(Makes one 9 x 13-inch cake)
The luscious chocolate flavor of this moist cake makes for a delicious dessert. It’s a rich chocolate fantasy: A deep chocolate cake is filled with chocolate whipped cream, and coated with dark chocolate ganache. This is a great dessert that your family and friends will love. It’s both extremely satisfying and truly easy to make.
For the chocolate cream filling:
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
For the cake:
1 batch Home Style Chocolate Cake (recipe can be found on the Recipe page - see instructions for baking below)
For the ganache frosting:
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
First make the Chocolate Cream Filling. Melt the chopped chocolate with the cream. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, and then place it in the freezer to chill. When you are ready to make the cake, take the chilled Chocolate Cream Filling out of the freezer and stir to mix it. It must be very cold, but not frozen or hard. If it’s too warm or soft, return it to the freezer for another 30 minutes. When it is cold enough, beat it at medium high speed for one or two minutes until it is thick and fluffy, and put it into the fridge until you need it.
Preheat a conventional oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or a convection oven to 330 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom with parchment, and butter and flour the parchment and the sides of the pan.
Mix the Home Style Chocolate Cake according to the directions in the recipe, baking it in the prepared pan in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not over bake. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto another wire rack, and flip it back over onto the original rack so that the cake is right side up. Let it cool completely.
While the cake is baking, make the ganache frosting. Melt the chocolate and cream together in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is very smooth and evenly combined. Cool the ganache in the refrigerator while the cake bakes and cools.
When the cake is completely cool, cut it into two layers. It’s easy to pick up the top layer if you slide a flat cookie sheet (without sides) under the top layer and lift it off. You can also use the flat sheet to slide the top layer back onto the cake after it’s been filled. Spread the bottom layer with Chocolate Cream Filling, leaving 1/4-inch uncovered on each edge, and place the top layer over the filling.
Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and stir it with a wire whisk. It should be thick enough to pour onto the cake and spread like frosting; if not, return it to the fridge for a little longer. When it’s ready, spread the ganache over the top of the cake and push some down onto the sides, using the icing spatula to spread it on the sides of the cake. If you like you can chill the ganache until it’s firm and pipe a trim at the bottom of the cake. Pipe some of the Chocolate Cream onto the top of the cake for decoration. Refrigerate the frosted cake for up to 8 hours. Let the cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Make-ahead tips: The Chocolate Cake can be made ahead. Wrap the cake with plastic or foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to a month. The filling can be made a week ahead, not whipped, covered, and stored in the refrigerator. Whip it when you are ready to use it. The ganache can be made up to a week ahead, refrigerated, and then reheated (just enough to make it spreadable) before you whip it and use it. You can freeze the frosted and filled cake, wrapped well, for up to a month. Freeze it uncovered until it is hard, and then wrap it with a layer of plastic wrap and then foil, well sealed. When you defrost it, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and then remove the foil and plastic wrap when you take it out 30 minutes before serving.