Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chocolate Heart Cake

So Valentine's Day is coming up and I thought you might like an idea for a DELICIOUS cake. I made this last year, so my pictures are from last year (and they're pretty lame), but I still remember how amazing this cake was. In fact, looking at these pictures makes me want to go make it right now! It takes a long time so plan accordingly, and it dirties a lot of dishes (I don't usually like recipes like that), but it's worth it - especially if you only do it once a year. It's a chocolate chiffon cake with a layer of chocolate whipped cream in the middle, topped with an amazing chocolate ganache, garnished with raspberries and served with fresh whipped cream and raspberry sauce. Convinced? Yeah, go make it.

By the way, I think I made this the day before last year and it worked great. Just wait to top it with the raspberries until right before you serve and whip up some cream to go along with it right before you serve it too.Chocolate Chiffon Cake3 large eggs, separated
1 large egg white
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup + 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degress. Butter & flour a 9-in. heart cake pan (I just used a cake pan or an 8x8 pan and then cut it into the shape of a heart after it baked).

Separate the eggs, placing whites in one bowl and yolks in another. To the whites, add extra egg white and then cover both bowls with plastic wrap. Bring them to room temperature (about 30 min.) before using.

Meanwhile sift 2/3 cup sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. In liquid measuring cup, whisk together oil, water and vanilla.

In (or with) electric mixer, beat egg yolks for 1-2 min. on high. Turn mixer on low and slowly pour in oil mixture until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well mixed.

Beat egg whites (in their own bowl) until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beaut until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (when lightly pressed the cake will spring back). Cool on a wire rack. To remove the cake from the pan, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert onto a wire rack.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2 T. sugar
3/4 T. cocoa powder

In a large mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, vanilla, sugar and cocoa powder. Cover and the chill the bowl and the beater in the refrigerator at least 30 min. so the cocoa powder has time to dissolve. Beat mixture until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cake:

Once the cake has cooled completely, place on a flat surface and, using a serrated knife, cut the cake, horizontally, into 2 layers. Turn over the top layer of the cake (so the top becomes the bottom) and spread with chocolate whipped cream. Place the second layer of cake, cut-side down, on top of the chocolate cream, gently pressing to compact. Cover with plastic wrap and place the cake in the refrigerator for several hours, or even overnight, before covering with the ganache.

Ganache8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces (I used chocolate chips)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. butter

Place chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes so the chocolate melts. Gently stir with a whisk until smooth.

To cover the cake with ganache:

Put the cake on a wire rack that is placed over a baking sheet. Pour ganache onto the center of the cake and spread over the top of the cake, using big strokes to push it over the sides of the cake. Gently transfer the cake to your serving platter and place in the refrigerator until serving time. This cake can be made a day or two before serving. Decorate the top of the cake with fresh raspberries, if desired (but DON'T put them on until right before you serve it; I made that mistake and the juice ran onto the cake and it wasn't nearly as pretty). Raspberry sauce would also make a nice accompaniment to this dessert.

Raspberry sauce:12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Thaw the unsweetened frozen raspberries in a large fine meshed strainer suspended over a large bowl (this may take a few hours). Once the berried have completely thawed, force the juice from the berries by gently pressing with a large spoon. Throw away the raspberry seeds and, to the strained juice, stir in the lemon juice and 1/4 - 1/2 cup white sugar (add more if needed).

Store covered in the refrigerator up to a week, or freeze up to a year.


No comments: