unsalted butter, softened, for pans
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 tbsp vegetable oil (original recipe calls for safflower oil)
1 tsp vanilla
2. Divide batter between pans. Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the centres comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, faceup, to wire racks. Let cool completely.
3. Spread 2 cups chocolate icing onto top of 1 cooled layer. Top with remaining layer; frost top and sides with remaining 2 cups icing.
2 1/4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
170g cream cheese, room temperature
190g unsalted butter, softened
255g bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1. Sift together sugar, cocoa and salt.
2. Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually add sugar-cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Pour in chocolate in a slow, steady stream. Add creme fraiche; beat until combined.
This is the first half of the cake covered. I found that the amount of mixture made two quite thin cakes, so you could probably put all the mixture in and just make one bigger cake if you want to. I also had a LOT of icing, really more than I needed for the one cake I felt. I had enough left over that I was able to make another of these cakes a couple of days later and there was enough to cover that one too.
A note for all of you who want to make this cake, make sure you either put the icing in the fridge before you put it on the cake, or once you've put the icing on the cake give it some fridge time. We had to drive to my sister's house as soon as I'd finished putting the icing on, so not only was I in a bit of a hurry, the icing was far too soft, as you can see in the picture above. I literally had to sit in the car holding the top layer of the cake in place because it kept going to slide off! That was definitely a long car ride! Once we got to my sister's house though, I was able to put the cake in the fridge and it all set quite nicely. I took it back out after the icing was a bit more solid and smoothed it down a touch. Here's a picture of the finished product (please excuse the messy plate and the rushed icing job)
This was a wonderful, moist and delicious cake that was really easy to make. I definitely recommend it for anyone, and I can see myself cooking it again in the future. I particularly loved (OMG LOVED!!) the icing! That was the best part of the cake and I found myself, 'tasting' the leftovers every now and then just to 'check they were still okay. ;)