This year a small group of us gathered at my brother's house for an earlier Easter dinner. The meal was fantastic and I was only a guest but really wanted to bring something to share. The recipe I chose was from Chocolate by Jean-Pierre Wybrauw. I picked this book up off of the discount rack at our local Barnes & Noble. I drool when I look at the pictures. My mother usually makes pies so I decided a nice chocolatey dessert might be a nice addition.
I have to admit that this cake was a bit technical and challenging but was a success on the first try. Please don't be intimidated because the results are worth the effort. This recipe serves about ten servings.
For the base:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unswetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cold milk
For the filling:
5 1/2 oz dark chocolate
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
"scant" 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour - I am not sure what the term scant implies, any information on the term would be appreciated. I am showing my cooking ignorance:)
scant 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Chocolate flkes to decorate (optional) or confectioner sugar
To prepare the base: (I have added my personal notes in italics)
Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Rub in the butter in pieces. (Basically you are making a crust similar to a pie). Add the sugar and milk, then mix well until you have a smooth dough. I used my mixer with the dough paddle blade on low to medium.Form into a ball, cover, and let rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Note: this next step presented me a little trouble. The cold ball of dough was difficult to work. I perseved but I would let the dough start to warm at room temp and work as it becomes more workable. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to fit a loose-bottomed pie pan or shallow cake pan, 12 inch diameter. Fit the dough into the pan. I gently peice worked the dogh together whereever I had breaks. Trim the edges so that the fitted dough only goes to the rim of the pan. Reserve the trimmings.
To prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 345 F.
Melt the chocolate - I do not have a double boiler so I set-up a medium sauce pan with boiling water covered with a pyrex bowl that just keeps the bowl above the boiling water. Place the chocolate into the bowl and stir until melted.
Beat the butter, sugar, and honey until light and airy.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and add to the batter, and then add the eggs one by one. Make sure it is light and airy before stirring in the melted chocolate. Finally add the cream and mix.
Pour the filling into the dough lined pan. Do not over fill the crust and I would recommend a drip pan in the oven. I did both and was able to safe myself a big mess and captured portion of the spillover - YUM it was good hot out of the oven. Moisten the rim with a brush and water and decorate the top with a lattice of dough strips made from the trimmings.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely.
Scatter some chocolate flakes over the top as a garnish - I did not use chocolate flake, believe it or not but the cake was already chocolatey. What I did add to a few slices was sifted confectioners sugar just to offset the dark chocolate.