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Chocolate Blackout Cake with Ganache Drizzle

Author: Jacques Torres

To make this cake, you will need four sets of standard round metal dry-measure measuring cups, with 1-cup, ½-cup, ¹⁄³-cup, and ¼-cup measures in each set. Few home cooks have that many sets, so rather than buy them, we suggest that you borrow them from your neighbors.

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
¼ cup very hot, strong brewed coffee or 2 tablespoons coffee extract
¾ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1²⁄³ cups cake flour
¹⁄³ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ganache Drizzle (recipe follows)
One solid piece of block white chocolate, for garnish, optional

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top of the parchment paper. This will be used for cooling and icing the cakes.
  • Line a second rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Lightly coat the interior of each cup of four sets of measuring cups with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine the butter and coffee, stirring to melt the butter. When melted, whisk in the buttermilk. Set aside.
  • Combine the egg and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed to just combine.
  • Add the flour followed by the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, one ingredient at a time, and continue beating on low, mixing to just combine.
  • Add the vanilla and finally blend in the coffee mixture.
  • Using a glass measuring cup (simply for ease of pouring), fill each measuring cup about half-full with the batter.
  • Place the filled cups on the parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the oven.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the center of each cake is set, noting that the smaller cakes will bake quicker than the larger ones.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven, then carefully invert them onto the wire racks. When cool, set the cakes into four stacks on the wire racks, placing the largest cake on the bottom and working up to the smallest.
  • Using an offset spatula, spread the Ganache Drizzle over the cakes, allowing the excess to drip down the sides onto the baking pan.
  • Using a clean spatula, carefully transfer each cake to a dessert plate. If decorating with white chocolate, pull a vegetable peeler over the block of white chocolate to create chocolate “curls” directly onto each cake.


Ganache Drizzle

Ingredients:
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
²⁄³ cup heavy cream

Directions:

  • Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  • Place the cream in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer. Do not allow it to boil or it will bubble over the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and slowly pour about half of the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds until the chocolate begins to melt. Then, using a wooden spoon, begin beating the mixture. As it starts to smooth out, add the remaining cream and continue to beat until the mixture is very smooth and glossy. If you add all of the cream at once, the heat hitting the cold chocolate will cause the fat in the chocolate to separate out and the ganache will not firm up. (If desired, you can use an immersion blender to ensure a very smooth ganache.)
  • Let stand at room temperature until the cakes are ready to ice. If the ganache firms up too much before spreading, place it in the top half of a double boiler over simmering water and, using a wooden spoon, stir to soften, then proceed with the recipe.


Makes 4 small cakes

Source: “A Year in Chocolate: 80 Recipes for Holidays and Special Occasions”
by Jacques Torres
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Year: November 1, 2008