On February 14th, some women long for jewels, a romantic card, or a date night out. “Not I,” said the fly, because all I care about is chocolate. If you’re like me, then I have the recipe for you!

For starters, there are three layers of cake that are tender, moist, and deeply rich in flavor. In between each is a mocha buttercream filling that is intensely satisfying. Coffee is an excellent way to amplify the chocolate experience in a recipe. Finally, the entire cake is spread with a chunky chocolate frosting that perfectly completes it.  

If you dream about chocolate as I do, then this cake is well worth the extra effort that goes into the process. Once it is all said and done, you are left with a sublime masterpiece that is best served with a large glass of cold milk.

SERVES: 12
HANDS-ON TIME: 30 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES

Vegetable shortening
2 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bars. chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot brewed coffee

MOCHA BUTTERCREAM FILLING

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CHUNKY FUDGE FROSTING

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Lightly spray three nine-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Grease (with shortening) and flour the parchment paper and pans.
  2. Place the chocolate in a microwavable bowl, and microwave on high until melted and smooth, about 1 minute and 30 seconds, stirring at 30-second intervals.
  3. Beat the butter in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugars, and beat until well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add the melted chocolate, beating just until blended.
  4. Stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to the chocolate mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. (The mixture will be thick.)
  5. Stir the vanilla into the hot coffee. Gradually add the coffee mixture to the batter in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
  6. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 24 minutes. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans to the wire rack, and cool completely, about 1 hour.
  7. Meanwhile, Make the Mocha Buttercream Filling. Beat the powdered sugar, butter, and cocoa with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Place the cream in a microwavable bowl, and microwave on medium (50 percent power) until warm (do not boil), about 45 seconds. Stir together the warm cream and the coffee granules until dissolved; cool for about 5 minutes. Gradually add the cream mixture and vanilla to the butter mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, Make the Chunky Fudge Frosting: Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Stir together the powdered sugar and unsweetened cocoa in a medium bowl. Gradually add the cocoa mixture alternately with the milk, beating on medium speed until smooth after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
  9. Place 1 layer on a serving plate, and spread half of the Mocha Buttercream Filling on the layer. Top with a second layer, and spread the remaining filling on that. Top with the third layer, and spread the top and sides of the cake with the Chunky Fudge Frosting.

SIRIOUSLY SIMPLE

Swap out the chopped chocolate in the Chunky Fudge Frosting layer with chocolate chips, my go-to pantry item.

Siri Daly is a Today show tastemaker and author of Siriously Delicious: 100 Nutritious (and Not So Nutritious) Simple Recipes for the Real Home Cook.

Excerpted from Siriously Delicious by Siri Daly. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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