Just in time for the weekend, here's a recipe from our most recent book: Gluten Free Flour Power. If you can't make it to Curiosity Doughnuts, you may as well stay home and bake a decadent chocolate cake. If you prefer four layers, as pictured above, bake your cake layers in two pans and split each layer in half. It will take an extra 5-7 minutes for your layers to bake. Feel free to substitute all-purpose flour for the gluten free (by weight) if that's what you've got in your pantry. The cake will still be fabulous.
Triple Chocolate Cake
Makes one 9-inch cake
This is a serious chocolate cake for chocolate lovers. It’s tall and beautiful and it can be decorated after it’s frosted with sprinkles or nuts. The excess bourbon chocolate syrup that we use to soak the cake can also be used to make chocolate milk, hot chocolate, or to top ice cream sundaes. It’s pretty useful stuff to have in the fridge and so much better than store bought syrup. This recipe is ideal as a beautiful birthday cake. Just one bite will tell the recipient how much you love him or her. It may seem like a big batch of frosting but that's because Alex’s pet peeve is skimpy frosting between cake layers. That said, our guests leave nothing on their plates so the recipe must make the right amount. Use your favorite brand of chocolate and hang the expense because this recipe will make a cake that is better than any store-bought cake you’ve ever tasted.
4 ounces / 113 grams unsalted butter, sliced
4 ounces / 113 grams bittersweet chocolate
2 cups / 400 grams sugar
2 ¼ cups / 292.5 grams Gluten Free Flour Blend (page 000)
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons / 210 grams cocoa powder
2 teaspoons / 12 grams baking powder
1 teaspoon / 6 grams fine sea salt
½ teaspoon / 2.5 grams baking soda
1 ¼ cups / 300 grams buttermilk, room temperature
4 ounces / 113 grams peanut or vegetable oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
Bourbon Chocolate Syrup:
1 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoons / 375 grams sugar
225 grams / 1 cup water
8 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon / 125 grams cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon / 1.5 grams fine sea salt
¾ tablespoon corn syrup / 15 grams light corn syrup
1 tablespoon / 16 grams pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons / 85 grams bourbon, rum or heavy cream
2 cups heavy / 480 grams cream
4 ounces / 225 grams unsalted butter, sliced
2/3 cup / 132 grams sugar
½ cup / 113 grams water
4 tablespoons / 80 grams light corn syrup
½ teaspoon / 3 grams fine sea salt
32 ounces / 910 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. (180 C.)
Butter three 9-inch cake rounds and line the bottoms with clean parchment paper circles.
To make the cake, put the butter and chocolate in a small pot set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the butter and chocolate melt and blend together. Do not over-cook this, you want the fats to be just melted. Set aside to cool. Put the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to blend. Add the buttermilk, oil, and eggs and whisk together. Add the cooled butter mixture and whisk to blend. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute until the batter becomes smooth and shiny. Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans and use a small offset spatula to help spread it evenly and smooth the tops. Bake for 25-30 minutes on the middle and top oven. The cake will just begin to pull back from the sides of the pan and have an internal temperature of 190°F-195°F (88-91°C). Cool for 15 minutes.
For the bourbon chocolate syrup, put the sugar, water, cocoa and salt in a medium sauce pot set over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula to keep the cocoa from falling to the bottom and scorching. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and stir to blend. Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon. Let cool. They syrup will thicken as it cools. Syrup can be kept in a bottle or covered container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Use a chopstick to poke holes into the cake layers, still in the pans. Spoon ¼ cup of warm chocolate syrup over each cake layer. If the syrup is cold warm it up for 30-45 seconds in the microwave before spooning it over the cake. Let them cool completely in the pans.
For the frosting put the cream, butter, sugar, water, corn syrup and salt in a medium sauce pot set over medium heat. Bring to a bare simmer, stirring, and remove from heat. Once the butter has completely melted add the chocolate. Whisk until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is glossy and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 ½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. Use immediately.
Turn the cake layers out onto wire racks. Put the first layer on a cardboard cake circle if you have one. Put about ¾ cup frosting on top of the cake layer. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the cake, leaving a border of about ¼-inch around the circumference of the cake. Put the next layer on top of the frosting, flat side down. Add another ¾ cup frosting and spread it over the top as before. Put the top layer on the cake and spread about ¾ cup frosting over it, letting the frosting come to the edges and slightly past them. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just concentrate on covering the cake. Clean off your spatula every so often, scraping excess frosting back into the bowl. Spread a thin layer of frosting around the sides of the cake. This is the crumb coat so you just want to make everything smooth and even and fill in any holes along the side. Scrape off any excess frosting and rinse your spatula under warm water and wipe it dry. If your frosting starts to stiffen up, use a hair dryer on the low setting to warm it up enough to make it pliable again. This will make it easier to spread the final coat of frosting. Use any remaining frosting to swirl onto the cake in pretty patterns or to pipe small rosettes along the border or to decorate however you choose. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes so the frosting can set up before serving. Cake is best served at room temperature once the frosting is set.