The butter cream and the filling could be made the day before to spead up the prep time.
Preheat oven to 300.
Grease and flour 2 - 8" round cake pans. In a medium bowl sift flour, soda and salt 3 times. Cream margarine and sugar in a large mixing bowl then add egg yolks one at a time. Gradually alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk then add chocolate and mix well by beating about 3 minutes. Fold in the three beaten egg whites, vanilla and almond extract.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 45 minutes.
Allow cake to cool completely. Using a serated bread knife split each layer into thirds to make six thin layers.
WHile cake is baking prepare the filling and the Buttercream Icing.
Put milk and chocolate in a saucepan and heat until chocolate is melted.
In a bowl combine sugar and flour. Make a paste by adding hot milk chocolate by tablespoons to the sugar and flour and then return to saucepan.
Stir over medium heat until thick. Add egg yolks all at once and stir rapidly to completely blend. Cook 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat then and add butter, vanilla and almond extract. Cool filling before spreading.
Using an 8" cake board place a small dallop of icing on the board and set the first layer. Spread filling on cake and set the next layer until all layers are set. Do not spread the filling oto the top layer.
Important make sure your cake is on a same-size cake board as the cake. (i.e 8-inch cake on an 8-inch cake board.) This is important because later when you pour the ganache over the cake it needs to run past the bottom of the cake. A larger board creates a ledge and the ganache will catch on )
BUTTER CREAM ICING:
Cream butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add milk and blend. Add sugar gradually. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
FIrst the cake needs to be decrumbed. Mix a little milk into the butter cream icing to make a thinner icing. Spread on top and sides of the cake to decrumb cake. THis will ensure a smooth cake.Place in refrigerator to set the icing for at least 30 minutes. Remove cake and ice cake with the remainder of the butter cream icing dipping the offset icing spatula into a glass of water between spreading the icing to make as smooth as possible. after icing the cake again place the cake in the refrigerator to set. A well-chilled cake will ensure that the ganache will not run off the sides of the cake.
You can vary the amounts somewhat to suit your taste. Using more whipping cream will give you thinner ganache while using more chocolate will give you a thicker ganache.
Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream just until it?s on the verge of boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Then stir with a spoon. It will look lumpy at first. Keep stirring and it will start to smooth out and come together. Add the butter stirring with a spoon until completely smooth.pour ganache into a small pitcher.
Let the ganache cool for 1 hour or until the temerpeature of the ganache drops to around 85 - 90 dgrees F. The consistancy of the ganache will be like a thick syrup. It has to flow when poured but not to runny. Remove cake from refrigerater and place on a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Begin to pour the ganache by starting in the center of the cake and move in a circular pattern until the top is completely covered. Keep pouring once you get toward the edges until the sides are completely covered.
Let the cake sit for a minute. Scrape the bottom edge of any excess chocolate. Carefully moved the cake and rack to another cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Place in refrigerator and chill. (The ganache will continue to drip down so it is important you leave it on the cooling rack over a cookie sheet in the refrigerator.)You need to get the covered cake into the fridge for at least 1 hour so that the chocolate will set up.
Remove cake from cooling rack and place on a cake dish and pipe a clamshell border at the base of the cake.
The cake is rich so a 1 1/4" thick wedge is a serving. This should get you about 20 servings.
You can reuse the excess ganache that collected in the pan, as well as the unused ganache. It also freezes well. If frozen, thaw it to room temperature then heat it slowly in the microwave or on top of a double boiler before using. Then cool it to the correct temperature, if necessary, and use.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 601 Calories; 31g Fat (44.9% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 80g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 93mg Cholesterol; 165mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 28 Fat; 4 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.
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