your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of
the oven. Butter and flour a 7 cup (1.7 liter) stainless steel bowl.
Sponge Cake: In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the
paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer),
beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until nice and thick and fluffy (this will take about 5-10
minutes). (When you
slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow
ribbons.) Sift about half the flour
and salt over the egg mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula
or whisk, just
until the flour is incorporated. Sift the remaining flour into the
batter and fold in.
(Don't over mix or the batter will deflate.) Pour
the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Bake for 50 - 55 minutes
or until golden brown, firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center
comes out clean. Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool.
When the cake has cooled completely remove from the pan.
Using a large serrated knife, cut the sponge into three equal layers.
can make the cake a few days in advance. Just wrap the cake in plastic wrap,
place it back into the bowl, and refrigerate until ready to continue the
recipe. A cake that is made several days in advance will soak up more of the
For the Soaking Syrup: In
a small measuring cup combine the orange juice and Grand Marnier. Add sugar to
For Chocolate Mousse: Place the
chocolate and about 2 tablespoons of the cream in a heatproof bowl (preferably
stainless steel). Place over a saucepan of simmering water and melt until
smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
and sugar until stiff peaks form. Using a wire whisk, quickly whisk a
little of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Then add the rest of the
whipped cream and whisk until combined.
To Assemble the Cake: Take the bowl you baked the cake in and line it with plastic wrap, making sure
the plastic wrap overlaps the top of the bowl. Place the top rounded piece
of the cake into the bottom of the bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the
sponge with some of the soaking syrup. (The amount of soaking syrup the cake will
absorb will depend on how old the cake is
i.e. a cake that is a few days old will absorb more syrup than a freshly baked
cake.) Evenly spoon about 1/3 of the chocolate mousse onto the cake. Place the next layer of the cake on top of the mousse and
brush the layer with some of the soaking syrup. Evenly spoon the rest of the
chocolate mousse on top of the cake layer. Cover the mousse with the last
layer of cake and brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup. Lightly
press down on the cake and cover the assembled cake with plastic wrap and
refrigerate several hours, or even overnight before covering with the ganache.
For the Ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate
and allow to stand for a few minutes so the chocolate melts. Gently stir until smooth. Then add the liqueur. Let cool to room temperature.
Remove the cake from the
refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and turn the cake, domed side up, onto
a cake circle and place on a wire rack. Lift off the bowl and plastic
wrap. Put the wire rack onto a baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour the ganache
over the cake, making sure you are covering all the sides of the cake with the
ganache. If there are any bare spots on the sides of
the cake, scoop up a little of the leftover ganache and cover the bare spots.
Once the cake is covered with the ganache, using a large spatula, remove the
cake from the wire rack and place on a serving plate. At this point you
can decorate the cake with truffles and/or berries, if desired. Refrigerate the cake until serving. The cake be completely assembled the
day before serving.
Leftover ganache can be strained to
remove any crumbs, chilled, formed into small rounds, and rolled in cocoa powder
to make chocolate truffles.
Serves about 8-10