When frosting a stacked cake:
- Do not frost a warm cake. The frosting will melt.
- To prevent filling from oozing, pipe a ring of frosting around the circumference of the cake with a pastry bag.
- Then spread with filling. The icing will create a “filling dam.”
3. When slicing a cake:
- Creaming butter and sugar gives baked goods structure and results in light and delicate cakes.
- Use a long, thin bladed knife
- Dip knife in warm water and clean on a cloth in between cuts