Heavenly Chocolate Cubes

Heavenly Chocolate Cubes close up

Adapted from “The Art of Fine Baking,” bite size chocolaty sponge cake sandwiches filled with mocha buttercream. Need I say more?

1 recipe prepared Chocolate Pastry
1 cup Speedy Mocha Buttercream
unsweetened cocoa powder

Divide pastry in half to make two equal layers. Spread one layer with buttercream. Carefully place remaining layer on top. Chill until buttercream is very firm (about 1 hour).

Dust top heavily with cocoa powder. Cut cake into 1 inch cubes, wiping knife off after each slice.

 

Dip sides of each square into cocoa, coating them well.

Yield: approximately 80

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Rich Chocolate Velvet Cake

Chocolate Velvet Cake Slice

 


As the name suggests, this is an extremely rich luxurious cake that should probably come with the warning: for die hard chocolate lovers only. Not to be confused with red velvet cake, the sponge cake lined thick mousse center is in it’s own category of cakes. At first taste of the filling, the richness is overwhelming as the coffee brings out the dark tones in the thick chocolate but finishes with just a hint of sweet Grand Marnier. The sponge cake lining is frosted with just lightly sweetened whipped cream that balances the many different strong and subtle flavors of this velvety indulgence. Before you know it, that large slice you thought was too rich to finish, is gone.

1 recipe Basic Sponge Sheet 9 x 13
12 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
3 egg whites
pinch salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1-2 teaspoons Grand Marnier, 1-2 tablespoons sugar, and gelatin (to stabilize for longer shelf life) – see note.

Completely line 1/2 quart mold or loaf pan with basic sponge cake by cutting out one large piece to fit the bottom of the mold; then, from remaining cake, cut out one long or two short strips to cover the sides. Reserve any sponge sheet left to make into a top later on.

Melt chocolate (careful not to burn it) over very low heat. Add egg yolks, coffee, Grand Marnier. Stir together until smooth and heated through. Cool.

Beat egg whites with salt until they hold soft peaks. Add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. Continue beating 5 more minutes, or until very stiff.

Fold unsweetened whipped cream and stiffly beaten egg whites together. Fold in about 1/4 cup of egg white cream mixture into cooled chocolate to lighten. Pour chocolate mixture into remaining egg white mixture. Fold in gently but thoroughly.

Pour into sponge cake-lined mold. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours or until filling is firm.

Cover with remaining sponge sheet, fitting together any bits and pieces if there isn’t a single piece large enough. Loosen sides of the mold with a sharp knife. Turn out upside down on a plate.

Frost all over with whipped cream frosting. Chill if not serving immediately. Chocolate Velvet maybe frozen before frosted, if necessary.

Note: To prepare whipped cream with gelatin, soften 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin (for each cup of cream) with a tablespoon cold water. Set over a pan of boiling water (or double boiler) until gelatin dissolves and looks clear. Beat dissolved gelatin, sugar, extract, and liqueur into the cream just as the cream begins to thicken.

Adapted by Megan Peck

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Basic Sponge Sheet

Sponge Cake Sheet

4 eggs
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sifted corn starch
1/4 cup sifted flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 11 x 16 jelly roll pan or a 9 x 13 pan and line with parchment paper.

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites with salt until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar, sprinkling it in a little at a time. Continue beating until whites are very firm, about 5 minutes in all.

Stir yolks with a fork to break them up. Add vanilla. Fold a quarter of the stiffly beaten egg whites thoroughly into egg yolks. Pour egg yolk mixture on top of remaining whites. Sprinkle corn starch and flour over mixture. Fold all very gently together until no pieces of egg white show. Careful not to overmix.

Pour into prepared pan, spreading batter evenly. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cake is very lightly browned.

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