Vanilla Cream-Filled Double Chocolate Cake for Two
Moist, dark and decadent chocolate chip devil's food cake stacked high and filled with vanilla cream and covered in a rich and super chocolaty glaze . . . for two.
For the Cake:
  • 1 stick 115 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/3 cups 300 g packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons 145 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup 60 g Dutch-process dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon 4 g baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon 6 g kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup 180 ml buttermilk, shaken and warm
  • 1/4 cup 60 ml coffee or espresso
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup premium dark or extra dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml white vinegar
For the Vanilla Cream Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons 30 ml cold water
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml unflavoured gelatin (such as Knox brand)
  • 1-3/4 cups 420 ml whipping cream (35-37% fat), cold, divided
  • 1/4 cup 30 g icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 6 oz 180 g premium dark or extra dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick 115 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml light corn syrup
  • Splash of liqueur of choice optional (grand marnier, spiced rum, kahlua, etc.)
  • Pinch of sea salt regular salt, if necessary
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 5-inch round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the coffee and buttermilk. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, then fold mayonnaise into batter with a whisk, until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda (it will foam) and quickly add to batter, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan for 275 g each (excluding the pans--you will want to tare the scale each time.) This ensures even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 25 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Try not to over-bake.
  6. Let pans cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
For the Vanilla Cream Filling:
  1. In a small bowl, place the cold water and sprinkle with the gelatin. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup of the cream just to a simmer, then stir into the gelatin mixture. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until cool but not set, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a chilled stainless steel bowl, beat the remaining whipping cream, icing sugar, vanillla and salt until it thickens slightly and soft peaks form. Very gradually add the gelatin mixture and continue beating until medium-firm peaks form (should be thick enough to spread). Keep covered and chilled until ready to use.
For the Chocolate Glaze:
  1. Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in liqueur and salt.
Assembly of the Vanilla Cream-Filled Double Chocolate Cake for Two:
  1. Cut your 3 cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 layers.
  2. Place your first layer face-up on a plate and cover with an even thin layer of the Vanilla Cream Filling, taking it right to the edge. Place another cake layer face-up and spread another layer of the filling on top. Repeat until you come to your final cake layer, which you will place face-down. If you find the cake too soft and unstable, put in refrigerator for a few moments to firm it up, then resume.
  3. Cover the entire cake gently with plastic wrap, and then, once covered, use your hands to carefully ensure the cake is lined up straight. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Pour the warm chocolate glaze all over cake. Dig in.
Sweetapolita's Notes

[vanilla cream filling adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts]