Chocolate Cakegasm

This cake is so sexy it's sweating. It's too sexy for itself!

This cake is so sexy it’s sweating. It’s too sexy for itself!

The original title of this cake was “Death by Chocolate Cake.” That should tell you something. This is one of the most intense chocolate cakes I have ever had. Oh, the unbridled richness of this cake is without peer. I, a raging chocoholic, could barely finish a slice!

Chocolate Cakegasm is truly a study of chocolate in myriad textures. This is the perfect way to showcase chocolate, because different forms of chocolate taste a bit different to one another. For example, chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache can taste radically divergent, even when made with the exact same chocolate and the exact same chocolate-to-sugar ratio, simply because of textural differences. The first layer of this cake – the first texture, in a sense – is a dense, fudgey brownie, iced in thick ganache. Next comes dark, silky mocha mousse, followed by another layer of chocolate brownie. The whole cake is iced in more ganache, and finished with a topping of smooth, sweet chocolate mousse.

You can't see the layers too clearly in the finished cake, but it doesn't really matter, because the cake is an exercise in chocolate ecstasy.

You can’t see the layers too clearly in the finished cake, but it doesn’t really matter, because the cake is an exercise in chocolate ecstasy.

I am so glad I made this cake, even though it was an exercise in patience. I lack a dishwasher, you see, and making this cake generates a lot of dishes. Having said that, I will also say this to you: I would make this cake again in a heartbeat, dishes and all. It’s that good. I feel guilty saying so, but… this is better than the Chocolate Stampede Cake. I’m sorry, Chocolate Stampede Cake (and Longhorn), but it’s true.

The layers are a bit more visible in this slice. The chunk-laden brownie is a particular delight! Oh, swoon, swoon.

The layers are a bit more visible in this slice. The chunk-laden brownie is a particular delight! Oh, swoon, swoon. And kids, this is why you cut this cake with a hot, dry knife: This slice could be a bit neater! I was so eager to try the cake that I impatiently hacked at it with a – gasp! – cold knife.

I did have a couple of issues with this cake. I loathe meringue of any kind, so I omitted the chocolate meringue layer that the original recipe included. (See the “Source” section at the bottom of the post for a link to the original recipe.) I suppose that isn’t an issue with the cake per se, but it’s still something you should be aware of. I also had a great deal of trouble torting the brownie; the brownie is so moist and delicate – oh, is it ever a fantastic brownie! Make the brownie layer for its own sake; you won’t be sorry – and so thin, that the brownie simply resists being torted properly. One of the newly torted layers disintegrated and I had quite a fun and frenzied time “rebuilding” that layer. I strongly suggest making two of the brownie layers instead of trying to torte one very thin layer. (The original recipe, for a single brownie to be torted, is included below. Try doubling it if you wish to make two brownie layers as recommended.)

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Chocolate Cakegasm

Ingredients:

For the ganache:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
22 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces

For the brownie:
4 TBS butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream (I used 4 heaping spoonfuls)
4 oz. chocolate chunks

For the mocha mousse:
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces
4 oz. milk chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces
1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso
2 scant TBS cocoa
5 egg whites (place eggs, in their shells, in hot water for 10 minutes before separating the eggs)
2 TBS sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the chocolate mousse:
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2 oz. pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 egg whites (place eggs, in their shells, in hot water for 10 minutes before separating the eggs)
2 TBS sugar

Method:

For the ganache:
Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Separately, heat cream until boiling. Pour boiling cream over chocolate and butter; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth and completely incorporated. Cover and let stand at room temperature until needed.

For the brownie:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9″ cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with a parchment paper circle; spray the circle. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Heat the 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, the 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, and the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to ensure mixture does not scorch. Once melted, stir until smooth and set aside.

Beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in the medium bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with either the paddle or the whip attachment) on high speed until slightly thickened. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat on medium speed until well blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Add the sour cream and beat just until blended.

Use a rubber spatula to finish combining ingredients. Finish by folding in the 4 oz. chocolate chunks. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. Let cool at room temperature for 5 minutes; then turn out onto a plate or a cake circle and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut brownie in half horizontally with a long, serrated knife, and keep brownie at room temperature until needed. Note: If making two brownies, allow brownies to cool at room temperature for 5 – 10 minutes, then turn brownies out onto a plate, separated by waxed paper, and keep at room temperature until needed.

For the mocha mousse:
Heat the chocolate, brewed coffee / espresso, and cocoa powder in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring fairly frequently to prevent mixture from scorching. Once the chocolate has melted, take mixture off heat and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high until soft peaks form; add sugar. Whisk on high until peaks form that are stiff but still soft.

Separately, whip heavy cream until stiff. (I used a hand whisk for this, as my mixer’s whisk attachment was all tied up with the egg whites.)

Gently stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest of the egg whites. Keep the moccha mousse at room temperature so that it spreads easily onto the cake. Note: I refrigerated my mocha mousse, reasoning that raw egg whites should be refrigerated. This is up to you, but I have to say that I found the mocha mousse to be difficult to spread onto the cake when it was cold. The chocolate mousse, though also refrigerated, was much more pliable than its mocha cousin.

For the chocolate mousse:
Heat the chocolate in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low until melted, stirring frequently to prevent chocolate from scorching. Remove from heat and stir until completely smooth. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue whisking on high until stiff but soft peaks form.

Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. (I used a hand whisk for this, as the whisk attachment was needed to beat the egg whites.)

Gently whisk 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Fold this mixture into the egg whites. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate mousse until needed.

Assembly:
Place one of the brownie layers onto a serving platter. Surround with the sides of a 9″ springform pan and close the spring. (This will help the mousses and other soft elements to stay in place while setting in the refrigerator.) Ice brownie layer with 1 1/2 cups of the ganache. Layer the mocha mousse atop the ganache, spreading the mousse evenly out to the sides. Top with the second brownie layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour to ensure the mousse is set.

Remove the springform sides. Ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache. Top the cake with the chocolate mousse. (You can pipe the mousse in a decorative pattern, or simply spread the mousse evenly out to the sides.) If you like, pipe or spread some of the mousse around the bottom of the cake. Refrigerate cake at least 12 hours or overnight before cutting; you want the cake’s many soft elements to be set in place before cutting and serving.

Cut cake only with a hot, dry knife, wiping knife clean between slices. Cake is best at room temperature. Whipped cream and fresh berries would be a wonderful accopmaniment to this cake!

Source: Adapted from Marcel Desaulniers via The Slow Roasted Italian

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2 thoughts on “Chocolate Cakegasm

  1. Pingback: The Cheesecake Factory in Chicago | KitchEnchanted

  2. Pingback: Favourites from 2013 | KitchEnchanted

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