Saturday, December 27, 2014

Death by Chocolate

Copyright 2014 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
If I had to post a new recipe, what better than to start with something really out there. Just by the name alone, you know you are in for a treat. I actually made this cake a long time ago back in 1997. I tried it once but it was a bit dry for my taste so I never baked it again although my friends said it tasted good. Back then however, I was just a novice baker and this was one of my daring attempts of a much more involved recipe. Now, I can confidently say at this point without being smug that I have more experience with baking and I know just by reading a recipe whether it will come out great or not. I also know whether I can bake the cake and have it come out great or not. This time, I knew it will be good.

Copyright 2014 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
The cake is a bit expensive with 2 lbs of chocolate not to mention the 3 kinds of chocolates used for garnishing. I eventually opted only to use two of the three, not for the lack of resources but rather, the lack of equipment. It also requires about a pound of butter. Word of advice, use unsalted and get the best brand of butter you can find. It really makes a difference. One last word of caution, cut the cake into thin slices. Overall, it tastes like chocolate with a little bit of cake and not the other way around. Serve with ice-cold fresh milk.

Death by Chocolate - Adapted*

For the cake:
8 oz bittersweet chocolates
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups self rising flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the Filling and Topping:
4 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
4 tbsp brandy
14 oz bittersweet chocolates
7/8 cup unsalted butter

Chocolate Ganache:
8 oz semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the
    base with parchment paper. Set aside. 

2. In a small pan, melt the chocolate and butter with the milk over low heat 
    until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Mix well 
    and cool slightly. 

3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs yolks with the sour cream and beat in the 
    chocolate mixture. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold in. 

4. Beat the egg whites in a grease-free bowl and fold into the mixture. Pour 
    into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until firm to the 
    touch. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and turn out onto a wire rack to 
    cool completely. 

5. To prepare the filling, heat the jam with 1 tbsp of brandy over low heat in 
    a small pan. Allow to cool and set aside. In another pot, melt the 
    chocolate with the butter and the remaining brandy. Stir until smooth. 
    Allow to cool. 

6. To assemble the cake, slice the cake into 3 layers. Arrange the lower layer 
    and spread with half the jam filling and top with half the chocolate filling. 
    Top with the second layer. Spread with the remaining jam and chocolate 
    filling and top with the third layer. Cool in the fridge for about an hour or 
    until set. 

7. Prepare the ganache by melting the chocolate in the cream over low heat. 
    Once smooth, add the coffee and vanilla extract. Allow to cool while 
    constantly stirring with a wire whisk. The ganache is ready when it is 
    spreadable. If in a hurry, you can cool in the fridge but keep an eye on it. 

8. Cover the cooled cake with the ganache and top with chocolate shavings 
    of bittersweet and white chocolate bars. 

*France, C. Chocolate Ecstasy, Anness Publishing Limited, London: 1996.