Before you get all bug-eyed and think, "She's completely lost her mind. Fourteen layers?!?" It's not what you think at all. I came across the recipe on Bakerella and just knew it was what I was looking for. Fourteen super thin layers of yellow cake sandwiched with a chocolate ganache then frosted with a chocolate buttercream, it was love at first sight.
I set out to make the cake early this afternoon. I took my eggs and butter out of the fridge to come to room temperature while I made some fun necklaces and played a computer game all while watching Dr. Who (it really was a nerd's dream in my apartment today). When I finally got bored with being a nerd, I realixed it was almost 6:00 P.M. Where in the world did my day go? Needless to say, I haven't gotten the cake frosted with the buttercream but I did get the rest of the cake and ganche finished and assembled. It actually works in my favor that I was lazy since now I won't be able to eat the cake tonight and can save it for dinner at my parents' on Sunday (I'll be bringing you my dad's outrageously hot chili so be ready with some milk and corn bread).
Fourteen Layer Cake w/ Chocolate Ganache
Recipe via Bakerella via Oprah via The Smith Family (I didn't feel the need to change a thing for once)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs , at room temperature
3 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , preferably Dutch process
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut up
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly butter the bottoms and sides of 14 8-inch pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Your best bet is to purchase the disposable pie pans so that you don't have to wait for your pans to cool and then clean them before doing another batch.
- To make the layers, sift together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more time, and set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Using a 2/3 of a cup for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans. It will make a thin layer.
- Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least 2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and not directly over each other, bake the layers until they feel firm when pressed in the centers and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 12 minutes (I did 4 at a time for the first three batches, then the last two; I cooked all for 12 minutes and had no problems). Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Invert the layers onto cake racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely. Repeat the procedure until all 14 layers have been baked and cooled.
- To make the icing, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan (the biggest one you've got or there will be a giant chocolate puddle; trust me on this one). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable.
- Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish, smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides. Place pecan halves around the top perimeter of the cake. Let stand until the glaze sets. (The cake is best served the day it is made. To store, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)