Mexican Chocolate Layer Cake

Serves 10 to 12

Cake Ingredients:

3 (3.1 ounce) disks Mexican chocolate (such as Ibarra/Abuelita), finely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinammon
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter the paper.
  2. Melt the Mexican chocolate and the unsweetened chocolate in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove fron the heat and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinammon together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well combined and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolates. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, mixing just until all traces of flour are incorporated, ending with flour. In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, gently smoothing the top. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Put a knife around the inside edge of each pan to loosen the cakes. Remove the cakes from the pans and the parchment paper from the cakes. Cool completely before frosting.

Ganache frosting and assembly:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 (3.1 ounce) disks Mexican chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Kahlua liqueur

  1. Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until simmering.
  2. Place all the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let stand for a few minutes, then gently whisk until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the butter until melted, then add the corn syrup and Kahlua. Refridgerate for 20-30 minutes until stiff enough to spread. With a spatula, beat the ganache to make it smooth and spreadable.
  3. Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a serving platter. Frost the top with about one-third of the ganache, spreading it to the edges. Top with the second cake, again bottom side up. Spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides of the cake.