It’s a rare occasion on which I’m allowed to bake. I don’t mean the odd tray of brownies, or a Pyrex dish of pie or fruit crisp. I mean really bake, as in 6 sticks of butter, 2 boxes of Confectioners’ sugar, an entire drum of cocoa and THREE cake pans.
As you can see, the confectionary demon was unleashed and allowed to whip up the above triple-layered chocolate cake sandwiched and coated in a doubly-decadent whipped chocolate frosting. The occasion in question was her husband’s birthday, and the cake simply couldn’t go without being catalogued here on SS.
The recipe that I used for the cake layers was poached from the German Chocolate Cake recipe in the Baked cookbook. The use of tangy buttermilk makes for a moist, tender crumb and a cup of coffee miraculously enhances the chocolate flavor without adding any of its own flavor notes to the cake.
Traditionally a German chocolate cake is sandwiched with a pecan, coconut and caramel filling which can be a little cloying and OTT if all you crave is old-fashioned cake with frosting. And my husband is definitely an old-fashioned cake with frosting kind of guy. So I went for a “cooked” chocolate buttercream recipe from Nancie McDermott’s Southern Cakes in which the author pairs the frosting with banana cake.
The unadulterated frosting recipe calls for simmering butter with cocoa and evaporated milk to produce a fudge-like mass that then has a mountain of sugar beaten into it. This makes a thick, ultra-rich confection that I imagine would be ideal slathered on a light cake, but when combined with my indulgent chocolate layers the frosting seemed like it might be a little too robust – I wanted our guests to be able to move after they’d had a slice. To lighten it, I followed the recipe verbatim then whipped in two-thirds of a stick of thoroughly softened butter for a softer, fluffier finish. The end result, a wickedly naughty treat that didn’t require immediate bed-rest.