Although I've continued to cook and often photographed my sessions in preparation for posting, I've been quite terrible about actually posting what I've been making now that school has started again! I do feel bad for not sharing, but I think you might forgive me after trying this recipe. It may be the best I've ever posted! For my birthday a couple of years ago, some friends and I went to a coffee shop near campus that has these HUGE, amazing cakes. Until then, I wasn't a huge fan of chocolate cake, but for some reason that night I decided I wanted the most chocolatey cake I could find. So, we split a "Chocolate Lovers" slice which had a layer of fudge filling and white chocolate cream frosting. It was absolutely amazing! It was so rich and moist- literally my ideal cake. So, of course I tried to recreate it the next time I baked a cake. But I failed! I don't know if it was because it actually wasn't that good or if I just had extremely high expectations, but I was actually quite upset! I tried a couple more times throughout the next year or so, only to be disappointed with each attempt. All of a sudden this summer I had the craving once again for this delicious cake and decided it was time to try to make it again myself. And oh my goodness was it a success! I've tweaked the frosting a bit to include goat cheese because I have an obsession that I can't slake, but besides that, the cake is almost identical to the one I fell in love with at the coffee shop!

favorite chocolate cake

1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed, hot coffee
Chocolate filling, recipe to follow
Goat cheese frosting, recipe to follow

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8" round cake pans. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while beating on low with a mixer. Then stir in the hot coffee and mix until well combined. The batter will be very thin! But this will make the cake nice and moist. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans before removing. Place one layer, flat side up, on a serving platter and pour the chocolate filling on top. Spread evenly with a spatula and place the second layer on top, rounded side up. Frost with the goat cheese frosting. Try not to eat it all in one sitting (speaking from experience...)! It also tastes (and keeps) best refrigerated! 

chocolate filling

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/8 cup milk

Add the chocolate chips and milk to a saucepan over very low heat. Melt the chocolate chips and stir often to avoid burning. Once the milk has been evenly incorporated and the mixture has thickened to a consistency (about five minutes) similar to cold syrup, it's ready to be poured over the first layer of cake.  The filling will likely be absorbed by the porous cake, but that is just fine!

goat cheese frosting

1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/3 cup goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter with a mixer for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the goat cheese and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla, cinnamon and mix to combine. Now add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating between each addition. After the last cup has been added, beat the frosting for another 2-3 minutes until very light and fluffy. Proceed to frost your cake!

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