My Kind of Chocolate Birthday Cake
Greg’s mom Marcia’s birthday was yesterday, and I offered to make a cake. I had found this cake a few days ago while searching on
epicurious.com and her birthday was the perfect opportunity to make it. It’s more of a dessert than a cake and perfect for people who don’t love big, overwhelming, frosting slathered cakes like I do. It’s two thin layers of flourless chocolate cake filled with mousse, then topped with chocolate glaze, then decorated with chocolate curls (shards in my case) and orangette. It went over very well, probably because it has 2 lbs. of chocolate in it…hope anyone who ate it doesn’t read that. I know I said I was on South Beach, but this is part of Phase 1, right? This recipe is from Bon Appetit and serves 8-10.
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 c packed dark brown sugar
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 t grated orange peel
1/2 t kosher salt
2 T sugar
1 T all-purpose flour
1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed and chopped
5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 oz milk chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream, divided
5 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1 T light corn syrup
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 13x9x1″ baking sheet with parchment paper and butter top of parchment paper and sides of pan. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium metal or glass bowl and set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate and butter melt, then remove from the pan and stir in salt. The mixture will be grainy.
Beat 2 eggs and 2 T sugar in another medium bowl with an electric mixer until pale, about 6 minutes; fold in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour, then hazelnuts. Spread batter evenly on baking sheet and bake until a test inserted into the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 13 minutes (mine took more like 18). Cool cake completely.
For the filling:
Combine chocolates in medium metal bowl. Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in small saucepan; pour cream over chocolates and let stand 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth. Chill mixture until firm, about 2 hours.
Place bowl with chilled chocolate mixture over saucepan of barely simmering water until mixture is partially melted (do not stir), about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from over water; add butter to bowl. Using and electric mixer, beat until filling is thick and glossy, about 3 minutes. Using clean dry beaters, beat 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream in another medium bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into filling.
Cover 14×5-inch cardboard rectangle with foil. Invert cake onto work surface; remove parchment. Cut cake lengthwise in half. Place 1 cake half on foil-covered cardboard. Spread 1/2 cup chocolate filling over. Top with second cake half. Spoon remaining filling into pastry bag fitted with large plain round tip. Pipe filling atop cake in side-by-side lengthwise rows, then smooth top. Chill until filling is firm, about 1 hour.
For the glaze:
Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add butter; stir until melted. Let stand until barely lukewarm but still pourable, about 20 minutes.
Place cardboard base with cake on rack set over rimmed baking sheet. Spoon glaze over top of cake, allowing glaze to run down sides. Using offset spatula, smooth glaze over sides. Mound chocolate shards or curls over top and sides of cake. Garnish with hazelnuts and candied orange peel. Refrigerate until glaze is set, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)