sweets for every tooth.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My kitchen is covered in CHOCOLATE

My friend asked me to bake dessert for his dinner party. His instructions were, and I quote (via re-reading our text message exchange, yes, I run a very professional ship here), "High end dessert for 10. Chocolatey. Feel free to go crazy." So I did, using chocolate five ways in individual dark chocolate cakes, and adding a bit of caramel because, well, why not? In these cakes you'll enjoy a delicious chocolate mocha cake (1) filled with semi sweet chocolate chips (2), layered and coated with an oh-so-easy-to-make chocolate ganache (3), topped with a chocolate butter cream (4), and garnished with semi-sweet chocolate shavings (5) and homemade caramel sauce. It's an intense, time-consuming dessert, but well worth it. I made it in large cupcake form, but you can choose to bake it in cake form, which will drastically cut down on the decorating time. Here's what you'll need:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

1 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 Cups Hot Strongly Brewed Coffee
2 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs, Room Temperature
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the sides and bottom of each cup of a muffin tin with butter.

2. Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Whisk in the hot coffee until smooth and let cool about 5 minutes. In a separate small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.

3. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Beat in the coffee mixture and the vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir (don't beat) until well combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Don't overbake! You don't want 'em to be dry, do you?

5. Place muffin pan on wire rack and allow muffins to cool 5-10 minutes in pan, then remove (they should pop out easily per the earlier buttering) and continue cooling on wire rack.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

9 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped (9 Baker's Baking Chocolate Squares)
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

1. Place chopped chocolate into a small bowl.

2. Heat cream in saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. Be careful, if you allow it to boil for more than a few seconds it will boil right out of the pot!

3. Pour over chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken.

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp Salt

1. Combine brown sugar, heavy cream and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Stop whisking and let the mixture bubble for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook 3-5 minutes longer, whisking occasionally.

2. Remove saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and salt. Pour the caramel sauce into a medium bowl. Gently press a sheet of plasic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce and set aside to cool.

3. Serve warm or refrigerate for up to a week. Re-heat in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

2 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 oz Semisweet Chocolate (more or less to taste)
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Place egg yolks in a large bowl and whip on medium-high for 2 minutes using either an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.

2. Reduce speed to medium and gradually add powdered sugar, chocolate, butter and vanilla. Continue beating until cluffy, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate if not ready to use immediately. Allow frosting to reach room temperature for easiest spreading consistency.

Assembling The Cakes!

1. Using a clean knife, slice each Cupcake in half lengthwise.

2. Drizzle a small amount of Caramel Sauce (approx 1 tsp.) on the bottom half of the cupcake. Spread a healthy amount of Chocolate Ganache over the Caramel. Replace the top half of the Cupcake.

3. Spread Chocolate Ganache around the outside of each Cupcake, covering sides completely.

4. Spread Chocolate Buttercream on top of each Cupcake, covering top completely.

5. Drizzle Caramel Sauce over top of each Cupcake.

6. Grate 1-2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate using either the large or small holes (I used both) of a cheeze grater and sprinkle shavings on top of each cupcake.

7. Serve with remaining Caramel Sauce on the side, for those of us with an insatiable sweet tooth.


Margaret said...

mouth = drooling

oh my god. you = genius

cannot wait to visit and bake with you!!!

Holly Brim said...

I think EVERY kitchen should be covered in chocolate!