Mocha Brownie Cake

2 Mar
Baking with Julia

Baking with Julia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A combination of reading Julia Child’s biography, Dearie,  and receiving a copy of Baking with Julia from my manager has finally prompted me to start my blog. A long time lover of spending time creating delicious food in the kitchen, I have always felt, deep down, that I relate to Julia Child. As I am reading her biography I find myself uncontrollably excited with each turn of the page. About a week ago, my manager gave me her copy of Baking with Julia. To say I was a little ecstatic beyond belief is an understatement. While she knows that I have a fondness for good food and the people who make it, I don’t think she had any idea how deep my devotion goes for all things Juila! From the time that book was laid on my desk, I have been beyond excited to get my apron on in the kitchen. With my husband’s birthday just around the corner, what better way to start. I spent my Friday off work concocting a meal suit to my husband’s taste to celebrate his birthday. With spare ribs in the slow cooker, potatoes scrubbed for roasting, and coleslaw marinating in the fridge, I found myself with a few hours to spare. I thumbed through my new treasure and found a recipe for Mocha Brownie Cake…the perfect dessert for my other half who loves chocolate even more than I do!

It was perfect. This cake is ideal for a small crowd requiring only one 9 inch layer which is then sliced into three and layered with a silky smooth mocha ganache. This was my first experience with ganache and it definitely won’t be my last. It comes together so easily and the end result tastes like something out of a gourmet bakery. Image

Mocha Brownie Cake

From Baking with Julia. Contributing Baker: Marcel Desaulniers

Serves 12

The Cake:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli chips)

2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli bar)

3/4 stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter

5 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons sour cream

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and reserve.

Heat an inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler. Put the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates and the butter in the top of the double boiler, and heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fully blended and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.

Put the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer, and whip on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the eggs are slightly thickened and doubled in volume. Add the melted chocolate and mix and medium speed for 15 seconds. Don’t worry if the chocolate is not fully incorporated — it will blend in as you add the other ingredients. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, working with a rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly fold in the dry ingredients. Give the sour cream a vigorous turn or two with a whisk to loosen it, and fold it into the batter. The batter will be quite thick.

Pour the batter into the pan and, with a spatula, smooth and level the batter. Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a cardboard cake round (or the round from a tart pan with a removable bottom) and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour.

The Ganache:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli chips)

1/4 cut hot strong brewed coffee

Heat the heavy cream, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches the boil. Put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour in the boiling cream and the hot coffee. Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. The ganache must cool thoroughly. you can leave it to cool at room temperature — which could take an hour or so — or you can refrigerate it. The ganache thickens as it cools. You want to use it when it just begins to thicken and can be poured rather than spread over the cake.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and invert it onto a clean, dry work surface. Working with a long sharp knife, cut the cake into 3 even layers. Place the top layer of the cake, cut side down, in a 9-inch spring-form pan; check that the sides of the pan are closed. Pour 1 cup fo the ganache over the layer, spreading it evenly to the edges with a rubber spatula; refrigerate, uncovered, until set, about 15 minutes. Top with the center layer, pressing it gently into place, and pour over another cup of ganache, again taking care to get the filling out to the edges; refrigerate until set. (If at any point the ganache has thickened and is no longer pourable, heat it over the lowest heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to its proper consistency.) Place the last layer, cut side down in the pan, and press down firmly but carefully to position it. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour before applying the icing. Cover the remaining ganache with plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature.

To finish, run a knife around the inside edges of the cake pan; release the sides of the springform. pour over the remaining ganache and use a long icing spatula to smooth the ganache over the top and around the sides. Allow the icing to set in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

To get a clean cut, heat the blade of a serrated knife under hot running water and wipe the blade dry before each cut. Place the slices on plates and, if cold, allow them to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Once the ganache has set, the cake can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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One Response to “Mocha Brownie Cake”

  1. Judy March 2, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    This looks fabulous! I am going to make it for the next family birthday!

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