Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boca Negra (Black Mouth Cake)

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This cake was featured in the Baking with Julia show with guest baker Lora Brody and there have been a lot of blog postings in reference to this cake. I finally gave it a try due to the positive reviews but to me, it was just an okay cake. A very rich cake indeed but I think it could have been better. Part of the problem might be the alcohol I used for the cake and I'm talking about a lot of alcohol. The flavor of the cake will surely depend on the type or brand of liqueur used with the recipe calling for the use of Bourbon. Overall, the cake is easy to make. It is definitely worth trying again and a good brandy might be a good option in lieu of the bourbon. 

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The name of the cake is a bit weird sounding but it is in reference to the amount of chocolate stuck on your teeth after having a bite of this very dense and chocolate-laden cake. Hence, the term "black mouth". The cake is also topped with a white chocolate ganache which actually balances the bittersweet taste with its sweetness so do not leave it out. I also added an additional garnish to the cake inspired by Nigella Lawson's Jim Pollack's inspired creation with her chocolate cheesecake. I just thought a drizzling of melted dark chocolate in an abstract pattern over the cake breaks the simplicity without detracting from the actual flavor. 

Boca Negra - Adapted*

White Chocolate Ganache:
12 oz white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon

1. Heat the cream in a small pot over medium low heat. Once almost boiling, 
    pour over the white chocolate in a bowl. 

2. Let the hot cream soften the chocolate for about a minute and with a 
    whisk, process the ganache until smooth. Add the bourbon and mix well. 

3. Transfer to a sealable container and store in the fridge. Prepare the 
    ganache a day or two early. 

12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
8 oz unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp flour

1. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan and line with parchment paper all the 
    way up to the sides. Grease the paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

2. In a small saucepan, heat the bourbon and 1 cup sugar. When the syrup 
    starts to boil and all the sugar has dissolved, pour over the chocolate in 
    a small bowl. Stir using a rubber spatula until the chocolate has melted 
    and the mixture is smooth. 

3. Gradually add the softened butter and mix well until the batter is 
    smooth and glistening. 

4. In another bowl, combine the eggs and the remaining sugar and whisk 
    until thick. Add to the melted chocolate and mix well. Add the flour and 
    mix to combine.

5. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a roasting pan filled 
    with hot water to about an inch for 30 minutes. The top of the cake 
    should have formed a thin crust at this point. 

6. Remove the cake pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Loosen the cake 
    by running a knife in between the parchment paper and the pan. Cover 
    the top of the cake with clingfilm and top with a cake board cut to fit the 
    size of the cake. Invert to release the cake from the pan. 

7. Remove the parchment paper off the cake and invert the cake again into 
    a lined cake board or a serving platter. Remove the clingfilm protecting 
    the top of the cake. Let cool in the fridge at least overnight. 

To decorate the cake, melt 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate and pour into a cone made with parchment paper. Secure the opening and snip a small part of the tip. Squeeze and drizzle ribbons of melted chocolate over the cake. Allow to set. 

To serve the cake, bring the white chocolate ganache to room temperature and beat with a mixer until thick. Slice the cake with a warmed knife and serve with a piping of the whipped white chocolate ganache.  

*Greenspan, Dorie: Baking with Julia, William Morrow and Company Inc., New York:1996.

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