Here is what is left of my cake. At least it made it through the weekend, Lily's 103 degree temperature and two sleepless nights. I found it reassuring to wake up in the morning after a long night, knowing it was there to greet me - like the sun. But the sun has set on this cake and all that remains are the crumbs and one last, hard, inedible piece. And the 5lbs I gained eating it.
Belgian Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Martha Stewart
Cake Ingredients: 2 sticks room temperature butter, 1.5 cups flour, 1.5 cups cake flour, 1 tbl baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 3 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 1/4 cups 2% or whole milk.
Directions: Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter two 9x2 inch round cake pans: line bottoms with parchment paper, butter and flour parchment paper. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter sugar until blended (about 3 minutes). Beat in eggs, then vanilla. Add flour in three parts alternating with the milk. Divide batter equally between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown - about 27 - 30 minutes. Invert and cool cakes on a wire rack. Peel parchment paper off. Reinvert the cakes to cool completely. Using a serrated knife trim tops of the cakes level. Trim all around the sides of the cake to remove crust.
Frosting Ingredients: 1lb best quality chocolate (I used a 1lb Belgian chocolate bar that I got at Trader Joe's), 6 tbl Dutch process cocoa powder, 6 tablespoons boiling water, 3 sticks butter, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, pinch of salt. (I skimped and just used 2 sticks of butter and it turned out just fine)
Directions: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmerng water (not touching). Turn off the heat, stir occasionally to melt the chocolate. Don't burn the chocolate - if necessary reheat the water for a little bit and then place the bowl back on top of the water to melt. It will take awhile but be patient - it will melt. Let chocolate cool. Combine cocoa powder with boiling water and stir until dissolved. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners' sugar and salt until light and fluffy 3-4 minutes. add melted chocolate and beat until combined. Then add in cocoa mixture.
Decorate: First frost bottom layer, then place top layer on top of bottom layer. Then frost the sides. I usually grate left over chocolate and put that on top.