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4 Time Winner

Chocolate Dome Cake Tested Recipe & Video

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Chocolate Dome Cake Recipe

One Saturday afternoon I was watching Julia Child's "Cooking with Master Chefs" television series and the famous chef, Michel Richard, made a Chocolate Dome Cake. It looked so beautiful that I hurried out and bought Julia Child's book (of the same name) so I could make this wonderful dessert. It consisted of a dome shaped sponge cake that is cut into three layers and each layer is brushed with a orange syrup. The layers are then filled with a delicious chocolate mousse and a scattering of fresh raspberries. Michel Richard then covered the whole cake with melted chocolate.

Now, I will say that I have changed the recipe somewhat. Instead of covering the cake with melted chocolate, I used a chocolate ganache. What is unique about this cake is that it's baked in a stainless steel bowl. This is how you get the cake to be dome shaped. Once baked I find it best to invert the cake onto a wire rack so it doesn't deflate as it cools. (You can bake and store the cake about two to three days before assembling the dessert.) Because this type of cake doesn't contain any butter or oil, it needs some type of soaking syrup to keep it nice and moist (plus it adds flavor to the cake). The syrup used is a mixture of lightly sweetened orange juice and Grand Marnier which I think nicely complements the chocolate mousse filling.

Both the chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache are made with dark chocolate and heavy whipped cream (That is cream with a 35-40% butter fat content. Which means when you whip the cream it will reach stiff peaks.). Try to use a good quality semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate that you enjoy eating on its own.


Preheat 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. 

Note: You 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 soaking syrup.

For the Soaking Syrup: In a small measuring cup combine the orange juice and Grand Marnier. Add sugar to taste.

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.

Whip the remaining cream 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.

Note: 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 people.

Sponge Cake:

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

Soaking Syrup:

2/3 cup (160 ml) orange juice

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)

Granulated white sugar

Chocolate Mousse:

5 ounces (140 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

1 - 2 tablespoons (12 - 25 grams) granulated white sugar (or to taste)


5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)

1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter, diced

1/2 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)







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