Hmmm, how many consecutive dessert recipes does this make? And yes, I only post something after I've just made it so I've been eating plenty of dessert lately. I can't help it. Nursing a baby does that to me. And yet I complain about my weight. Duh!
HOWEVER, if you're going to have love handles, get them with this cake. You won't regret it. In fact, there are lots of different things you can do with this basic cake recipe...and all of them delicious. I made this version for my sister-in-law's birthday and mastectomy-coming-out party :)
**Again, use the finest quality chocolate available (Callebaut, Valhrona, Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger, E. Guittard or Lindt). Try specialty food stores or online.
From Pure Chocolate
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 large eggs, room temperature, separated
2/3 cups sugar
1 cup cake flour, sifted then measured
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 66% cacao), chopped
26 oz. creme fraiche (sort of like sour cream...but French.)
**You can substitute sour cream but it may be too sour. If this is the case, add powdered sugar and cream to achieve desired taste and consistency.
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and position rack in middle of oven. Butter 2 round cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper circles.
Heat chocolate in double boiler until nearly melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Add softened butter in three parts, stirring until butter is incorporated. Set aside to cool until consistency of soft butter.
Whip egg yolks (use beaters or kitchenaid with whisk) with half the sugar at med-high speed until light and tripled in volume (5-6 min.)
Using rubber spatula, fold chocolate mixture into egg yolks.
Sift measured flour again and set aside.
Use clean bowl and whisk to whip egg whites on med-high speed until frothy. Slowly add remaining sugar and whip until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Mixture should be creamy and glossy.
Meanwhile, fold flour into chocolate mixture.
Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in three parts, trying not to overmix and lose volume.
Evenly spread mixture into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes (tester inserted in middle should come out with moist crumbs). Allow to cool 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto plates or cake circles and chill completely.
Melt chocolate in double boiler and then cool to lukewarm. Whip creme fraiche for about 20 seconds (med-high speed) then on low speed, slowly add chocolate.
Place chopped chocolate in metal bowl. Heat cream over med-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate in bowl. Let sit for one minute, then slowly and gently stir with rubber spatula from center out until smooth. Try not to incorporate any air as you stir. Let cool at room temperature about 30 minutes (to about 80-85 degrees).
Using long, serrated knife, split each cake layer. Place first layer on cardboard cake circle (make one out of an old box. This is the best way to decorate a cake and then move it to a serving plate or stand) and cover with about 1/4 inch filling. Add another cake layer and filling. Repeat with remaining cake layers and then frost entire cake with remaining filling. Refrigerate until set.
Transfer cake to a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet or wax paper (to catch spills). Begin pouring glaze over top of cake about 1 inch from edge. Let glaze drip down sides, ensuring that glaze covers sides completely. Then pour remaining glaze over center of cake top, using offset spatula to smooth if necessary. Store in fridge and remove 1/2 hour before serving.
Serves about a million people (well, 24) cause all you need is a sliver to induce chocolate ecstasy.