Well, I have to thank everyone for your comments last week. As it turns out several of you out there didn’t think I ranted enough. I was afraid I was starting to sound like a really grumpy old man (which I am most of the time). It is nice to know that you all enjoy it when I have a good rant because I sure need to blow off steam every once in a while (you know.. all the time). I am sorry to disappoint you again for a second week in a row but I really didn’t find much to gripe about with this weeks recipe. I will admit when I saw what we were making I started to think OH NO, not more chocolate. I really am suffering from chocolate burn out these days but I read through the recipe and didn’t find any silly gimmicks (well, except for the ganache in the food processor which you all know I totally disdain and never do) so I decided to shut up and plunge forward. It turns out this was a very nice recipe. Its also fun to do some nice shapes instead of the usual round. I am sorry to say that once I started digging through the cupboards for a nice serving plate I suddenly remembered that I got rid of my rectangular plates when we moved since I rarely used them. I was forced to run to the store and get these plastic party trays. Oh the humiliation of it all. I hope you will all forgive me and I promise to find a nice rectangular serving plate for the next time. Okay.. Let’s get into the kitchen and bake, shall we….
This recipe is really simple and has few ingredients which means (if you aren’t already doing it for everything you make..which you should be) that you must use the absolute best ingredients you can find. Melt the chocolate using your favorite method and set aside to cool a bit.
Beat 1/2 cup sugar with the egg yolks for at least 5 minutes, until they are very thick and form a ribbon when dropped from the whisk.
Scrape in the melted chocolate and beat until the chocolate is fully incorporated into the egg yolk/sugar mixture.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment beat the egg whites until foamy. Then add the cream of tartar and continue beating the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Add one third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixer and stir it in to lighten the mixture. Then add the remaining egg whites and fold them in quickly but gently to maintain as much volume as possible. Spread the batter onto the prepared jelly roll pan and bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. Make two batches of this batter.
Once the sheets are baked set them on racks, cover with towels and cool completely. When cool, remove the cakes from the baking sheets using the parchment and stack them. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
To make the ganache, scald the cream and pour it over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Stir the ganache every 30 minutes until it reaches a temperature between 60-68 degrees. Add the vanilla and beat the ganache until soft peaks form. Then continue whipping by hand until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
To assemble the cake. Trim the edges of the sponge sheets and cut the layers into even rectangles. Place one layer on the serving platter and spread about 1 cup of ganache on the bottom layer. Put another layer on top of this layer and repeat for each layer until all four layers are stacked together. Frost the top and sides and decorate as desired.
Next Up: Marionberry Shortcakes