This incredible chocolate experience was
Plan Ahead Make the Chocolate Oblivion and the chocolate ganache at least 4 hours ahead of assembly.
|unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder|
|bleached cake flour (see Note)|
|bleached all-purpose flour|
|fine sea salt||.|
|canola or safflower oil, at room temperature|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
Special Equipment For the Chocolate Oblivion: One 9 by 2 inch or higher springform pan, bottom and the bottom third of the sides coated with butter, bottom topped with a parchment round, set in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage | One 12 by 2 inch round cake pan or a roasting pan for the water bath | One 10 by 2 inch round cake pan or 10 to 11 inch diameter pot lid to cover the springform pan during baking
For the Deep Chocolate Passion: One 9 by 2 inch round cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment round (leave the sides uncoated to prevent the top of the cake from shrinking inward)
Thirty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and
In a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering, water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), place the chocolate and butter and let stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Set the chocolate mixture aside while beating the eggs.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a long-handled whisk, lightly whisk the eggs. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat just until lukewarm to the touch, stirring constantly with the whisk to prevent curdling.
Immediately transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and attach the whisk beater. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until triple in volume and the eggs are billowy and almost ready to form soft peaks when the beater is raised. (If using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs over simmering water until they are hot. Then remove them from the heat and beat for a minimum of 5 minutes.)
Using a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or silicone spatula, fold half of the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost evenly incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until almost no streaks remain. Use a silicone spatula to finish folding, scraping up the mixture from the bottom to ensure that all the heavier chocolate mixture gets incorporated. Scrape the batter into the springform pan and smooth with an offset spatula.
Add the oil and egg yolks to the stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk beater. Start on low speed, then gradually raise the speed to medium and beat for about 1 minute, or until smooth and shiny and resembling a buttercream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla for a few seconds.
Add half of the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. The mixture will be very thick. On low speed, add the egg whites. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. The batter will now be like a thick soup. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
To prevent the collapse of the delicate foam structure while still hot, the cake must be unmolded as soon as it has baked. Have ready a small metal spatula and two wire racks that have been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Immediately run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert the cake onto the prepared wire rack. Remove the parchment and immediately reinvert the cake onto the second rack so that the firm upper crust keeps it from sinking. Cool completely. (While still warm, invert again to loosen the cake from the rack and reinvert to finish cooling.)
Remove the pan from the water bath and set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just until warm, about 1 hour. To absorb condensation, place a paper towel, curved side down, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel. Refrigerate the Chocolate Oblivion for 4 hours to overnight.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, by hand, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. To speed cooling, place in the refrigerator. Bring the mixture to room temperature before proceeding.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift the flour mixture onto a large piece of parchment.
Cut the Deep Chocolate Passion into two even layers.
Place the springform pan containing the Chocolate Oblivion on a wire rack. Remove the plate and paper towel. Use a small torch to heat the sides of the pan or wipe them with a dish towel run under hot water and wrung out. Release the sides of the springform pan.
Spread half of the ganache (
Place the bottom cake layer on top of the Oblivion, set a serving plate (or wire rack) on top of the cake, and invert the cake. Use a small torch to heat the bottom of the pan or wipe it with a dish towel run under hot water and wrung out. Carefully slide a small offset spatula between the parchment and the springform pan’s bottom, and circle around the pan to release the bottom. Peel off the parchment. Spread the remaining ganache over the top of the Oblivion. Place the second cake layer, top side up, on top of the Oblivion.
Use a heated straight-edge knife to trim the Oblivion flush with the cake layers to create smooth sides. Reheat the knife and place the blade against the Oblivion to melt the edges slightly for a smooth and glossy finish.
If desired, dust the top of the cake lightly with unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Use a straight-edge knife to slice the cake from top to bottom. Between slices, wipe off the knife to help minimize the Oblivion’s spreading onto the cake.
Airtight: refrigerated, 5 days. Do not freeze, because the texture will become less smooth.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.