American Chocolate Layer Cake
Do you ever look at the title of something and think it is something it is not? Such was the case with this American Chocolate Layer Cake for me. I read the title and thought it would be a great chocolate cake. I was in a hurry, copying a recipe from each month’ cake choices for The Cake Slice Bakers group and this is the one I picked. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad cake, it’s just not what I was after.
This cake is a rich butter cake and is to be baked in 4 round cake pans. Alas, I again could not find what I wanted in a pan and instead used my rectangle pan and cut it in half to layer it. However, I took a trip home for a few days and grabbed a few pans to bring back with me so I have a bigger selection. Yay!
The flavor of this cake was good, but the frosting did not set up for me, even after I let it sit for an hour. I added some powdered sugar to the frosting to thicken it up a little bit and then after I frosted the cake, I put some nuts on it and put it in the refrigerator so the frosting would sit up more. I also used pecans instead of walnuts because there aren’t walnuts here and I don’t actually like walnuts anyway.
I served this cake for guests because I’m participating in the Game on Health Challenge with Kami at No Diets Allowed and I didn’t want a dessert sitting around the house. I sent the extra home with our guests. They’re younger than I am, so they can more easily work it off. HA!!
Be sure to scroll past the recipe to read to check out the other recipes being shared this month at The Cake Slice Bakers. We are a group of bloggers who bake recipes out of the same cookbook each month, selecting one of four recipes.
This year’s cookbook is Maida Heatter’s Cakes, which you can see on the right side bar of this blog. The cookbook is full of recipes to bake, with very detailed instructions and also quite a few great tips. For example, to use dried bread crumbs on your pan to keep the cake from sticking. I haven’t found dried break crumbs here, so I made my own. You can see how I did on this Baked Zucchini post.
This month’s cake choices are:
1. American Chocolate Layer Cake p.86
2. Pecan Sweet Potato Cake p.95
- 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 pound unsalted
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 6 ounces (1½ cups) walnuts, but or broken into medium size pieces
- 16 ounces milk chocolate
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pint sour cream, at room temperature
- Adjust two racks to divide the over into thirds and preheat the oven to 350.
- Butter four 9 inch round layer-cake pans, line them with parchment or wax paper cut to fit.
- Butter the paper and dust the pans all over with fine bread crumbs.
- Tilt the pans to cover with the crumbs and dump the excess.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft.
- Add the vanilla and almond extracts and then the sugar and beat to mix.
- Add the eggs one or two at a time and beat until incorporated after each addition.
- On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk in 2 additions.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. You will have a generous 8 cups of batter.
- Place a generous 2 cups in two of the prepared pans.
- Stir in the optional nuts into the remaining batter and place half of it (a generous 2 cups) in each of the two remaining pans.
- With the back of a large spoon, spread the batter to the sides of the pans.
- To encourage the cakes to rise with flat tops (without domes) spread the batter more thickly around the edges and slightly thinner in the middle.
- Place two of the pans on each oven rack, staggering them so the pans on the lower rack are not directly below the top pans.
- Bake 25-28 minutes. Do not over bake.
- As soon as the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and from the pans, right side up.
- Cool completely.
- Now, make the icing.
- Melt the chocolates in a double boiler over low heat.
- Transfer the chocolate to a large bowl of an electric mixer and then add the salt, vanilla and sour cream.
- Beat until smooth.
- If the icing is too thin, allow it to set up at room temperature and hour to slightly thickened, but still spreadable.
- Spread a layer of frosting on the top of one cake, stack another cake and repeat with each layer. Do not use too much icing or you will run out.
- Spread the rest of the frosting over the cakes and then decorate as desired.