Thursday, October 14, 2010

Viennese Cake

You KNOW if these are the ingredients, it's going to be a good one! 
We've been going to various cake tastings lately, trying to choose our bakery for the wedding. At our second tasting, we had this cake that I knew my fiance wouldn't like, but I LOVED.  The description alone left me in a haze of chocolate overdose amazingness- "Four layers of dark chocolate cake with red raspberry preserves, belgian dark chocolate ganache, delicate chocolate mousse, chocolate buttercream and finally enrobed in belgian dark chocolate ganache".  The actual cake was even better than you can imagine, I actually couldn't finish the thin slice on my plate at the tasting (keep in mind, we were also trying a cake with two chocolate cake layers with a layer of raspberry preserves and CHEESECAKE between). 

Ever since then I've been looking for a similar recipe to try to recreate it at home. This is my tweaked version of a Viennese chocolate cake recipe (for a 6 inch cake pan because, two people do not need a whole cake to tempt them all week). We had this as a dessert after the manicotti. It was a perfect ending to the meal, although we were all stuffed and this cake is quite decadent, so small slices were plenty. We had enough left over for a few more days of enjoyment.

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 large eggs, separated plus 1 large white, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 6 inch cake pan. 

2. Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Whisk the egg yolks with 1/3 cup of the sugar until they are light and frothy. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, adding the rest of the sugar halfway through the process. 

3. Melt the butter and cool slightly. Gently fold in a third of the egg whites to the beaten egg mixture with a rubber spatula. Then add the melted butter and the flour mixture. Finally, fold in the rest of the egg whites. 

4. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake springs back when pressed. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. 

5. When cool, slice the cake horizontally into 3 layers of equal thickness.

Chocolate Ganache
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and softened

1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (the bowl must not touch the water). 

2. Bring the cream to a boil, and pour the cream onto the melted chocolate. Whisk until smooth, then add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking well until smooth.

3. Refrigerate until the ganache is as thick as pudding.

To assemble the cake:
- Spread each of the three cake layers with a thin layer of warmed raspberry jam. Spread a third of the chocolate ganache over the jam on each layer, up to the edges, but not over. 
- Stack the layers into a single cake. Cut a strip of parchment paper to the depth of the cake by the circumference of the cake, plus an inch or two. Wrap the strip around the cake, fastening the overlap with a piece of tape to hold the layers firmly in place while chilling. 
- Chill in the refrigerator at least 5 hours. 

Chocolate Icing
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons glycerine
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, as needed

1. Melt the chocolate with the water, beat in the glycerine and sufficient sugar to achieve a coating consistency. 

2. Cool until pourable, but not too runny, or it will not adhere well to the sides of the cake.

3. Remove the paper strip on the cake. Place on serving plate. Smooth the icing over the top and sides of the cake with a metal spatula, and return to the refrigerator to set. Before serving, allow to come to room temperature for best flavor. 

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