The combination of natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powder, coffee, and mild honey gives this cake an incredibly moist texture and an intense, complex, and very grown-up chocolate flavor. Making the cake layers ahead allows the flavors to develop, and making the ganache ahead gives it time to firm up to the perfect texture for spreading.
Make Ahead Tips
For the best spreading texture, the ganache should be made 8 to 24 hours ahead. Keep covered at room temperature.
For the best flavor and texture, the cake should be made at least 1 day before serving. To store at room temperature, wrap each completely cooled layer tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap and store for up to 2 days.
Up to 10 hours before serving, fill and frost the cake. Keep the cake at room temperature, covered with a dome, until ready to serve.
The cake layers can be frozen for up to 2 weeks: Transfer each completely cooled unfrosted layer to a 10-inch cardboard cake round and wrap tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then in foil, and freeze. Up to 15 hours before serving, remove the foil but not the plastic wrap from the cake layers and thaw at room temperature. When completely thawed, unwrap, fill, and frost the cake.
If you plan to travel with this cake, it’s easier to transport if it’s refrigerated, uncovered, until the ganache is firm. To aid transport, assemble the cake on a cardboard cake round and transfer it to a covered cake carrier once it’s firm. When you arrive at your destination, put the cake on a serving plate and allow it to come to room temperature before slicing.
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Truly a spectacular and delicious cake! It is time-consuming, as others have noted, but if you plan ahead, well worth the additional time and effort. I, too, had only 9" pans (I have since ordered and received 10", as I fully intend to make this cake again!). I put a bit of the batter into another small pan and prayed that I had guessed right and that it wouldn't spill over. The result was gorgeous: the cake rose just to the tops of the 9" pans without an issue, and the layers were tall and impressive. I had no problem with the icing setting up. I did leave it at room temperature for 8+ hours to set up, but it worked just fine when made per the recipe. I added the rum but only used 2 T for fear that the suggested 3 T might make it not set up properly. In any case, it worked beautifully and was a huge hit. I made the cake the day before the party and iced it the morning of the party; I wish that I had made it one day earlier than I did, so that I could have iced it the day before serving. It was even better the day after the dinner party for which I made it! Sensational and beautiful recipe.
Could I just leave out the coffee without affecting anything major (other than the taste?) or would I need to substitute it for something else?
Loved this cake!!! I agree that the frosting needed to go into the refrigerator to come to spreadable consistency. The cake is rich. Excellent! Easy to make. Delicious!
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