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Chocolate Heart Cake Tested Recipe

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Chocolate Heart Cake Recipe

Chocolate is about pleasure and what could be more pleasurable than a chocolate chiffon cake that is filled with chocolate whipped cream and then covered with a layer of shiny chocolate ganache. Of course, Valentine's Day calls for a heart shaped cake and a few red raspberries not only give us the requisite 'red' color but their tart flavor tempers the sweetness of the chocolate. 

For this dessert I have used a chiffon cake which is a cross between a butter and a sponge cake. I have adapted this recipe from Mary Bergin and Judy Gether's lovely book 'Spago Desserts'. It is similar to a butter cake in that it contains fat, but the fat is in liquid form (oil). A chiffon cake also uses more leavening than a regular butter cake and that is because oil is heavy and needs the extra leavening to ensure the cake will rise properly.  The advantage of oil is that it makes for a moist and delicate cake that doesn't harden even when refrigerated. I have filled the chiffon cake with a light chocolate whipped cream, made with cocoa powder, which pairs very nicely with the lightness of the cake. A shiny ganache is the finishing touch and if you have any leftover ganache you could make a few truffles. I like to decorate the top of the cake with fresh raspberries and I often serve this cake with Raspberry Sauce. The great thing is that you can assemble this dessert a day or even two before serving.  

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.  Butter and flour an 9-inch heart-shaped cake pan (with 2 inch (5 cm) sides).

Chocolate Chiffon Cake:  Separate the eggs, placing the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another.  To the whites, add the extra egg white and then cover both bowls with plastic wrap.  Bring them to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before using.

Meanwhile sift together 2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the oil, water, and vanilla extract.

In your electric mixer beat the egg yolks for a minute or two on high speed.  Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the oil mixture into the egg yolks until very well combined.  Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup (65 grams) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  With a large rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter). 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  (When lightly pressed the cake will spring back).  Cool on a wire rack.  To remove the cake from the pan, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake.  Invert onto a wire rack. 

For Chocolate Whipped Cream In a large mixing bowl combine the whipping cream, vanilla extract, sugar, and cocoa powder.  Cover and chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour, so the cocoa powder has time to dissolve.  Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.

To Assemble the Cake:  Once the Chocolate Chiffon Cake has cooled completely, place on a flat surface and, using a serrated knife, cut the cake, horizontally, into two layers.  Turn over the top layer of the cake (so the top of the cake becomes the bottom) and spread with the chocolate whipped cream.  Place the second layer of cake, cut-side down, on top of the chocolate cream, gently pressing to compact. Cover with plastic wrap and place the cake in the refrigerator for several hours, or even overnight, before covering with the ganache.

For the Ganache:  Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl.  Set aside.  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 with a whisk until smooth.  Add the liqueur, if using.

To Cover the Cake with the Ganache:  Put the cake on a wire rack that is placed over a baking sheet.   In this way if the ganache drips it will end up on the baking sheet, which makes clean up easier.  Pour the ganache onto the center of the cake and, with a large spatula, spread the ganache over the top of the cake, using big strokes to push the ganache over the sides of the cake, to create an even coating of ganache.   If there are any bare spots on sides of the cake, cover with some of the ganache that has accumulated on the baking sheet.  (If there is leftover ganache, strain to remove any crumbs and use to make truffles.)

Gently transfer the cake to your serving platter and place the cake in the refrigerator until serving time.  This cake can be made a day or two before serving.  Decorate the top of the cake with fresh raspberries, if desired.  Raspberry Sauce would also make a nice accompaniment to this dessert.

 Serves 8

Chocolate Chiffon Cake:

3 large eggs, separated

1 large egg white

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

2/3 cup (85 grams) all purpose flour

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (120 ml) safflower, canola, or corn oil

1/3 cup (80 ml) water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Whipped Cream:

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (28 grams) granulated white sugar

3/4 tablespoon cocoa powder (I use Dutch-processed)

Ganache:

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter

1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

Garnish:

Fresh Raspberries (optional)

Raspberry Sauce (optional)

 

 

 

 
 
     
 

 

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