Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chocolate Overdose Cake

A truly decadent cake- This cake is not your typical chocolate cake. It consists of a brownie base, light chocolate mousse filling, topped with a chocolate cake layer, and frosted in ganache. A fair warning though as this recipe has many steps and ingredients- make sure to have a solid few hours to prepare this cake, and prep your ingredients out before you start baking. Getting organized is key- I baked the brownie base and chocolate cake at the same time- this was a huge time-saver as it allowed me to clean up the (large) mess of pots and utensils while they baked. Once the brownie & cake layers are halfway into the cooling time, make the chocolate mousse. Assemble the cake, and place it in the refrigerator. While it chills, make the ganache (part of it needs to cool to room temperature, while the other needs to be chilled.) The only variation I did was to use Beantown Baker’s idea and decorate with chocolate-covered strawberries. I won’t lie- it definitely is a lot of work, but definitely worth the effort! It was worth every dirty bowl and utensil. Besides, can anyone really overdose on chocolate? A chocolate lover’s dream comes true. (The above picture doesn't showcase the beautiful layers within the cake- you can look at Jen's picture here.)

Some additional tips and tricks:
- I purchased parchment rounds here. It was way easier than cutting the rounds myself from a parchment roll, and I didn’t feel like I wasted a lot of paper. Make sure to order 1” smaller than your pan. (For example, if you’re using a 9” pan, order an 8” parchment round.)
- For unsweetened chocolate, I used Baker’s chocolate squares- they come in 1-oz squares so measuring was a cinch. For semi-sweet chocolate, I used chocolate chips.
- Dutch process cocoa- I use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, and have found them at Meijer’s.
- If you decorate with chocolate-covered strawberries, try to pick smaller-sized berries. I used medium-sized berries and I had to cut slices of cake that were huge.

Brownie base
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1-1/8 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate cake
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cups sugar, divided
7/8 cups (3/4 cup +1/8 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, room temperature

Chocolate mousse filling
6 oz semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces (1 cup chocolate chips)
1-7/8 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar

1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
18 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces (2-2/3 cup chocolate chips)

To make the brownie base
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom and line the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. (I bought parchment rounds Spray lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.)
4. When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan, add it into the bowl of a stand mixer, and gradually whisk in sugar.
5. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined.
6. Whisk in vanilla.
7. Add flour mixture in two additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
8. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using a small off-set spatula or bench scraper, spread batter evenly and smooth the surface. (The batter was thick- I ended up using my fingers to spread out the brownie and make the surface even.)
9. Bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour (do not remove the springform ring or parchment collar).

To make the cake
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment and spray bottom and sides with baking spray.
2. Combine chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over saucepan containing 1 inch of simmering water and stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. (At this point, my mixture was very thick and I thought I had ruined it, but once I added the sugar (next step), it became smooth and liquidy again.)
3. Add 1/4 cup sugar to chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.
4. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
5. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl and set aside.
6. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.
7. Add remaining (1/2 cup + 1/8 cup) sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Replace whisk with paddle attachment.
9. Add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.
10. Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition.
11. Add about one-third of flour mixture followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds).
12. Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated). Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.
13. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
14. Pour into prepared pan; smooth batter to edges of pan with an offset spatula.
15. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack and cool completely.

To make the Chocolate mousse filling
1. Place stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer or fridge.
2. Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap and allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed.
4. Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a well-chilled whisk attachment. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
5. By hand, whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated.
6. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together.

To make the Ganache
1. Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
2. Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
3. Chill 1 cup of ganache for 1 hour. Remaining ganache should be brought to room temperature (about 40 minutes).

To assemble the dessert
1. Spread mousse over top of the brownie base evenly. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth the top.
2. Place cake round over mousse, pressing down lightly. Chill for 1 hour.
3. Remove springform ring and parchment collar. Use a spatula to smooth the room temperature ganache over the cake top and sides, covering evenly.
4. Place the chilled ganache into a piping bag fitted with a #18 tip and pipe a shell border around the base.
5. Replace with tip #1M and pipe 12-16 rosettes around the top of the cake to indicate servings.
6. Serve chilled and store leftovers in the fridge. Cut the cake with a hot, dry knife.

Yields 12-16 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, As seen in Beantown Baker


Jen said...

Thanks for the shout-out. Yours looks great. And I agree this cake is worth every minute of prep, every dirty dish, and every minute of cleanup too!

Amy (Sing For Your Supper) said...

I made this for my hubby's birthday 2 years ago - I totally botched up the presentation, but GOLLY, was it good!!! Yours looks beautiful! I love the strawberries on top!


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