This cake has the wonderful, fluffy texture you get from boxed cake mixes, but with a made-from-scratch flavor they never manage to achieve.
- 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for buttering the pans
- 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer or hand beaters, cream the butter on medium speed for about a minute. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Keeping the mixer running on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in several additions, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the flour.
Stir together the vinegar and baking soda. When it starts to fizz, quickly fold it into the cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto the rack to cool completely.
Wrap each cake in plastic and put in the freezer for at least an hour. (This will make icing the cake easier.)
For the ganache:
Using a double boiler, bring the cream just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate and salt. When the mixture has cooled and thickened slightly, use it to ice between the two cake layers and on top of the cake, letting the icing drip down the the sides.