Serves: 8 to 10
Baking Time: 30 to 40 minutes
This cake is really the final word in chocolate cake, and it is based on my purest chocolate fantasy. It features a cocoa layer cake that uses the best cocoa, all egg yolks to give it its fullest flavor, and, to finish, a sweet injection of melted chocolate and cream. Astonishingly easy to make, it is at once fudgy moist and soft within, and becomes encased in a thin glaze of chocolate that forms by itself after brushing in the ganache. For Valentine's Day, I like to bake the cake in a heart-shape pan, then I top it with fresh red raspberries gilded with currant jelly and pipe whipped cream around the base.
|unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder||1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (sifted before measuring)||1.5 ounces||42 grams|
|boiling water||1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces)||42 ounces||118 grams|
|about 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature||1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon (2.2 fluid ounces)||2.6 ounces||74 grams|
|water||3 tablespoons (1.5 fluid ounces)||1.5 ounces||44 grams|
|pure vanilla extract||3/4 teaspoon|
|cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour)||1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (or 1-1/3 cups) sifted into the cup and leveled off||5.5 ounces||156 grams|
|superfine sugar||1 cup||7 ounces||200 grams|
|baking powder||2-1/2 teaspoons|
|unsalted butter (65 degrees to 75 degrees F/19 degrees to 23 degrees C)||9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon)||4.5 ounces||128 grams|
One 9 by 2-inch heart-shape or round cake pan (8 to 8-2/3 cups), encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment cut to shape, then coated with baking spray with flour.
Preheat the Oven
Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C.
Mix the Cocoa and Water
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. To speed cooling, place it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.
Mix the Remaining Liquid Ingredients
In another bowl, whisk the yolks, the 3 tablespoons water, and the vanilla just until lightly combined.
Make the Batter
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the barter into tile prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.
Bake the Cake
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze.
Makes: 1 cup/8 fluid ounces/8.6 ounces/244 grams
|dark chocolate, 60% to 62% cacao, chopped||3 ounces||85 grams|
|heavy cream||3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces)||6 ounces||174 grams|
Make the Ganache Glaze
In a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine.
In a 1-cup or larger microwavable cup with a spout (or in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often), scald the cream (heat it to the boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery).
With the motor of the food processor running, pour the cream through the feed tube in a steady stream. Process for a few seconds until smooth. Scrape the ganache into a small bowl and set it in a warm spot.
Apply the Glaze and Cool and Unmold the Cake
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a wire rack, poke holes all over the top with a wooden skewer, and use a brush to dabble half of the ganache glaze onto the cake. It will take about 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula around the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto a flat surface, such as a cardboard round or plate that has been covered with plastic wrap. Peel off and discard the parchment and poke holes all over. Dabble with the remaining glaze, brushing a little onto the sides of the cake as well. Cool completely, for 1 or more hours, or until the chocolate is firm to the touch. Invert the cake onto a 10-inch cardboard round or 10-inch perfectly flat plate covered with plastic wrap. It is now top side up with plastic wrap sticking to it. Peel off the plastic wrap, then reinvert the cake onto a serving plate so that it is bottom side up; remove the remaining plastic wrap.
|fresh raspberries||2 pints||1 pound||454 grams|
|red currant jelly||1/4 cup||2.6 ounces||77 grams|
Make the Raspberry Topping
Starting at the outside border and working in toward the center, place the raspberries closely together to cover the surface of the cake.
In a microwave, or small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the currant jelly. Use a small clean brush to paint the currant glaze onto the raspberries.
If making the cake without the raspberry topping, for a more attractive appearance use a pastry brush to stipple the chocolate glaze after is almost set. You may also dust the top lightly with cocoa or powdered sugar by placing the powder in a strainer held over the cake and tapping the edge of the strainer with a spoon.
Makes: 2 cups/8.6 ounces/244 grams
|heavy cream, cold||1 cup (8 fluid ounces)||8.2 ounces||232 grams|
|superfine sugar||1 tablespoon||0.5 ounce||12 grams|
|pure vanilla extract||1 teaspoon|
Make the Whipped Cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (Chill the mixer's whisk beater alongside the bowl.)
Whip the mixture, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.
If desired, use a pastry bag fitted with a large open star pastry tube (3/8 inch) to pipe a shell border around the base of the cake. Alternatively, serve with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.
This page created February 2010
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