Ice cold days, as we have just had this past weekend, are ideal times for staying in a hot kitchen and baking delicious cakes. This cake is based on one from our favourite food magazine, Saveur. It uses chocolate four ways: ganache (chocolate cream frosting), chocolate cake layers, shavings, and cocoa.
For the cake
11T unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups flour
170g semisweet chocolate, preferably 54% cocoa, chopped
½ cup castor sugar
7 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark rum
For the ganache
680g semisweet chocolate, preferably 54% cocoa, roughly chopped
3 cups double cream
Cocoa powder, for dusting
For the cake
- Heat oven to 170°C. Line bottom of a 22cm springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the pan with 1T of the butter. Add ¼ cup of the flour and shake to coat the inside. Invert and tap out excess flour; set the pan aside.
- Set a medium bowl over a a large pot of simmering water, ensuring that the bowl does not come into contact with the water. Add chocolate and melt. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat the cooled melted chocolate, butter, and sugar with a hand held mixer on a medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift in the flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Set the batter aside.
- In another very clean bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until frothy.
- Sprinkle in ¼ cup sugar and beat to form stiff, glossy peaks.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into the cake batter.
- Pour the batter into a prepared pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.
- Transfer to a rack and allow to cool.
- Invert the cake, and cut horizontally into 3 even layers.
- Dissolve remaining sugar and ¼ cup water over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the syrup has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the rum and cool.
For the ganache
- Place the chocolate in bowl of a standing mixer.
- Bring cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Using a rubber spatula, combine the chocolate and cream. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache reaches room temperature.
- Chill until ganache has the consistency of peanut butter, about 2 hours. Transfer to a mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk and whip on medium speed, 15–20 seconds.
- Place bottom cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Using a pastry brush, brush the cake with one-third of rum syrup. Using a butter knife, spread 1 cup of the ganache evenly across cake top.
- Top with second cake layer, one-third of rum syrup and 1 cup of the ganache; repeat process with remaining layer. Spread remaining ganache over cake sides.
- Press the chocolate shavings onto the sides.
- Using a fine sieve, sprinkle cocoa powder over the top of the cake.
For more delicious chocolate cake ideas see the Wickedfood website, click the links below:
Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.