3 oz dark chocolate
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa-powder
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
10 oz dark chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
1. Grease and flour three 9" round cake pans. Trace three 9-inch circles
on parchment paper; cut out. Draw 6-inch circle, centered, on each
cutout; draw 3-inch circle, centered, on each cutout. Line bottom of
each pan with 1 paper circle, pencil side down.
2. In large heatproof bowl set over hot (not boiling) water, melt
chopped chocolate. Stir in cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs,
one at a time, beating well after each addition, add vanilla. Beat in
flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of dry
ingredients and 2 of buttermilk. Stir 3 1/2 cups of the batter into
5. Spoon white and chocolate batters into separate large piping bags. (Or
spoon into 2 large resealable plastic bags and cut 1-inch hole in 1
corner of each.)
6. Pipe chocolate batter to fill outer ring of each of 2 of the pans. Pipe
white batter over middle ring, then chocolate batter over inner ring. In
third pan, pipe white batter over outer ring, chocolate over middle ring
and white over inner ring.
7. Bake in centre of 350°F oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes
out clean, 20-25 min. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out
onto rack; let cool completely.
8. For the filling, place chopped chocolate in bowl. In saucepan, heat
whipping cream over medium heat just until steaming. Pour over
chocolate, whisking just until melted. Refrigerate until thickened but
still spreadable, about 30 minutes. Whisk just until color lightens.
9. Using serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level, if
necessary. Starting with 1 of the cake layers with chocolate outer ring,
spread with 1/3 cup of the ganache. Top with cake layer with white
outer ring; spread with another 1/3 cup of the ganache. Top with
remaining cake layer. Cover top and side with remaining ganache.
10. Refrigerate before serving.
Some people may find it easier to use one of "Checkerboard Cake Pan Sets" available online or in local stores.
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