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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

chocolate birthday wishes for me

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First, I wanted to thank everyone for their birthday wishes, and second, I wanted to share with you the chocolate pile of decadence that I'd like to call my birthday cake. One POUND of butter, one POUND of chocolate and 9 eggs. This is definitely good news.

mmmmmmmmmmmm.....strawberries and chocolate

I had a great (and busy) long weekend for Canada Day and I'm looking forward to the rest of this month as I am now DONE night classes and have FREEEEEEEEE weekends, which excites me beyond all comprehension.

So yeah, I'm at work (on lunch though....), but life is good, much chocolate has been had and now I'm back to my much leaner day-to-day subsistence. I can't say this past weekend of indulgence (cheese, bread, chocolate, hotdogs [veggies ones], marshmallows, tacos, boooooooooooooooze) has left me unscathed, but the mere pound I gained is, I suppose, somewhat of a pittance to pay for all the fun that was had.

Friday night, my dad took us out for dinner to a local favourite - Absinthe Café and dined on mucho amounts of local delicacies - seared halibut, steak-frites, salmon rillete, jerked frog legs, escargot, kir royal.....we had it all.

But perhaps the best part was saved for last, when we all came back to my place for a wee little taste of the chocolate torte I had prepared. This is pure and ultimate chocolate decadence. It doesn't look as pretty as the mousse torte did, but it's less sweet and more chocolate, and I wouldn't have it ANY other way. MAN was this good. Perfect with a nice hot espresso, or a rich, black coffee, there is no better way to cap off the night than chocolate.

Methinks too, that it would have been at least a little better had I STOPPED at chocolate....but nooooooooooooope.....we bought a bottle of bubbly and a bottle of Hypnotiq and I will confess that the combination of those two was nearly as potent as the namesake of the restaurant we went to. Ouch. Won't be doing that again........

Anyway, onto the chocolate. I stole this recipe from Jennifer at Domestic Goddess and it was fabulous. I would make a couple of small changes in retrospect, but nothing interfered with the dark, voluptuous deliciousness of chocolate. This is goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood. If you are a chocoholic like I am, you should make this. But it is strongly suggester (read: ORDERED) that you invest in some decent quality chocolate. If you wouldn't eat the chocolate, then I would not advise on putting it in your cake. This particular cake really depends on the chocolate for its flavour, so shell out a little extra to get good stuff. Lindt is by no means the best available, but it's widely available where I am and I find it gives great results. If you've got Varlhona, by all means, USE IT, but definitely try to find some good stuff.

Ultra-Dark Chocolate Mousse Torte
oops - is that egg white i see?

Ingredients:

Cake
cocoa powder for dusting the pan (or confectioner’s sugar)
200 g dark chocolate, chopped (2 100-g bars of 85% Lindt here)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup all purpose flour

Mousse
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs, separated
½ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
200 g dark chocolate, chopped (2 100-g bars of 70% Lindt here)
½ cup sugar

Chocolate Ganache Topping
*In retrospect, I found that the solid texture of the ganache impeded the lightness of the dessert (and my ability to cut and serve). If I were to make this again, I would use a layer of whipped cream, perhaps with a bit of strawberry purée to lighten it up. I just didn't think this extra layer was necessary, though it was tasty!

1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
100 g dark chocolate, chopped (1 85% Lindt bar)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature


Directions:

Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 10” springform pan, dust with cocoa powder (or confectioner’s sugar), wrap the outside with two layers of foil (so it doesn't leak) and set aside.

the darker the better

2. Melt chocolate with the butter in a large heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously. Once melted, set aside to cool to lukewarm.

chocolate torte batter

3. Whisk in sugar, then whisk in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in coffee liqueur and salt, then add flour and combine. Pour batter into pan.

torte batter about to go in the oven

4. Bake until cake just rises in center (tester inserted into center will not come out clean), about 35 - 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cover; chill while making mousse. (Just a word to the wise - the torte shrinks slightly as it cooks, so you will have a tough time getting a really perfect edge to your mousse layer. Lack of perfection has never stopped me though!)

baked chocolate torte

Mousse:
1. Melt butter in a double boiler (water in bottom should be simmering). Whisk yolks, cream and coffee liqueur in a small clean bowl to blend.

the beginnings of mousse!

2. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into bowl with melted butter. Whisk constantly over simmering water until thermometer registers 150°F, about 6 minutes (mixture might appear broken). (I didn't have a candy thermometer, but my meat thermometer seems to have worked just fine....I also don't have a double boiler and a glass bowl over a simmering pan of water seems to have done the trick)

3. Remove from over water; add chocolate and stir to melt.

mousse!

4. Set aside. Beat egg whites and ½ cup sugar in large bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Whisk ¼ of beaten egg white mixture into warm chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining egg white mixture.

fold in those egg whites!

5. Pour mousse over cake in pan; smooth top. Chill torte until mousse is set, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day. (Um.....I suck at mixing.....there were a few little bits of meringuey egg white in my mousse layer....I was terrified of deflating it! No complaints though, funny enough) Also, my mousse actually SET. This was a happy, happy day, folks!

So it's a little lumpy....so sue me....
cake in the morning


Chocolate Ganache Topping
*Again, I recommend subbing sweetened whipped cream for this layer. Just a personal choice. The ganache layer was a little thick for my liking, and the weight of it caused the cake to sloooooowly self-destruct after the springform sides had been removed for a while!

1. Bring cream and corn syrup to boil in a heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk ganache topping until smooth and allow to cool until just pourable. (Due to timing, I cooled ganache overnight, and just nuked it in the morning to pour over my set mousse)

2. Carefully pour or spoon chocolate ganache atop mousse and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate just until ganache sets, about 45 minutes (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

Doesn't this look decadent and delectable?
ganache on the cake

Serve topped with strawberries or raspberries! I think some very high quality vanilla ice cream would go nicely with this as well.

I put berries on mine! Sadly, my plastic wrap over the cake caused a bit of a condensation issue, so the top didn't look quite as perfect as I would have liked....but it's CHOCOLATE....so who cares, right?
the last strawberry....

Again....the chocolatude speaks for itself....
cake is so good

6 comments:

Christy said...

WOW, I really need to find so sort of occasion to make this for! Otherwise if I make it just for fun, there goes all of my work at the gym :(

Janny said...

I got two questions for you: Got some left? and if Yes, where do you live so I can go raid your fridge!! LOL Looks beyond yummy!!! Might have to try and find a reason to make this myself too!!

Shaun said...

Leslie - Indeed, this does look decadent, but you deserve to spoil yourself now that you have finished with your night classes (for good, or until next semester?). There's always a diet of salad, fruit and fish for a couple of days so the body can absorb the shock of the goodies consumed last weekend!

Foxy said...

I am now starving.

Happy birthday!

Brilynn said...

That is some serious decadence! Looks amazing!

Deborah said...

I could use a slice of that right now and it's only 8:30 in the morning!!

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