Assemblage of best chocolate cake I have ever eaten anywhere.

I’ve made this cake for Ken the past three years in September for what is certainly NOT his birthday. For reasons which are completely beyond my understanding, he gets mad if I mention that it’s his birthday to anyone. Anyway, it’s not my recipe, but it’s delicious. The original cake and frosting recipe is from epicurious.

For cake layers

* 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
* 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
* 3 cups sugar
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 3 large eggs
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting
* 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Special equipment
* two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting:
Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

I change everything around because I only have 8″ cake pans, which are about 75% of the volume of 10″ and I also only frost the cake with the ganache, not fill it. But you can figure out all of that on your own depending on what size cake you want to make. I trust that everyone can do simple fractions.

I fill the cake with half of this recipe, which makes a nice break from the dark chocolate of the cake.

Ingredients:
* 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
* 1 tablespoon cold water
* 2 tablespoons boiling water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup cocoa
* 1 cup whipping cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* chocolate curls

Preparation:
In a small bowl sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the cold water; let stand 1 minute. Add the boiling water, stirring, until gelatin is dissolved. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, cocoa, whipping cream, and vanilla; stir to blend. Beat on medium speed of electric mixer, scraping the bottom of the bowl a few times, until the mixture is stiff. Add the gelatin mixture and beat until well blended. Spoon the chocolate mousse into dessert dishes or glasses. Sprinkle mousse with chocolate curls, if desired. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Makes 4 servings.

Tricks: After I make the cake I freeze it for a day so it’s easy to work with and helps the mousse stay set-up when I fill the cake. Also, it’s a bit tricky to get the ganache to the right temperature to be the right consistency for spreading. I generally have to put it in the fridge for a while.

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3 Responses to “Assemblage of best chocolate cake I have ever eaten anywhere.”


  1. 2 coldwork October 5, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I was skeptical too, but I can’t taste it. I had to buy some instant coffee just for the recipe.

  2. 3 Dessert Man October 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds great. I think a packaged mousse mix might work well as a shortcut, too.


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