Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chocolate Espresso Fudge Cake

Ron is back from Kentucky and it's good having him home. I offered him a week off to relax and sleep in... but the "man", was anxious to get started on my ."Honey -dew list", That's the list of things that need to be done as a result of Ron being gone for 12 weeks. He already put up the blinds in the kitchen, a new bay window was installed while he was gone and the green trash bags taped up just didn't cut it any more, he also took out the old central vac that was broken and replaced and installed the new one, and did some yard work on the days when it didn't rain.

As a result of his abundant energy I felt it only fair that the man get a special treat and as he just had a birthday last month, why not a belated birthday cake.

This cake is a modified version from ," Death By Chocolate ", by Marcel Desaulniers, but I actually found the recipe on Jenny's blog called ,"use real butter". When you have a free moment check out her web site as she has some fabulous recipes and she also has a photo blog and takes wonderful pictures.

We usually don't make a big deal about birthdays at our age, but we have always been fortunate to spend it together with loved ones and special people. Last year Ron was working in California and Kay and Sam Tran and the associates got him a birthday cake and then they sent me pictures to show me that they were taking good care of him,as that was our first birthday apart. This year, alas , no cake and he had a lonely supper by himself , although he made it a little festive by going out to ate at P.F.Chang's one of our favorite places in the US. we don't have any in Canada yet, sure wish we would get one in Ottawa.

So, only a really special cake was in order! This one required a little bit of time, which sometimes is a luxury, but this cake lent itself nicely to being assembled in stages.

One of the problems I usually encounter when frosting layer cakes is that I never really know how much frosting should go in between the layers. I always worry that I won't have enough frosting left to cover and decorate the outside of the cake. As you can see I could have made the middle layer with the espresso ganache thicker. Oh well next time.... and yes there will be a next time as this cake is a keeper.

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp melted butter for pan prep
2C cake flour
2tsp. flour for pan prep
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C light brown sugar, very tightly packed
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C water
1 C sour cream
1C heavy cream
2T unsalted butter
2T granulated sugar 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1T instant espresso powder
8 oz semi sweet chocolate , chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 lb unsalted butter. room temperature
5 egg whites
1 C granulated sugar
CAKE: Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 1 inch of water in a double boiler over medium heat.
Place 4 oz unsweetened chocolate in the top half of the double boiler and heat for 6 minutes.Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Prepare your pans, I used 2 9x2 inch cake pans. Combine together in a sifter the remaining 2 C flour, baking soda and salt. Sift onto wax paper and set aside. Combine the brown sugar and 8 T of butter in a bowl of the electric mixer and use the paddle. Beat on low for 3 minutes, scrape down the sides and beat on high for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and beat on high again for 2 minutes. Add 4 eggs one at a time beating on high for 30 seconds after each egg addition scrape down the sides.Add the melted chocolate and vanilla and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. While the water is heating operate the mixer on low while adding 1/3 of the flour and 1/2 of the sour cream,allow to mix for 30 seconds. Add the other 1/3 of the flour and remaining sour cream and beat for 30 seconds. Add the last of the flour with the 1 cup of boiled water and mix for an additional 30 seconds. With a rubber spatula further mix the batter to make sure that everything is smooth and incorporated. Divide the batter between the 2 cake pans and bake 45-50 minutes . Cool cake and invert onto racks. Refrigerate until needed.
GNACHE: Heat the heavy cream,2 T of butter and 2T of sugar over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place 8 oz semisweet chocolate and 1 T instant espresso powder in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and espresso . Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
BUTTER CREAM: Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 8 oz of semisweet chocolate,2 0z of unsweetened chocolate and 2 tsp espresso powder in top of double boiler. Allow to heat for 10 minutes, transfer to a stainless steel bowl and stir until smooth set aside until needed.
Place egg whites and sugar in mixing bowl. Set bowl over pot with 1 inch of heated water over med. heat Whisk gently until mixture reaches 140 F about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and attach the balloon whisk. Whisk on speed 4 until stiff. Turn down speed to #3 and whip until cool. This will take a bit of time. Change to a paddle and gradually add the softened butter by the spoonful. Mix to emulsify. Once desired consistency has been reached fold in the cooled chocolate until well incorporated.
ASSEMBLY: Trim off the domed tops of both cakes. Slice each cake horizontally into 2 equal layers. Place the top layer of cake onto the bottom of a closed spring form pan. Evenly spread one cup of butter cream over the cake. Place second layer of cake over the butter cream and gently press into place. Pour one cup of ganache over the cake spreading evenly to the edges. Refrigerate remaining ganache. Place the 3rd layer of cake on top of the ganache and press into place. Spread butter cream evenly over this layer. Place the remaining cake layer cut side down onto the butter cream and gently press into place. Cover the entire cake and pan with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour. (I froze the cake over night and continued the following day). Remove cake from spring form and using a cake spatula evenly spread butter cream over the top and sides of the cake. Fit a pastry bag with a star tip and fill it with butter cream. Fill another star fitted pastry bag with the remaining ganache. Decorate the cake as desired. Refrigerate the cake but bring to room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Very rich, but remember to share and or you can freeze this cake for a rainy day.

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