June seems to be chocolate cake month in the gnome home. Not that I’m going to complain because it gives me a chance to resurrect a few goodies and try a few new ones. One of these old goodies is another gem from Fine Cooking magazine. This dark chocolate cake is essentially a health food because it contains olive oil. I know – absolutely brilliant! This fabulous cake requires the following ingredients:
*1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
* 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
If you feel like it, add in 1/2 tsp pure almond extract. I didn’t have any so chose to omit this ingredient.
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* 1/4 tsp table salt
* 3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk, at room temperature (Being disorganized, mine were straight from the fridge)
* 2/3 cup olive oil
* 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar from Whole Foods)
Preheat your oven to 325F and oil an 8 inch round cake pan with olive oil (nommy!) Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil, either in a sauce pan or you can just use a kettle (quicker and easier). While the water is boiling, place the cocoa in a small bowl. The recipe states to sift it through a sieve, but since it was Saturday night and I wanted to start watching the Sherlock Holmes movie with the dishy Robert Downy Jr., I decided to skip this step.
Once the water has come to a boil, I added 6 Tbsp of water into the cocoa and stirred until it tried to become glossy and smooth. If the mixture is thick, like mine was, add a maximum of 2 Tbsp more of water. My mixture was mud-like in texture, so I just kept adding water until it was somewhat glossy and smooth. Next time I won’t skip the sifting cocoa step, no matter what dishy Hollywood star is waiting for me in the dvd player! I then added in the vanilla extract and my mixture looked like it had just stepped out of a salon – shiny and smooth….
I mixed together the flour, baking soda and sea salt in another bowl. These lovelies would have to wait their turn to join in the fun.
Next comes the Kitchen Aid stand mixer part: I placed the eggs, egg yolk, olive oil and organic cane sugar in the shiny bowl of my sturdy mixer. With the whisk attachment, I let the mixer do its thing on medium to high power until the mixture became a beautiful lemon yellow colour and somewhat thick in texture. This took a few minutes and looked like this:
I then mixed in the glossy cocoa, and gradually added in the flour mixture, until it was combined. I then poured the batter into my prepared pan and baked for approximately 55 minutes, when my sparkly cake tester came out clean.
Once the cake was finished and had cooled for approximately 1 hour, I took a break from watching Sherlock Holmes and made chocolate ganache to add to the cake. For chocolate ganache, I used the following:
* approximately 225 grams of Callebaut dark chocolate, chopped and placed in a glass bowl.
* 1 cup whipped cream, brought to a boil in a small saucepan
If you are a ganache newbie, I recommend buying a box of Bakers semisweet chocolate and chopping up all of the squares. That’s my sure fire way to make fool proof ganache. However, I was feeling daring and oh so European, so I decided to go with the Callebaut. Both methods work just fine and create nommy ganache.
Once the cream has been brought to a boil, I poured it over the chopped chocolate and began to whisk it. Keep whisking away (you’ll have to just trust me on this one) because it will eventually transform into a beautiful, shiny masterpiece.
In my haste to finish the cake off so I could eat it, I proceeded to pour the bowl of warm ganache onto the cake and all over my kitchen counter – I’m just that skilled! Not wanting all that ganache to go to waste, I made my clean up effort a little easier by eating the counter ganache with a spoon. Mom, if you’re reading this, I know I did not grow up in a barn – and also hooved critters don’t use spoons 🙂
Normally the ganache should harden in the refrigerator. However, I must say it was incredibly delicious warm and I highly recommend trying it this way.