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      RECIPE TITLE "Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake" from Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers

    yields Makes one 8-inch 2-Layer cake, about 10 servings time-- difficultymoderate

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    Cake Batter

    2 cups cake flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    6 large egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup milk

    Chocolate Cream Frosting

    1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    1/4 cup light corn syrup
    16 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

    Finishing

    Chocolate shavings

    Two 8-inch round cake pans, 2 inches deep, buttered and the bottoms lined with parchment or wax paper

    It was typical in the past to use a white or yellow cake for the layers with a rich chocolate frosting instead of all-chocolate layers and frosting. This particular version uses tender yellow cake and a fudgy frosting.

      RECIPE METHOD

    1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

    2. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    3. Use an electric mixer set at medium speed to beat the butter and sugar together. Continue beating until light, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, two at a time, beating smooth between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

    4. By hand, using a rubber spatula, stir half the flour mixture into the batter, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Stir in the milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Scrape well after each addition.

    5. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the top. Bake the layers for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until well risen and atoothpick or a thin knife inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then unmold and finish cooling the layers on racks. Peel off papers.

    6. To make the chocolate cream frosting, combine the cream, butter, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boll, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and shake pan gently so that all the chocolate is covered by the hot liquid. Let stand 5 minutes, then whisk smooth. Scrape the frosting into a bowl and let cool to spreading consistency, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

    7. To assemble the cake, place one of the cooled layers on a cardboard or platter. Spread about half the frosting over the first layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat bottom side up, and spread the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. If you wish, using a spatula, press some chocolate shavings into the frosting on the sides of the cake. (If you try to use your hands, the chocolate will melt from the heat of your hands).

    Serving: Serve the cake in wedges-it needs no accompaniment.

    Storage: if the cake is made early on the day it is to be served, keep it under a cake dome at a cool room temperature. If you prepare the layers in advance, wrap and freeze them until you are ready to finish the cake. If you prepare the frosting in advance, wrap and refrigerate it, then bring it back to room temperature for several hours so that it turns to spreading consistency.


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