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fourteen-layer cake

March 6, 2011
tags: ,

So, first this happened…

then this…

then this…

and this. The end.

I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that I’d have to make it when Becca and Laurel came to visit. And so it was. A few notes for next time: when the cakes are done, they do *not* look done; don’t expect them to get golden brown or anything like that like a normal cake would. They’ll still look pretty pasty, but as long as they feel solid, they’re probably good. I learned this the hard way, and I think the layers turned out a bit too chewy and dried out because of it. Also, disposable pans (which do make things much easier) are actually reusable for things like this, so you don’t actually have to buy fourteen. And especially if you’re using the disposables, the whole lining step is utterly unnecessary. All that being said, the cake flavor itself was yummy, very buttery-sugary, and the chocolate filling was pretty intense, so I think next time will be even better.

Fourteen-Layer Cake
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted [psh, yeah right]
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup, heaping, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly butter four 8 1/2- to 9-inch cake pans or 14 disposable cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Flour the pans and tap out the excess.
2. To make the layers, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Sift the mixture one more time and set aside. [Or just ignore all this sifting business and whisk it up.]
3. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Using a scant 2/3 cup for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans.
4. Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least 2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and not directly over each other, bake the layers until they feel firm when pressed in the centers and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 12 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Invert the layers onto cake pans, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely. Wash and prepare the pans. Repeat the procedure until all 14 layers have been baked and cooled.
5. To make the icing, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter, and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable.
6. Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish, smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides. Let stand until glaze sets.

Source: Oprah via Bakerella

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