This cake is dark, decedent, and incredibly moist. Topped with a silky dark chocolate ganache this cake is a true showstopper.
Let’s admit it, chocolate cake is one of the best things that ever happened. Whoever came up with chocolate cake is definitely one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. And this cake is one of the best chocolate cakes around.
If you don’t like dark chocolate, this cake probably isn’t for you. Using almost two pounds of dark chocolate between the cake, the frosting and the drips around the side, this cake is far from healthy but it is okay to splurge every once in a while. Right?
The Cake itself
One of the most important aspects of this cake is the cake base. (It’s kind of obvious isn’t it.) But the good news is, this cake is really, really, really, hard to screw up! It’s incredibly forgiving and everyone loves it! Seriously though, I have never had anyone say that it wasn’t delicious. That previous statement excludes a comment that my younger sister Adie made when she was little. She has now grown up a little bit and changed her mind.
One of the most important parts to ensuring that you have a good cake is making sure you add all of the ingredients. There was a time that I forgot to add the oil and it still turned out pretty well. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t half bad either.
Lining the cake pans is crucial because it helps the cake to come out of the pan in one piece. I recommend going around the sides of the cake with a butter knife so that none of the sides stick to the pan when you flip the cake out onto a cooling rack.
If the cake breaks it’s okay! Ganache is your friend! You can totally use the ganache to ‘glue’ the pieces of cake back together.
Ganache, Ganache, Ganache
Ganache is a frosting/filling made of chocolate and heavy whipping cream. It is smooth, silky and rich. Ganache is my favorite frosting because CHOCOLATE! Enough said. This dark chocolate ganache cake sure makes use of a ton of ganache. Using almost two whole pounds of chocolate, this cake is for chocolate lovers only.
There are a few things that make a good ganache great. One of these is using higher quality chocolate. I am not saying that you need to use Valrhona or Callebaut but using something that is a little bit higher quality than your average, run-of-the-mill Nestle chocolate chips will give you a ganache with a much better texture.
Secondly, heat the cream till it is hot not warm. If the cream is only warm then you will need to heat the ganache more after you stir the cream and chocolate together. While this is okay, it can harm the texture of the ganache if the mixture is overheated. When the ganache gets too hot it can sometimes cause the ganache to get kind of oily, this happens much more frequently with lower quality chocolate than high-quality chocolate.
Chop you chocolate into small pieces. Even if you are using chocolate chips, it is good to chop the chocolate into minuscule pieces so that the chocolate has more surface area when you pour the cream on top of the chocolate chunks. The more surface area that the chocolate has the better it melts.
The Chocolate Drips
A lot of people assume that the chocolate drips on this cake are really challenging to accomplish but they are actually super easy and they do not take any extra tools or supplies that you do not have lying around your kitchen. All you need is chocolate, cream, and a spoon.
The ganache that you make for chocolate drips is a bit thinner than the ganache that you use to frost the cake. This is because it has to drip down the sides of the cake without melting the ganache frosting underneath it.
An important aspect of making the drips is ensuring that the ganache is room temperature when you drizzle it onto the cake. The ganache should not be warm but it should not sit on the counter and set up either.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the ganache onto a spoon and pour that little, itty, bitty, portion of the ganache onto the top of the cake near the rim. Repeat this until all of the sides of the cake are full of beautiful drips.
This cake is an incredibly delicious and decadent cake that is perfect for your next big event. A family friend even used this recipe for her wedding cake!
Dark Chocolate Ganache Cake
Dark Chocolate Cake
- 3/4 cup Dark Chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups Hot brewed Coffee
- 3 cups Sugar
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Applesauce
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 5 tsp Lemon Juice
- 20 oz Dark Chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
- 2 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 4 oz Dark Chocolate (chopped into small pieces)
- 2/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Line three eight-inch pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Place the dark chocolate in a small bowl. Pour the hot coffee over the top. Allow the mixture to sit one minute before stirring. Stir gently until all of the chocolate is melted.
- In a large bowl combine the sugar and the eggs. Whisk or beat with a hand mixer until the ingredients are fully combined and the mixture falls in thick ribbons back into the bowl.
- Stir the chocolate mixture, oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract into the sugar and eggs.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift the mixture to remove any lumps.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are completely incorporated.
- In a small bowl combine the milk and the lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Pour the milk mixture into the cake batter and stir until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans.
- Bake the cake at 325F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely.
- Place the dark chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream until it is almost boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let the mixture sit for a few seconds.
- Slowly stir the ganache until it is smooth and silky. Allow the ganache to thicken on the counter for 1-2 hours or until it is a spreadable consistency.
- Once the cakes are cool and the ganache is a spreadable consistency, frost the cake. Place about 1/3-1/2 cup of ganache between the cake layers and then spread ganache around the sides and top of the cake.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or leave on the counter for the ganache to set for 1-2 hours.
- Place the chocolate for the drip glaze in a small bowl. Heat the cream until it is almost boiling and then pour it over the chocolate. Stir gently until you have a thin ganache. Allow the ganache to cool until it is room temperature. It should not thicken very much, the only difference should be that it’s not hot anymore.
- Using a spoon drip the chocolate ganache down the sides of the cake.
- Enjoy! The cake will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.