This triple chocolate cake is basically every chocoholic’s dream come true. It’s moist, flavourful and intensely chocolatey, as well as drop dead gorgeous. To make it even more amazing, there are three different cake sponges AND three different chocolate frostings (white, milk and dark) to create an ombre effect both on the outside and the inside of the cake.
Pre-heat the oven to 355ºF (180 ºC) and line three 8 inch (20 cm) cake pans with baking/greaseproof paper.
In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate and butter.
NOTE: For best results, melt the white chocolate and butter separately for the white chocolate sponge, then mix them together when you start adding the other ingredients.
Add the sugar and eggs, and whisk well.
Sift together the dry ingredients (gluten free flour blend, almond flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder for dark chocolate sponge) and add them to the chocolate mixture. Mix well until evenly distributed.
Add the milk and hot water, and mix well until you get a smooth cake batter.
Transfer the cake batter into the lined cake pan, and bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 55 minutes, or until risen and an inserted toothpick comes out clean or a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow to cool in the cake pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the cake pan and allow to cool fully on a wire cooling rack.
In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer with the double beater attachments, beat the butter for 2 - 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
Add the powdered sugar, and beat for a further 5 - 7 minutes.
Adjust the sweetness if needed (by adding more powdered sugar), and add the vanilla paste and salt.
Divide the buttercream into three equal parts.
For dark chocolate buttercream: Add the melted dark chocolate and 1/4 cup cocoa powder into one third of the buttercream and mix well until combined.
For milk chocolate buttercream: Add the melted milk chocolate and 1 - 2 tbsp cocoa powder into one third of the buttercream and mix well until combined.
For white chocolate buttercream: Add the melted white chocolate into one third of the buttercream and mix well until combined.
If the sponges are domed, level out the tops with a serrated knife.
Layer sponges and buttercream together in the following order (bottom to top): dark chocolate sponge, dark chocolate buttercream, milk chocolate sponge, milk chocolate buttercream, white chocolate sponge, white chocolate buttercream.
Pipe rings of chocolate buttercream around the cake, piping the dark chocolate buttercream at the bottom, milk chocolate buttercream in the middle and white chocolate buttercream at the top. Smooth out the frosting, creating the ombre effect. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, or until the frosting has firmed up.
While the frosted cake is chilling, place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Heat the double/heavy cream until only just boiling (either on the stove or in the microwave), then pour it over the chocolate.
Allow to stand for 2 - 3 minutes, then stir well until you get a smooth glossy ganache.
Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Once the cake is chilled and the frosting feels firm to the touch, decorate the cake – first with the chocolate ganache drip.
Check the consistency of the chocolate ganache. It should be runny enough to drip, but not too hot (otherwise it will melt the buttercream). If it's too thick, heat it up briefly in the microwave.
For the easiest (and prettiest) drip, transfer the chocolate ganache into a squeeze bottle.
Create the chocolate drip: first allow the chocolate ganache to gently run down the sides, then fill out the top of the cake by drizzling on more ganache and smoothing it out with an offset spatula.
Allow the ganache to firm up slightly (this should only take a few minutes because of the cold cake), then decorate the top of the cake.
You can follow my example and decorate the cake with piped swirls of buttercream, chocolate truffles and chocolate shavings, or get creative and dream up your own design.
The cake keeps well in a closed container or wrapped in cling film, in a cool dry place or in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.
(If you keep the cake in the fridge, cut the desired number of slices and allow them to come to room temperature for about 10 - 15 minutes before serving.)