Because I just made a huge post over on facebook about this - here it is for all future generations - my method for the hugely popular Towering Chocolate Cake.
(Recipes for Chocolate Butter Cream, Chocolate Mousse, & Chocolate Ganache below)
The cake is just a Betty Crocker box cake - Triple Chocolate Fudge. They make such awesome cakes, why mess around trying to find the perfect 'from scratch' recipe? My only caution is to make sure you don't over-bake because a dry cake is not a good cake. If you have a chronic dry cake problem, try adding 1/4 cup sour cream to the batter.
I use two boxes (mixing them up together) and split them into three 9 inch cake pans. I leveled them off using a leveler - a large bread knife also works well though it may be hard to get a truly level cake.
I usually use two fillings - a fruit and a mousse. I've used fresh strawberries before and those tasted AWESOME, but canned pie filling also works great if it's the dead of winter.
To stack, put a glob of frosting on your cake board and put the bottom cake on top of it. Put a thick ring of frosting around the edge of the cake.
** Important note - make sure your fillings aren't any thicker than your cake layers and that your fillings aren't thicker than your outside ring of frosting because they will leek out if there is too much in there....just sayin'.**
Put the fruit filling inside your frosting ring. Then put on your mousse. Place second cake layer on and repeat the same process.
For the last layer, I put the cake on bottom side up so you get a clean edge.
Put a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the whole thing. This is your crumb coat so it doesn't have to be pretty. Put it in the fridge until the crumb coat hardens. Put on another thicker coat of frosting, makin' it look smooth and pretty.
Pour your ganache over the top of the cake.
Pipe some frosting decorations, add some fruit and your done!
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream
Heat it up little by little (30 seconds at a time). Then whisk the cream and chocolate together. If it starts to harden you can just reheat it.
Chocolate Butter Cream (I had to make two batches - this cake is definitely not low fat)
1 cup butter
1 cup melted (& cooled) chocolate - semi-sweet or dark - You can use chocolate chips or a chunk of chocolate.
2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (or milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Whip the butter until it's smooth. Add the chocolate. Add the sugar. Add the vanilla & cream and whip until light and fluffy.
1/2 Cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
2 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave 30 seconds at a time - should only take a minute at the most. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Then whisk in the two egg yolks. Refrigerate.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, whip the two egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, yet the whites are still glossy and not dry. Set aside.
In another bowl, whip the heavy cream, remaining one tablespoon sugar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator, and stir a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture, gently but thoroughly. Fold in the whipped cream.