This must-bake cake is loaded with delicious flavor. One smooth slice gets you a taste of moist cake layers, fudge frosting, and a special Chocolate-Coffee Buttercream Filling. Your guests are sure to rave.
Stir together first 3 ingredients until blended; cool.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cocoa mixture, egg yolks, oil, and vanilla; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Fold into batter. Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
Bake, 2 layers at a time, at 325° for 17 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks covered with plastic wrap or wax paper to prevent layers from adhering to racks.
Spread about 1/2 cup Chocolate-Coffee Buttercream Filling between layers. Frost with Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator.
I cut the cake recipe in half to make a 2-layer "test" cake, and given the results I would make the full version. I use whole-grain soft white flour for cakes and have been experimenting with ways to achieve a lighter texture while preserving the whole-grain benefits. In addition to sifting out the bran and using it to coat the pans, the idea of separating the eggs and whipping the whites also adds volume - along with a springiness I hadn't achieved before. The cake flavor isn't very chocolatey but is tweakable, whereas the frosting and filling call for waaay too much sugar. I made half the amount of filling as I had just the two layers but ended up needing the full amount of frosting, albeit with about half the sugar, added to taste. I agree that they are both a bit thin but they thicken upon chilling, and some "flow" is helpful in achieving a smooth, fondant-like surface. I definitely get my frosting fix on this one and I look forward to having four layers next time.
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