Your soon to be favorite birthday gift. This recipe is from Art Smith, personal chef to Oprah for over a decade. The picture alone will make you salivate. Its birthday weekend here for multiple family and friends so what better way to show some love than 12 layers of deliciousness? Buon Appetito!
12 Layer Chocolate Cake
Butter, flour, and waxed paper, for coating the pans
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 c. sugar
4 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, sifted 3 times
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3 c. milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
3 c. sugar
1/2 c. high-quality cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 can (12-ounce) evaporated milk
1 T. vanilla extract
Pecan halves, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter four 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper, then butter the paper. Flour the pans.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. To the butter and egg mixture, gradually add the flour mixture and milk, alternating between them. Continue to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour and milk are incorporated, add the vanilla extract.
Add 1 cup of batter to each prepared pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light brown. Remove the layers from the pans and cool on a wire rack, placing the paper side down. Wash the pans. Butter and flour the pans again for the next batch of cakes. Repeat the process until 12 layers are baked.
When all the layers have cooled, make the icing. Combine the sugar, cocoa, butter, and evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and cool 2 minutes until the icing is thin but spreadable. (This icing becomes thicker as it cools.) Add the vanilla extract.
Remove the waxed paper from each layer. Place one layer of cake on a wire rack and spread with icing. (For easier cleanup, assemble the cake over an edged sheet pan to collect runoff icing.) Add the next layer and ice it. Continue adding and icing layers, then pour remaining icing over the top. Icing that drips down can be used to cover the sides. Garnish with pecan halves, if desired.