Video: What It Takes to Make Strip House’s 24 Layer Chocolate Cake

In case you need another reason to feast around Thanksgiving, National Cake Day is November 26th! Cake is found at nearly every celebration across the globe, so it’s only fitting we take a day to commemorate the dessert itself. Whether you favor vanilla, cheese, bundt, carrot or pineapple upside-down, chances are you have some form of appreciation for this baked dessert. From birthdays to weddings to holidays, people define important moments of their life with cake, and on National Cake Day we pay homage to that. Although it’s uncertain who invented National Cake Day (no, not Marie Antoinette), at ForknPlate we are celebrating!

In lieu of the festivities, our friends Dilinger Rivera and Michael Vignola of New York City’s Strip House give us the inside scoop to acing their signature 24 layer chocolate cake. Master Pastry Chef Dilinger is the inventor of this multi-layer madness, and we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the holiday than moist layers of rich chocolate and custard.

Today is a day to indulge, so get a slice (or 24 layers) of the action in the video below!

Ingredients

Chocolate Custard:

  • 4 Cups Milk
  • 4 1/3 Cups. Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbs. +1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • ¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Corn Starch
  • 14oz Bittersweet Chocolate

24 Layer Chocolate Cake  (makes one 12 inch cake, recipe suggests four 12 inch cakes) 

  • 1 ¾ lbs. Butter, softened
  • 4 lbs. Granulated Sugar
  • 13 Whole Eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ lb. Cocoa Powder
  • 2 1/8 lbs. Cake Flour
  • 1 Tb. Fine Salt
  • 2 Tbs. Baking Soda
  • ¾ Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 1/3 cup Cold Coffee
  • 2 1/3 cup Milk
  • 2 1/3 Tbs. Vanilla Extract

Steps for the 24 Layer Cake 

  1. Sift together all of they dry ingredients and reserve
  2. Combine the coffee, milk and extract and reserve chilled
  3. In a mixing bowl at medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together.  Once creamed, add the eggs one at a time (still at medium speed).
  4. Once all the eggs have been incorporated, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternately mix in  at slow speed the dry and wet ingredients. Remember to end with a final amount of the dry ingredients.
  5. Well spray two 12inch in diameter /3 inches deep cake pans. Cut a circle of parchment paper to cover the bottom of the cake pan and then well spray the visible surface. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 55 minutes or until the cake is done.
  7. Allow cake to cool in the refrigerator until cold.
  8. Cut six layers out of each cake
  9. Save the top layer of cake to make crumbs
  10. Once layers are cut, place thickest layer in the pan
  11. Smooth on thin layer of chocolate custard to act as glue
  12. Stack next cake layer on top
  13. Repeat for following 12 layers to complete the first half of the cake
  14. Repeat for second 12 layers for next half of cake in the second pan
  15. Once two bases are complete, cover with chocolate ganache
  16. Put both halves in the freezer to set for one hour
  17. Defrost with blowtorch
  18. Make sure custard is soft so two bases stick together
  19. Use spatula to smooth custard on outside of cake
  20. Spread cake crumbs on custard 
  21. Enjoy!
  22. There you have it! The insider’s guide to mastering this decedent and complex chocolate masterpiece!

Steps for the Chocolate Custard:

  1. Mix eggs together and reserve in a mixing bowl
  2. Mix flour and sugar together, reserve
  3. Mix one cup of cold milk with the corn starch, reserve
  4. Bring all the cream and three cups milk to a boil in a sturdy pot
  5. Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in about half of the boiling milk mixture
  6. Add the vanilla extract and then pour the tempered eggs back into the remaining milk mixture
  7. While simmering, add the sugar/flour mix
  8. Add the cornstarch slurry, stirring constantly until thickened
  9. Add the chocolate, remove from heat
  10. With a hand mixer, burr the custard for a couple of minutes and chill in an ice bath


Head to our Guest Chefs section for more amazing videos w/ New York’s top chefs/bartenders!

How are you celebrating National Cake Day? Have you tried this recipe or mastered another 24 layer cake?

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Lauren is a New York-based writer from Nashville. She's lived in Paris and Italy, loves eating her way around new destinations, and considers herself a French fry connoisseur. She can often be found in Central Park training for her next marathon, hunting for the best homemade pasta in Manhattan, or petting dogs on the sidewalk. She loves dancing, camping, snowboarding and photography and considers coffee a major food group. Lauren resides in the East Village of Manhattan where she is working on a book about her big dog, Gizelle.
  • Rencee

    Hello,

    I don’t know if I get this right, but do I need to divide the recipe by 4 to have one cake only? Does the custard makes 4 cakes as well ( so I have to divide that too?)
    Thank you

  • Sylvia grinder

    Is chocolate custard the same as chocolate ganache?

  • Sandy Sawh-Ramcharitar

    Hello

    I am as confused as Renee, how do you divide this recipe? Your steps use two cakes whereas the heading suggests four cakes? And the custard doesn’t state what number of cakes it would cover. Lastly, no step for making the final ganache?