Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

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Friday, January 27th is National Chocolate Cake Day


Oh my…be still my beating heart.  Since the beginning of time, dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting has been our gold standard for the ultimate chocolate experience.  And now they have a day of celebration for cake!

Once again, our go-to source of this amazing recipe is Bon Appétit.  From a 2007 publication, A Year of Celebrations, thin layers of flourless chocolate cake and mousse are paired with crunchy hazelnuts and hints of orange make this cake a rich, decadent dessert.  For total overload, add a scoop of coffee-chocolate chip ice cream.  For best results, use a premium bittersweet chocolate with a high cocoa bean content (variously labeled “cocoa solids,” “cocoa,” or “cacao”), such as Scharffen Berger 70 percent or Callebaut.  Happy Birthday to me!

 

My Kind of Chocolate Birthday Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup dark brown sugar (packed)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, chopped

Filling:

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Glaze:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Large chocolate curls (from 1 to 2-inch thick piece bittersweet chocolate)

Additional toasted husked hazelnuts

Candied orange peel strips

Directions

Cake:

Preheat oven to 325°F.  inch 13 x 9 x 1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper; butter parchment.

Combine first 4 ingredients in medium metal bowl.  Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until chocolate and butter melt.  Remove bowl from over water; stir in salt (mixture will be grainy).

Beat eggs and 2 tablespoons sugar in another medium bowl until pale, about 6 minutes; fold into chocolate mixture.  Fold in flour, then hazelnuts.  Spread batter evenly on baking sheet.  Baking until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 13 minutes (cake will be thin).  Transfer pan to rack.  Coll cake completely.

For Filling:

Combine chocolates in medium metal bowl.  Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in small saucepan; pour cream over chocolates and let stand 1 minute.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Chill mixture until firm, about 2 hours.

Place bowl with chilled chocolate mixture over saucepan of barely simmering water until mixture is partially melted (do not stir), about 5 minutes.  Remove bowl from over water; add butter to bowl.  Using electric mixer, beat until filling is thick and glossy, about 3 minutes.  Using clean dry beaters, beat 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream in another medium bowl until peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into filling.

Cover 14 x 5-inch cardboard rectangle with foil.  Invert cake onto work surface; remove parchment.  Cut cake lengthwise in half.  Place 1 cake half on foil-covered cardboard.  Spread 1/2 cup chocolate filling over.  Top with second cake half.  Spoon remaining filling into pastry bag fitted with large plain round tip.  Pipe filling atop cake in side-by-side lengthwise rows, then smooth top.  Chill until filling is firm, about 1 hour.

For Glaze:

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate; let stand 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Add butter; stir until  melted.  Let stand until barely lukewarm but still pourable, about 20 minutes.

Place cardboard base with cake on rack set over rimmed baking sheet.  Spoon glaze over top of cake, allowing glaze to run down sides.  Using offset spatula,k smooth glaze over sides.  Mound chocolate shards or curls over top and sides of cake.  Garnish with hazelnuts and candied orange peel.  Refrigerate until glaze is set, at least 2 hours.  Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and keep chilled.

photo courtesy of epicurious.com

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