Monday, March 19, 2007

Tis the Season of Giving

So said the people from Starbucks. I took advantage of their Coffee Break last Thursday and got myself a free cup of hot brewed coffee. Well, I didn't drink it, but used it in the batter for a chocolate cake!
It's not any chocolate cake. This one is from my favorite cookbook author- Ina Garten! According to Ina, this is the most fabulous chocolate cake she has ever made.I must add that, it is mine too! I still remember how nice and moist it was when I baked it for a party last time. This time, having more time on hand, I decided to dress up this homey cake, and adopted Alice Medrich's whipped ganache as filling, and Southern Living's idea of using Pirouline to line the edge of the cake. The result was pretty interesting although I must admit that my decorating skills have plenty of rooms for improvement....

The Most Fabulous Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Filling:(enough to fill one layer)

Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache
(adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet)
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces 72% chocolate
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Frosting (enough for a thin layer of frosting)
3 ounces 72% chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 sifted confectioner sugar
1/2 tablespoon espresso powder

2 packs of Pirouline

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan until it bubbles on the edges and immediately pour it over the chocolate. Allows the heat from the cream to melt the chocolate.Let stand for 10-15 minutes. Slowly stir to make sure that the chocolate has completely melted. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight, and whip the ganache only when ready to use.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in 1.5 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.

Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread the whipped ganache over the cake. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the frosting over the top and side of the cake. Arrange Pirouline immediately around the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

MAKE AHEAD The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.(this is important, we took the cake out minutes before cutting, and had the cake threaten to fall apart)


Anonymous said...

Hey, this cake looks GOOD!!!
and it sud taste yummy as well.

Mandy said...

the cake is great! I tried to make cakes in KK, but they always turned out disastrous. I suspect mum's oven temperature is a bit off....Only can make cookies. hehehe.

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