RECIPE: Double Chocolate Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

This cake is a sure hit every time I make it for adults and kids alike. The coffee in the batter kicks up the deep chocolate flavor, and this frosting recipe gets it's creaminess from a milk custard you make on the stove, than cool before adding. This is the best vanilla frosting I have ever made, and it seems pretty versatile for other cupcakes and tortes.

A couple of notes regarding this cake, if you don't feel like brewing a "whole pot of Jo" for the 1 1/4 cups you need, use instant VIA from Starbucks, and use a packet and a half in 1 1/4 cups hot water. It works like a charm. Also, I urge you to make peace using full fat sour cream for the batter. It just works better. You can, however, cut back to lower fat milk in the frosting. It still works fine and thickens as expected. The result is a little less creamy flavor but most people don't even notice. And finally, do use parchment paper in your pans. I have used PAM with flour coating and still the cakes were hard to release once cooled. With parchment paper, you can skip the flour, getting cleaner sides to the cake which looks better, and they pop right out without cracking or breaking. Don't skimp on this step, or you will get a mess. Sadly, I speak from experience!

Double Chocolate Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups prepared coffee (see note above)
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (use squares or morsels)
1/4 cup baking cocoa
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs at room temp
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Whipped Vanilla Frosting:
1 cup milk (full fat or low fat)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 well rounded teaspoons vanilla

Heat oven to 350˚. Spray 3 8.5 x 1.5 inch cake pans with non-stick spray. Cut three circles out of parchment paper using the base of one pan as a template and place at the bottom of each pan. Spray lightly again. Set aside.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl with a fork, set aside.

In a small saucepan heat coffee over medium heat. Add the solid chocolate and melt until smooth. Add the cocoa and mix until smooth, and remove from heat. Cool to room temp.

Beat butter until creamy, then add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating at high speed after each. Now you are going to alternate between your flour mixture and your sour cream, beating after each addition until smooth. Don't over beat it, however. Stir in the chocolate mixture and vanilla until combined. Pour evenly into each pan.

Bake on the center rack for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a rack. while still slightly warm, remove cake from pans onto racks to cool completely.

Now onto the frosting.

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, whisk flour with the milk. Whisk constantly, moving to a spoon midway until mixture becomes very thick. Take off heat and cool completely. It may be a good idea to get this done earlier so it has time to sit and cool. If this mixture is warm in any way, the frosting will not come together, but separate and get congealed and well...weird.

With a mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Gradually add the milk mixture a few Tablespoons at a time until all combined. Add the vanilla and give it a minute more. It should look like a fluffy buttercream, and quite spreadable.

Place your first cake on a cake plate, and spread 1/3 of the frosting. Gently place your second cake on it and spread another third of the frosting on it. Place the final cake on it, and spread the last of the frosting on top. Add some sprinkles on top or shaved chocolate for decoration. Store covered in the fridge. Take out 30 minutes before serving to soften the frosting a little for better enjoyment.



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