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Issue 383: Dense Chocolate Cake with Ganache and Liqueur-Infused Cherries

Estee Kafra

A deeply dark and rich cake is enhanced with cherry and liqueur

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

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Food preparation by Brynie Greisman Food and prop styling by Amit Farber Photography by Daniel Lailah

Does the title say it all? This deeply dark and rich cake goes the extra mile, enhanced with cherry and liqueur to make a sophisticated and elegant dessert.

INGREDIENTS

SERVES 8

  • 10½ oz (297 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 oz (¾ cup) unsalted margarine
  • 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cherry liqueur
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Ganache
      • 3½ oz (100 g) good quality chocolate
      • ¼ cup whipping cream3 Tbsp cherry or coffee liqueur

Spiked Cherry Garnish
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 3 cups hot water ½ cup cherry liqueur or light rum


PREPARATION

For Cake Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a tall 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper and grease the parchment paper. Melt the chocolate and margarine over a double boiler. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Set aside. 

Beat the egg yolks with the brown sugar on medium speed until very pale, thick, and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed, add the chocolate mixture, and mix just to combine. Add the flour, mixing just to combine. Blend in the liqueur and vanilla. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside. 

In a clean mixing bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt on high speed until they hold soft peaks, 1–2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold in the remaining whites. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. 

Fill a roasting pan halfway with water and place on the rack below where your cake will be baking. Put cake in the oven and bake until the top feels set, 40–45 minutes. 

Remove the cake from the oven and run a paring knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, then let the cake cool completely in the pan on a rack. When the cake is completely cool, loosen the sides once more with a paring knife. Cover the cake with a serving plate and invert the cake onto the plate. The bottom of the cake is now the top. Peel off the parchment paper.

For Ganache

Place the chocolate and whipping cream into a double boiler and melt, stirring occasionally. Stir in the liqueur and immediately remove from fire and let rest at room temperature. For Spiked Cherry Garnish Let the dried cherries soak in hot water for 2 hours (the water will cool… that’s okay).
Strain all the water well and add cherry liqueur or rum. Let soak for 2 hours. Serve cake alongside cherries. The cherries may be dipped in chocolate if desired.

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