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Dessert and Movie Review

March 22, 2010

So, for my second post, I promised myself I would do something a little more challenging than my pitiful caramel corn recipe. So, I ventured into the slightly intimidating realm of layered cakes…. On the cover of the most recent issue of The Best of America’s Test Kitchen (2010), there is a glorious vision of chocolatey decadence one wouldn’t think is humanly possible…. A flourless chocolate cake topped with a silky chocolate mousse then topped with a white chocolate whipped concoction THEN topped with chocolate curls. Behold this glorious vision!

So, last night, my husband and I had invited some friends over for a Bible Study. I figured I would at least attempt to be hospitable by trying to make something for all of us to eat (putting out cheetos like in college seems no longer adequate, I guess unless britney spears was my friend). However, there was like a 60% chance that my creation would have looked more like this…

and less like the angelic vision above. This certainly wouldn’t have surprised me, given my penchant for general mediocrity in the kitchen (and in life, really). Alright enough of my grandstanding and self-flagellation, onto the recipe and results.

Alright, get ready, it took me roughly 2 hours to make this dessert (with a few pee breaks, don’t worry I washed my hands).

Base Layer
6 TBSP of unsalted butter
7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (CI says Ghiradelli is the way to go – if you’re willing to take out a second mortgage on your house to pay for fancy chocolate then go for it, otherwise Baker’s is just fine)
3/4 tsp instant espresso powder
1&1/2 tsp of vanilla
4 large eggs (separate those suckers)
pinch salt [sic] Pinch OF salt, Cook’s Illustrated needs to get some copy editors stat
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Middle Layer
2 TBSP of cocoa powder (Dutch-processed or otherwise, I personally hate Dutch processed CP)
5 TBSP hot water
7 oz of Bittersweet chocolate (chop it up!, anyone else watch Dave Chappelle?)
1&1/2 cups heavy cream
1 TBSP sugar
1/8 tsp of salt

Top Layer
3/4 tsp gelatin
1 TBSP water
6 oz of white chocolate (CHOP IT FINE!)
1&1/2 cups of heavy cream
chocolate shavings…. use a soft chocolate like hershey’s bar or something

Alright people its go time… 1. Oven 325 degrees. grease a 9 inch springform pan. Melt butter, chopped up chocolate and espresso powder in double boiler until smooth. remove from heat and let sit 5-6 min. then, whisk in vanilla and egg YOLKS!

2. In your mixer, WHISK (at medium speed) egg whites and salt until frothy (30ish sec). Add 1/2 of brown sugar, beat for 15 seconds, then add remaining and beat on high until soft peaks form. using a whisk, fold 1/3 of foam into chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining with spatula until no streaks remain. Put that puppy in the oven and bake for 13-18 minutes… until center has set. I baked my for 14 minutes in my gas stove. Let the cake cool for at least 1 hour.

Alright, tier 2! Combine cocoa powder and hot water. set aside. Melt chocolate in double boiler. once smooth remove from heat and let sit for 5-6 minutes. Alright, time to clean out the stand mixer, because you need to whisk together the cream, sugar, and salt until it begins to thicken. Increase to high and whip til soft peaks form. Whisk in cocoa powder mixture into chocolate then fold 1/3 of whipped cream into the chocolate (use spatula). then fold in the remaining until no streaks remain. Smooth out the top of the mousse and refrigerate at least 15 minutes… I personally say you should refridgerate for 30 minutes.

Home stretch… final layer.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in small cup. set aside for 5 minutes at least. Place white choc in medium bowl. bring 1/2 cup of cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium high heat. remove from heat and then dump gelatin mixture into cream and stir it all up. then pour the cream/gelatin mixture over the white chocolate and stir that all up (until no lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps, remain). Let that cool for about 8 minutes.

Alright clean out that stand mixer again, because you need to whisk the remaining cream on high. Once you get soft peaks, fold 1/3 of mixture into chocolate. then fold in the rest until no streaks remain. spoon over bittersweet layer and let the cake sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Garnish this with delicious chocolate curls… or in my case, chocolate flecks.

Voila! My latest creation. (My springform pan was too big, so my layers aren’t as big as the picture above, but it still tasted delicious and everyone liked it. Hurray for my ego!) Sarah – a slice of this will be waiting for you on your doorstep tonight… along with Lars and the Real Girl. Thanks for letting me borrow… official review: quirky, weird, likeable.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 9:23 am

    I tried to leave a comment, but it didn't work. :(I'll try again.This looks super delish! I'll be by tonight to get my slice and my movie.

  2. March 23, 2010 8:19 am


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