Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mocha Brownie Cake

This cake has been requested once by my friend Sunny a long time ago since I baked this for my going away party back in 2006. The cake was featured in Julia Child's Baking with Julia show with guest baker Marcel Desaulniers. Having bought the companion book, I tried to make it on a whim once since it looked easy enough. The recipe described the cake as a rich, luscious and luxurious chocolate cake. The cake in itself is dense and has the texture of a brownie and is further enhanced by the addition of layers of chocolate ganache. The overall effect is a truly rich cake albeit simple and austere in terms of decorations. Perfect for the chocoholic in you.

Mocha Brownie Cake - Adapted*

3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate
2 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 stick unsalted butter
5 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and line a 9-inch spring form pan and 
    grease the paper again. Flour the greased pan and tap off the excess. 

2. In a double broiler, melt the chocolates with the butter. Set aside. 

3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. 

4. In your mixer bowl at high speed, beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar with 
    the whisk attachment until doubled in volume. This will take about 4 
    to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and whisk in the melted 
    chocolate. Mix for an additional 15 seconds and turn off the mixer.

5. Fold in the dry ingredients and using the mixer whisk, incorporate the 
    sour cream into the batter. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan 
    and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
    Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. 

6. Release the side of the pan and cool the cake in the fridge for one hour. 
    While the cake is cooling, make the ganache.


1 1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp sugar
12 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup hot strong brewed coffee
1 tbsp brandy (optional)

To make ganache, heat the cream, butter and sugar in a small sauce pan until just barely boiling. Pour the hot cream and coffee over the chocolate and let it sit for about 30 seconds. With a hand whisk, stir the mixture until smooth. Add the brandy and mix well if using. Set aside.  

To assemble, cut the cake into 3 layers using a serrated knife. Line the same spring form pan with a cardboard lined with either wax paper of aluminum foil. With the side of the pan on, take the bottom layer of the cake and lay on the pan. Drizzle with enough ganache and top with the second layer. Dirzzle with another layer of ganache and top with the last layer. At this point, return the cake into the fridge and let it set for at least 4 hours. Keep the remaining ganache coverd with cling flim until needed. 

To finish the cake, release the side of the pan and lift the cake out using the cardboard liner as your guide. With the protective liner still under the cake, transfer to a cooling rack and frost with the remaining ganache. If the ganache has thickened, dip in hot water to soften it to a spreadable consistency. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and keep cold until ready to serve. 

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

1 comment:

  1. Pan size and shape are important in any recipe, says Goldman, but especially with brownies because the depth of the batter affects taste and texture. Shallow pans make chewy brownies while deeper pans make denser, cake-like bars. She recommends a 7x11-inch brownie pan made of aluminum, nonstick aluminum, or tin pans.