Wow, I haven’t been here for a while - Happy New Year, everyone!
I haven’t visited your blogs either – I had a few days off from work and took a short break from the computer; I organized many things at home and also did a sort of “summer cleaning”. And because of that – and also the 33-35ºC (92-95ºF) days were were having here in Sao Paulo – I didn’t cook much. But I did bake a birthday cake for Joao on Dec, 27.
I got the recipe from the Woman&Home Christmas Food Valentina sent me – the cake was on the cover of the magazine and it looked so beautiful… I really wanted to try it. His birthday was the perfect excuse – everyone in this family ate the cake, so I spread the calories around. :)
I decided to use a different filling and went for a refreshing passion fruit truffle filling, made with white chocolate. You can use the original filling if you want.
We were in a hurry and the photos don’t do this cake justice – it is absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it!
Three tier chocolate cake
6 large eggs
175g (6oz) caster sugar
185g (6.5oz) plain flour
15g (0.5oz) cocoa powder
500g white chocolate, finely chopped
400g whipping cream
¼ cup (60ml) concentrated bottled passion fruit juice
To brush the cake:
½ tablespoon concentrated bottled passion fruit juice diluted in 4 tablespoons water
175g (6oz) dark chocolate, 55% solids
130ml (4.5oz) double cream - I used a thick kind of cream we have here in Brazil, so my ganache was not so spreadable
chocolate curls, cherries or whatever strikes you fancy
Start by making the filling: place the cream in a saucepan and heat until it is nearly boiling. Remove from heat and add the chocolate all at once. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is silky and smooth. Add the juice, mix well; refrigerate it, well covered, for 4-6 hours or until set.
Make the cake: preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Oil a 25cm (10in) springform cake pan and line the bottom with baking paper.
Put the eggs and sugar into a large heatproof bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, beat until tripled in volume, pale and thick (I used my Kitchen Aid, with the whisk attachment). The whisk should leave a trail in the mix. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold in with the whisk. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake on the centre shelf for around 20 minutes, until risen and springy to the touch. Let the cake cool in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack.
When the cake is cool, split into three horizontally. Separate them carefully. The top of the original cake in the tin will be the top of the finished cake. Brush the bottom cake very lightly with the juice then spread over half the filling. Add the next layer and do the same with the juice and filling. Add the top.
Finish with the ganache: put the broken-up chocolate into a saucepan with the cream and heat gently. Stir well until the chocolate has melted. Spoon on to the centre of the cake a big spoonful at a time then spread with a palette knife, letting it drip down the sides. Do this at a reasonable speed as it will set in around 15 minutes.
Decorate as you like.