180mlbuttermilk- or make your own with milk and 1 tsp of vinegar mixed and left for 5 min
Dark Chocolate Ganache
250gcouverture dark chocolate- at least 55% cocoa, roughly chopped
Making the cakes
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Line three 6" round pans with parchment paper at the bottom and butter & flour the pans.
In a bowl, sift all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep it aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 3 additions. Gently mix in until there are no dry lumps. Do not overmix.
Add the hot coffee to the batter and gently mix until combined. The batter will be quite wet.
Pour the batter equally into 3 pans and bake them at 160C for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. (Baking them at 160C instead of 180C helps get flat tops instead of domed shapes). Remove from oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling on a wire rack completely.
If you make the cakes in advance, cling wrap each cake individually and freeze them. When you're ready to use, let them thaw a little before filling and frosting.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
In a large bowl, add all the chopped chocolate.
In a saucepan, heat the cream till it just starts to boil.
Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate gently and let it sit undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.
Gently start stirring the chocolate and cream together. In few minutes the cream will be fully incorporated into the chocolate and you'll get a homogenous smooth mixture. (If there are some lumps of chocolate that have not melted even after mixing for a while, microwave the mixture for 10 seconds at a time till its completely melted.)
Let it cool at room temperature. Cover the bowl with cling wrap such that it touches the surface of the ganache to avoid a skin from forming.
Ganache can be kept refrigerated for a couple of weeks and can be frozen for up to three months.
Assembling the cake
Make sure the layers of cake are not domed a lot - if they are then cut off the dome to get a flat top. The ganache should be of peanut butter consistency for filling and frosting.
Place one layer of cake on a cake board. Apply a dollop of ganache on the top and spread it evenly using an offset spatula. Place the second layer on top and apply a layer of frosting. Place the third layer on top with the bottom side up. Apply a layer of frosting and spread it evenly with an offset spatula.
Using a large spatula, apply ganache around the sides of the cake. Use a bench scraper and turntable to get even smooth edges. You can dip the bench scraper in warm water and clean it everytime you run it around the sides - this will help get a smooth finish.
Decorate as desired - you can add some chocolate ganache to a piping bag filled with an open star piping tip (Wilton 1M) and pipe rosettes on top.
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