Charles Enzo's Chocolate Cake

So we're having a boy. It hasn't fully sunk in yet. It probably won't until he's here and I can hold him but I think that's the feeling with having babies whatever the gender. I guessed he was a boy but I think in the back of my mind I was only guessing that because I really thought he was a girl.

Speaking of Charlie (or Enzo, we're still deciding what we're going to call him although we're pretty set on the name Charles Enzo) here's the recipe and appropriate notes for the most amazing chocolate cake ever created.

I started with a recipe that a blogger, Hayley, also known as Buff Chickpea, adapted from one that originally appeared in Gourmet Magazine in 1999. You can read all about that and see her version on her blog. I didn't have enough chocolate bar to do the ganache that it called for so I found a delightful blog with an equally delightful frosting recipe that I adapted/morphed into the icing. If you need a basic chocolate frosting recipe check out G'ma's Bakery.

Charlie's Chocolate Cake

3 ounces Ghiradelli dark chocolate (or other 60% cacao baking chocolate)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite coffee, the stronger and more flavorful the better (I used cold brewed toffee flavored coffee - Cookie Doodle from Sprouts for those of you who can get it)
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Guiness beer (you'll have to drink or find someone else to drink the rest in the bottle but it's worth it - don't leave it out)

1/2 cup buttermilk (add a tbsp of vinegar per cup of milk to create buttermilk)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F, and grease two 8 or 10-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Melt chocolate using the double boiler method.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, melted chocolate, coffee and Guiness to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about an hour.

Cool layers in pans on racks for several minutes and then run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

I made the cake after Ruby went to sleep so I waited to make the frosting and assemble it until the next day lest I fall asleep with a mixer in my hand. I started with the basic frosting recipe and added melted chocolate, a little bit of this and that and more coffee and I ended up with a sauce that I could pour on top rather than frosting it. I also added some crushed Skor bar and hazelnut chocolate bar (from Ikea) between the layers. This was a specific element from my baby craving induced vision and it definitely added to the awesomeness.

I'm not a very talented cake maker so it turned out a little ugly (lopsided, cracked on top, etc) but I wasn't planning on selling it, just eating it. And eat it I have...

Alright. There it is. Now I can eat the last piece and forget this short chocolate filled episode of my life ever happened.

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