Chocolate Chip Layer Cake with Ganache and Baileys Buttercream
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 1, 8-inch round, 3 layer cake
Three layers of chocolate chip buttermilk cake, sandwiched with chocolate ganache and frosted in Baileys-spiked Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Cake:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks (reserve the whites for the frosting)
  • ¼ cup Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) soft unsalted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
  • Ganache:
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli) or chopped chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks), plus 2 tablespoons, soft unsalted butter
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur
  • Chocolate Drizzle:
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used Ghirradeli) or chopped chocolate
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • To Decorate:
  • gold luster dust
  • vodka
  • gold star edible glitter (I used Wilton brand)
  • large gold sprinkles (I used Sweetapolita brand)
  1. Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray or butter 3, 8-inch round, cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment circles.
  2. Whisk the eggs, yolks, Baileys, and vanilla together in a large measuring cup, set to the side.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, and buttermilk. Beat the mixture on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure there are no dry bits left. Beat in the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the bowl between each, until just combined and you have a smooth batter. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes spring back to the touch, the cakes pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on racks before turning out.
  4. Ganache: Combine the chocolate, cream, and salt in a measuring glass and microwave for 30-seconds at a time, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool the ganache until spreadable but not firm (about 30 minutes).
  5. Frosting: Whisk the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and place the bowl over a simmering pan of water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture until it is hot to the touch and there are no granules of sugar left when you rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers. Fit the bowl back onto the stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until a stiff, white, glossy meringue forms, the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm, and heat no longer escapes from the top of the bowl. Beat in the butter, using the paddle attachment, a few tablespoons at a time until completely incorporated and smooth. If the mixture looks curdled or doesn't seem to come together, just keep on beating! It will come together. If it looks soupy, it may be too warm, refrigerate for a few minutes and continue to beat the mixture until you get a smooth, spreadable buttercream.
  6. Chocolate Drizzle: Combine the chocolate and cream in a measuring glass. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool just enough to drizzle over the cake without it melting the frosting and completely running down the sides. If you have one, pour the chocolate into a squeeze bottle for easier drizzling.
  7. To Assemble: Spread one tablespoon of ganache or frosting onto a cake board and place the first layer on top. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the first layer and spread half of the ganache in an even layer in the center of the ring. Place the second cake layer on top and repeat. Place the third cake layer on top and frost the entire cake with a thin, smooth layer of buttercream to catch the crumbs. Chill the cake for 30 minutes (or more) before frosting with the remaining buttercream. Chill the cake for an hour (or more) before continuing to decorate.
  8. Once the cake is chilled and the buttercream is firm, mix a ¼ teaspoon of luster dust with a few drops of vodka, dip a brush into the liquid luster mixture and splatter onto the cake. Drizzle the chocolate drizzle over the edges of the cake for a drippy effect, and spread the remaining chocolate over the top of the cake in a smooth layer. Decorate with sprinkles and edible glitter.
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