Monday, November 17, 2008

Mocha Layer Cake

This weekend, my final one in America, was all about pleasing my dad. I made him his beloved potatonik (sort of like potato kugel but not), even freezing two mini loaves for him for when I'm not around, baked the Challot in a metal loaf pans to get height and the good browning he prefers and let him choose dessert. He requested something chocolate, mocha-ey. I thought that was a good idea as R's best friend S (sounding like Gossip Girl here!) would be over and she adores chocolate. My mother had suggested I make a seven layer cake of sorts among other things so when I found this Mocha Roulade cake I thought it'd be the perfect dessert. Especially since my cake stuck to the pan (I was out of parchment!) and the only way to salvage it was to cut it into four strips to stack and layer into a... four layer cake! Things worked out for my mother after all. This recipe is taken from an Israeli cookbook called More Chocolate by Ruth Oliver. Although in Hebrew, for all you hebrew speakers, this book features wonderful and recipes and absolutely stunning photographs. It is from the same "house" that puts out Al HaShulchan, Israel's leading gastronomical magazine. Anyway, I put together the sponge cake the night before. It was really easy and turned out to be exceptionally good not dry at all. The cream also was delightful and simple. I couldn't believe how easy it was- these are certainly recipes to be valued independently of their whole for other uses. The cream had great smooth texture and spread like a dream. I will say that my cake turned out a little lopsided as a result of the crumbling of the cake originally but who cares. No one was the wiser. I refrigerated the cake after assembly and I must say all the elements were perfect chilled. Cold chocolate cream... Mmm! All around the cake received great reviews from everyone.. My dad even finished his slice! Yes, that does mean something. My mother also gave it two thumbs up and started brainstorming variations... Stick some raspberry in there....etc etc. All good ideas. I think to enhance the mocha flavor which was really subtle, I'd either add some coffee extract to the batter or brush the layers of cake with some kahlua. In any event, it was a successful Shabbat dessert.... You know what they say.. Out with a bang!

Mocha Layer Cake
from Al HaShulchan

For the cake:
3 eggs
125 grams sugar
70 grams flour
35 grams cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
10 grams baking powder
2 tbsp cream

For the filling and topping:
500 ml cream
250 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
35 grams cocoa powder
50 grams sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
80 ml (1/3 cup) water

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift all of the dry ingredients into a bowl,

and stir well.

Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of your mixer and fit with the whisk attachment.
Beat around eight minutes on medium speed until the mixture is light in color and texture.

Add the dry ingredients to the eggs,

and gently fold them in to combine well.

Spread the batter onto a parchment lined sheet. Make sure the batter fills all the corners.

Bake about ten minutes until the cake is nicely brown and springy to the touch. Turn onto a towel dusted with confectioner's sugar to cool completely. Cut the cake width wise into four pieces. Set aside. If you're opting to make a roulade, roll the cake inside the towel and allow to cool completely.

To make the filling and topping, place 250 ml of the cream and the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan.

Cook over medium- low until everything is melted together into a smooth liquid. Allow to cool. Set aside about a third of this mixture for the topping of the cake.

While the chocolate mixture is cooling, place the remaining 250 ml of cream into a clean bowl with a cleaned whisk attachment,

and beat until stiff peaks form.

When the chocolate mixture has cooled, begin to fold the whipped cream in, a little at a time.

Here the cream is mostly incorporated,
and here it is fully incorporated, looking nice and silky and scrumptious.

Place the first cake layer on to your serving platter and generously ice with the cream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers. Ice all sides if desired.

Top the cake with the reserved chocolate mixture. Refrigerate once the topping has set if not serving right away. Oh, and enjoy this one! It is super delicious!

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