I made this cake a few weeks ago while I was doing the other holiday baking, frankly because I couldn’t wait to taste it. It turns out it was a good thing that I did because I have been in bed with the flu for the majority of this past week and I can barely even think of food let alone face baking this weekend. This cake is terrific, it has a light moist crumb that is sturdy enough to stand up to syrups and fillings. It’s mild vanilla flavor is the perfect foil for a myriad of frostings and fillings. I can’t think of anything that I don’t think would go great with this cake. And, it is so easy that you can have it in the oven in under 30 minutes. This is definitely a cake to have in your go to repertoire. You will always have these simple staple ingredients in the house and you hardly need to even look at the recipe. This cake is proof positive that a top quality scratch cake is even easier than a mix (not that any of us would ever use a mix), but for those of you out there that still do, try this once and you won’t ever use a mix again. I actually made this several times over the holidays to have on hand when friends and neighbors dropped in for coffee. I usually just dusted it with powdered sugar or cocoa and it never failed to win raves and requests for the recipe, so definitely try this one. Okay, lets bake….
Combine 3 tablespoons milk, the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add the butter and remaining milk and beat on low until the dry ingredients are moistened, then raise the speed to medium and beat for one and a half minutes. Add the egg mixture in two additions, beating for 30 seconds between additions. That’s it. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees until done. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold the cake on to a rake. Invert the cake so that the top is up and let cool completely.
To make the ganache, melt the milk and dark chocolates until smooth, add the cream and stir until fully combined. Stir in the vanilla and let stand until no longer warm to the touch. Add the butter by the tablespoon and whisk gently being careful not to incorporate any air. Use immediately.
To compose the cake. Split the cake into two layers. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate and fill with some of the ganache. Center the top layer on the ganache filling and frost the top and sides. Decorate as desired. I personally felt that the chocolate ganache was a bit too sweet for my taste and I prefer this cake left in one layer and just dusted with confectioners sugar. However you choose to do it, it is terrific.
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