Don't let the long description and three diamond difficulty level of this recipe fool you. This cake is so rich and decadent that you won't regret any minute spent in your kitchen. Plus, let's face it, if you landed on this page, you are up for a baking challenge! Make this cake ahead of time, so it's ready when you want to serve it. You will need a 9-inch springform pan, but otherwise, you probably have all the equipment you'll need. Use the best dark chocolate (a general term for bittersweet and semisweet chocolate) you can find for this. You won't be sorry. Happy baking!
How to prepareDifficulty Level:Yield: 1 cake; serves 10-12Ingredients:
Filling and Topping
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
5 Large Eggs
7 Tbsp. Sugar5 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. All-Purpose Flour
1 2/3 Lbs. Semisweet or Bittersweet Chocolate
3 Large Eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. Instant Coffee Granules
1/3 cup Praline Paste
1/4 cup Dark Creme de Cacao
1/4 cup Dark Rum
1/4 cup Kirsch
2 cups Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. Sugar1 Tbsp. Unsalted ButterTools:
- *Double Boiler - you can substitute this to a small pot or saucepan with a small base, as the bottom half of the Boiler. Pour water into the pot until it is filled up one or two inches from the bottom. Place it over the stove and let it come to a gentle boil.
- Electric Mixer
- Springform Pan
- Serrated Knife - also known as a dread knife with toothed bladeHow to make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan 2 inches deep. Set aside.
- To prepare the cake, in a small saucepan, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter over low heat and set aside, covered, to keep warm.
- In another small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth and set aside.
- Combine the eggs and sugar in the top of a double boiler and set over simmering water over medium heat. Whisk continuously for about 3 minutes, or until frothy and a deep golden yellow. The mixture will be hot to the touch (about 150 F).
- Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Fold 1 cup of the egg mixture into the cocoa.
- Sift the flour over the egg mixture into the batter. Fold the warm butter into the batter just until mixed. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake is cool, slice it in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Line a 9-inch springform pan with plastic wrap so that the ends of the plastic wrap extend over the side of the pan. Put the better-looking half of the cake in the springform pan. reserve the other half for another use. (Wrapped well in plastic, it will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month) set the pan aside.
How to make the cake filling:
- Chop 1 1/3 Lbs. of the chocolate into small chunks. Put the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water over medium heat. Slowly melt chocolate. Set aside. (Reserve the remaining 1/3 Lbs. of chocolate for the topping)
- Put the egg yolks in the top of a boiler set over simmering water over medium heat and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute, or until warm to the touch. Be mindful that the eggs do not cook. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and whisk in the coffee granules and then the praline paste, creme de cacao, rum, and Kirsch. Whisk in the melted chocolate and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment, whip 1 1/4 cups of the cream on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
- In the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment (make sure the whisk is clean and dry), whisk the egg whites for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add the sugar to the meringue and whisk for 90 seconds longer or until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, and then fold the chocolate-cream mix into the meringue.
How to assemble the cake:
- Pour the filling on top of the cake layer. It should fill the pan about three-quarters full. Gently tap the pan on the countertop to remove air bubbles, and smooth with a spatula. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or until the filling is set.
- Finally, chop the remaining 1/3 Lbs. of chocolate. In the top of a double boiler set over gently simmering water set over medium heat, combine the chopped chocolate, butter, and remaining 3/4 cup of cream. Whisk until the chocolate melts, and the mixture is smooth. Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool until warm.
- Remove the cake from the springform pan by releasing the sides. (The plastic wrap will help remove it, too) using a wide spatula, carefully transfer the cake, still on the metal base of the pan, to a wire rack set on a baking sheet or pan. Spoon the chocolate topping over the cake and spread it over the cake so that the sides and top are evenly and completely covered. Refrigerate the cake for about 15 minutes or until the topping is set.
- Carefully transfer the cake to a serving plate or platter. If you can cleanly remove it from the metal base, do so. Let the cake sit at room temperature for 15 or 20 minutes before slicing.