CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE
INGREDIENTS

For the Chocolate Cake:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 cups of granulated sugar

3/4 cup of Dutch-processed cocoa powder (sifted)

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1 cup of buttermilk (room temperature)

1 cup of hot water

2 large eggs (room temperature)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

5 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups of unsalted butter (room temperature)

8 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (chopped, melted, and cooled)

Additional for Assembly:

Chocolate curls or sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS

Preparing the Chocolate Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease two 8" round baking pans, then dust them with cocoa powder. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients slowly adding hot water to avoid cooking the eggs.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until well combined. The batter will be thin.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, ensuring even distribution.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Preparing the Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar until well combined.

Place the bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (about 3 minutes) or until it registers 160F on a candy thermometer.

Transfer the bowl back to the stand mixer and whisk on medium-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (about 5-10 minutes), and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch.

Switch to the paddle attachment and slowly add cubed butter, mixing until smooth.

Add the cooled melted chocolate and whip until smooth.

Assembly:

Place one layer of cake on a cake board or plate and top it with approximately 1 cup of buttercream, spreading it evenly.

Add the second layer on top and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20 minutes.

Apply 1 cup of frosting on top and spread it evenly. Smooth the sides and flatten the top, then use a large offset spatula to create a swirl pattern on top.

Using a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip, pipe rows of frosting around the cake starting from the bottom, applying even pressure as you rotate the turntable. Continue until reaching the top, ensuring the seams align at the back.

Decorate the top with chocolate curls, pearls, or flakes as desired.