Make the happy day even more special by serving an elegant dark chocolate cake that will make chocolate lovers rejoice. Make one batch of the cake recipe for the top tier of the wedding cake and a double batch for the bottom one.
- Portion size 60 servings
Top Cake Tier:
Grease and flour 8-inch (2.5 L) round cake pan that is at least 3 inches (8 cm) deep. Line base with waxed paper and set aside. In large bowl, cream butter; gradually beat in sugar, beating until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time; beat in vanilla. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt ; stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 70 to 80 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean and top of cake springs back when lightly touched. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan on rack; loosen edges and invert cake onto rack. Peel off paper and let cool completely.
Bottom Cake Tier:
Grease and flour 12-inch (6 L) round cake pan that is at least 3 inches (8 cm) deep. Line base with waxed paper; set aside. Double all ingredients in cake recipe, prepare as directed, but bake for 85 to 95 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
Place bottom tier on serving platter. Slide strips of waxed paper under cake to protect platter from icing, Place top tier on slightly smaller round of foil-lined cardboard. Spread icing over top and side of each tier, reserving enough for piping. Coat side of each tier with hazelnuts (if using).
Insert plastic straw supports and stack tiers. Using pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch (5 mm) star tip, pipe remaining icing around edges in shell pattern. Arrange chocolate roses and leaves over cake. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
In top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water, melt chocolate chips. Stir in sour cream, and liqueur (if using); beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until spreading consistency.
Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L).
In top of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water, melt chocolate; stir in corn syrup and water. Pour onto plastic wraplined baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for at least 6 hours or until no longer sticky. Remove plastic wrap and place chocolate dough between sheets of waxed paper; roll out to 1/16-inch (1 mm) thickness. Using 1- 1/2- or 2-inch (3.5 or 5 cm) round cutter, cut out circles for petals. Form trimmings into 1/2-inch (1 cm) balls; shape into cones for centres of roses.
Using rolling pin, press outer edge of one half of each circle as thinly as possible. Wrap thick sides of several circles around cone, overlapping to form rose. Carefully curl back petals. Transfer to waxed paperlined baking sheet; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Using pastry or paint brush, paint undersides of clean dry rose leaves with 4 oz (125 g) melted chocolate, taking care not to drip over edges or onto front of leaves. Place leaves, chocolate side up, on waxed paperlined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm. Carefully peel rose leaves from chocolate.