25 February 2010

Double chocolate valentine cake

My 4-year old is a Valentine's Day baby, so we recently celebrated his birthday. On the evening before his birthday, I handed him my new copy of Rose's Heavenly Cakes and asked him to pick which cake he wanted for his birthday. Without any prodding, he chose the double chocolate Valentine cake, so I made my Valentine baby a Valentine cake.

This cake requires 2 pints of fresh raspberries - and it's not exactly raspberry season, even here in southern California. I went to pick up some raspberries, and they looked lovely, but at $5 a pint, it seemed a little steep... But it's his birthday, so $10 worth of raspberries it is.

I've been relatively unhappy with my indoor photos of late, so I only have one photo to show - of the final cake. So salivate over this while you read the rest of the recipe.

Choco raspberry

The cake:

Grease an 8 by 2 inch cake pan. Lay down a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom of the pan, grease and flour the parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

I've been baking by weight of late - it is a vast improvement in terms of reliability of the recipe, so I report this recipe by weight:
1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
4.2 oz boiling water
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1.5 oz water
¾ tsp vanilla extract
5.5 oz cake flour
7 oz superfine (or baking) sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
9 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
Dissolve cocoa into the boiling water, mix well to get rid of the lumps and let cool.

Beat the egg yolks until they're light and foamy. Mix in the water and vanilla.

Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder until well combined. Add to an electric mixer bowl, and beat in the butter. When combined, pour in the cocoa/water mix. Beat until just mixed. Then add the egg mixture slowly, while beating. Beat for 30 seconds. Scrape anything the mixer has missed into the batter, and beat for another 30 seconds. Pour into the baking pan and use a spatula to smooth the surface. Bake for 30ish minutes, or until when you insert and remove a toothpick it comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the ganache:
¾ cup heavy cream
3 oz 60-62% dark chocolate
Scald the cream in the microwave. (Get it screaming hot without curdling it). Chop the chocolate in a food processor, then add the heavy cream, pulsing until smooth. Cool the ganache.

When the cake is done, remove it from the oven, let it cool a few minutes on the stovetop. Poke a whole bunch of holes in the top of the cake with a chopstick. Slather the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to fill the holes. Run a knife around the outside of the cake, place a plate upside-down over the pan, and flip over. Shake the cake onto the plate. Remove the parchment paper, and repeat the chopstick stabbing, ganache slathering routine. Yum.

Allow to cool (I covered it and put it in the fridge overnight, then warmed it to room temperature the next day.).

The following day, melt
¼ cup red currant jelly
the the microwave. Wash your 2 pints of expensive-ass raspberries, and embed them into the top of the cake, bottoms up. Gently paint on the red currant jelly, so it basically glues the raspberries to the surface of the cake. This is challenging. I have nothing of help to offer except to say - go slowly.

Before serving, whip:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp superfine (baking) sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
Serve each slice of cake with a dollop of whip cream. This cake was a wild hit, with everyone. Even my mother-in-law liked it, and she has rather more conservative tastes than me. Her comment, "When I first saw it, I thought - Raspberries and chocolate? That's just disgusting! Who would combine those things?! But this cake was actually quite good!".

This cake is actually quite good.


In other news, I'll try to get my indoor photography up-to-speed soon so that I can increase my posting frequency.

No comments:

Post a Comment