Monday, March 10, 2008

Chocolate Grand Marnier Decadence Cake

I wish it weren’t so, but put anything in front of me with chocolate in it, and I’m a goner. About the only thing I don’t eat of the chocolate variety is candy. Unless it’s chocolate covered nuts.

The photo here looks more like a whipped cream mound with raspberries, but the chocolate cake is hidden behind the cream and berries. I was snapping photos of the food from a big dinner party we did the other night, and I didn’t take much time to compose the picture. I threw the plate in front of my fancy light and SNAP. Done. Whisked the plate to the table.

Obviously Phillis Carey, the cooking instructor who made this, likes chocolate too, as it features often in her class recipes. That’s all right by me.

This cake is not difficult – it has a minimum of ingredients (seven, by count) not including the whipped cream and raspberries served on the top, and it comes together in about 15 minutes. Just enough time for the oven to heat.

You melt the chocolate and butter together, cool it a little. The recipe calls for some instant coffee granules (espresso type). I don’t like to use caffeinated coffee in a dessert, so I made a very small amount of instant decaf espresso (no more than 2 T.). Alternately, you could use ordinary instant coffee dissolved in a tiny amount of water. An egg yolk and sugar batter is also mixed up until light, then the two batters are combined before popping into a greased springform pan. Bake. Cool. the batters are so purty when they're folded in together.

Cook’s Notes: To the whipped cream I added a little Grand Marnier. If you choose, garnish the chocolate wedges with raspberries on the side. This cake keeps at room temp for about a day. Once refrigerated the cake hardens up some, so if you do keep it longer, bring it to room temp before serving the leftovers. The recipe says it serves 10, but if you needed to spread it to serve 14 or so, it can be done.

Chocolate Grand Marnier Decadence Cake
Recipe By: Phillis Carey cooking class
Serving Size : 10-14
1 pound semisweet chocolate -- chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
6 large egg yolks -- room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream -- whipped, lightly sweetened Grand Marnier OR vanilla flavoring for the whipped cream
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter & flour a 9-inch springform pan. Be sure you know exactly what size your springform is - if it's 9 1/2 inches, cake will bake in less time. Narrower, will take longer. Stir chocolate and butter in a heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Alternately, melt slowly in Microwave.
2. Remove chocolate from heat and whisk in Grand Marnier, brandy and espresso. Cool to room temperature.
3. Beat eggs and sugar with mixer until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Fold 1/4 of beaten eggs into cooled chocolate to lighten, then fold chocolate into remaining egg mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
4. How long to bake this cake is critical. Overbaking will produce a dry, crumbly cake. NOT what you want. So, bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist (not wet, but moist) crumbs still attached, about 45 minutes. Start testing the cake at 40 minutes and increase by 2-3 minute increments until it reaches the right crumb. Cool cake in pan on a rack. Cake will sink as it cools. When hot out of the oven, run knife around outside edge of pan to loosen cake. Once cool, release pan sides and transfer cake to a platter. Cake can be made to this point one day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.
Serving Ideas: If you have leftovers, refrigerate them after one day, but allow it to come back to room temp before serving.
Per Serving (for 10 servings): 508 Calories; 37g Fat (62.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 191mg Cholesterol; 20mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 7 Fat; 3 Other Carbohydrates.

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