Butter Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
- 4 2/3 cups ( 1 pound 7.33 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ¼ pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 ½ cups (24.5 ounes) sugar
- ½ cups (4 ounces) crème fraiche
- 8 large eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks/ 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 cups (1 ½ pounds) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 14.5 ounces 38% milk chocolate, melted and cooled
- 9 ounces 61% bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
TO MAKE THE CAKE
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat the bottoms and sides of three 9-by-3 round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or butter and line with parchment circles.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
4. Whisk together the crème fraiche, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla in a medium bowl, then pour into the creamed butter and mix until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix for 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing for 1 to 2 minutes after each addition. Scrape the bowl again and mix for 1 minute
5. Divide the batter among the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cakes are slightly golden at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes in the pans on cooling racks, then remove from the pans, peel off the parchment, and cool completely on the racks. Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING
1. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar about ½ cup at a time, mixing until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt and beat for 1 minute.
2. If using a stand mixer, replace the paddle attachment with the whisk attachment. Gradually pour in the melted chocolates, mixing until well incorporated. Scrape the bowl again, then stream in the milk with the mixer on low and continue mixing until the frosting is creamy, smooth, and uniform in texture
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
1. Place one cake layer top side up on a cake stand or turntable. Slide four strips of parchment under the edges of the cake to catch any stray frosting. Using and offset spatula, spread about 1 ½ cups of the frosting evenly over the top of the layer. Repeat with another cake layer and 1 ½ cups more frosting. Stack the third layer on top and press down gently to even the layers. Using an offset spatula, frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Then, with the back of a large spoon, create swirls in the frosting.
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