When I bake I try to bake something with someone in mind. I do this with the intention of giving that person what I bake. Good grief if I ate all of what I baked, my new name would be fat girl in a fat body. Granted, I have been blessed with a fast metabolism (a little too fast at times thanks to Grave’s Disease) and I also LOVE to exercise.

I like to ask my future ‘baked good receiver’ what their top 3 favorite desserts are. That way I can get an idea of what they like or what they don’t like. I don’t usually bake something exactly from that list. I modify it a tiny bit to add my own flair. For instance, my friend from childhood (we have known each other for 22 years) loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. So I took that and ran with it.

Chocolate Cake
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup applesauce
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Mascarpone Buttercream
1 stick butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp kahlua
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the butter for about 1 minute. Add the buttercream and mix for 2 minutes. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add the kahlua and vanilla.

Chocolate Ganache
1/3 cup half and half (You can use heavy cream, and then just use a little less chocolate)
1 cup milk chocolate, chopped

Directions
Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray non stick spray in 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.

With a whisk, mix the flours, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into until combined and any lumps are broken up. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while whisking. Add the coffee and whisk just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

When the ganache has cooled, pour it over the top of the cake, slowly. You can speed the hardening process of the ganache by putting it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

I cut out a piece (A really large piece, since we were sharing you know) for my husband and I to enjoy. His words exactly, “This is the best chocolate cake and frosting you have ever made…(He eats another bite) This is the best frosting I have ever had.” I had to agree with him. This frosting, holy freaking cow, out of the world. For me, this frosting made the cake. Without it, it would have been just plain chocolate cake. But the mascarpone just took it to another level.