This past weekend Cassie's parents came to our house so Cassie's dad could help us with a little work on the house. A fringe benefit of having a carpenter in the family is that you get professional work done for minimal payment. As payment we knew we needed to make a great meal that wouldn't be easily forgotten. Since it was during Passover dessert posed a slight challenge, but when Cassie found the recipe for Lighter Air Chocolate Cake from Smitten Kitchen she knew that was our dessert. We found the recipe originally through the Chocolate Cake Roll post this past week, but since we don't have the right pan for a roll cake we decided to go with the stacked round cake version instead.
What resulted was a total winner. It was so light and moist and had a wonderful rich chocolate flavor. We used coffee flavored whipped cream filling and chocolate ganache to finish it off. While Jason and Cassie's dad did the work on the house, Cassie set about assembling the cake. She made the cake in two batches since we only had 2 9-inch round cake pans. You can't let the batter sit for long since it consists of mostly beaten eggs. Also she practically had to fight her mom off with a stick so she could get a picture of the cake before she started sticking her fingers in the ganache and the coffee filling.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the Cake:
8 oz. good quality organic dark chocolate, chopped
4 oz. good quality organic semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 T. water
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature.
1 1/3 c. evaporated cane juice
1/2 t. salt
For the filling:
2 c. heavy cream
6 T. organic powdered sugar
4 t. water
3 t. instant coffee
1 t. vanilla
1 batch chocolate ganache (recipe follows)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 4 9-inch round cake pans by greasing and then lining the bottoms with parchment paper. In a small sauce pan heat chocolate and water over medium heat. When the chocolate is all melted remove from heat and let cool till it is lukewarm.
2) While the chocolate is cooling beat together the egg yolks and 2/3 c. of evaporated cane juice and salt for about 5 minutes in a medium bowl. The egg yolk mixture will get pale and very thick. When chocolate is cooled to lukewarm fold it into the egg yolk mixture until it is completely combined.
3) In a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment beat the egg whites until they begin to form soft peaks. Add the remaining 2/3 c. evaporated cane juice a little at a time and continue beating until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
4) Fold in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk and chocolate mixture. Then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites until it is fully combined. Divide the batter amongst the 4 prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake is set and the tops are dry to the touch. Let the cake layers cool completely before assembling the cake. To make the layers easier to handle it is best to place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to an hour.
5) Just before assembling the cake make the filling. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat the cream until soft peaks form. Add in the organic powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Meanwhile also combine the water, instant coffee and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the coffee mixture to the cream and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
6) To assemble the cake place a layer of cake on a platter or cake stand. Top with 1/4 of the filling mixture spreading it to the edges of the layer. Add another layer of cake and another 1/4 of the filling until all layers of the cake are on. Top with the remaining 1/4 of the filling mixture and the drizzle with chocolate ganache (recipe follows).
Adapted from Allrecipes
2/3 c. heavy cream
6 oz. good quality organic chocolate (dark or semi-sweet), chopped.
1) In a medium saucepan heat cream over medium heat until just boiling. Remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl with the chocolate pieces. Stir the mixture until well combined and smooth.