MAKES 14 SERVINGS
Courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef Rhonda Ruckman, Link Restaurant Group, New Orleans and Lafayette
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup Cacao Barry extra-brute cocoa powder (available at cacao-barry.com or in baking section of upscale food markets)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- Chocolate Pot de Crème filling (recipe follows)
- Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
- Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with greased parchment circles. Boil water and cocoa powder in saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently. Mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. Blend in buttermilk, oil, and eggs. Mix thoroughly on medium speed until a smooth batter forms, about 3 minutes. Add cooled cocoa and mix until evenly blended, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Rest batter for 20 minutes, then divide batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake until a skewer inserted near center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes slightly in pans, then remove from pans and transfer to racks to cool completely. Refrigerate cakes for at least 1 hour until ready to assemble.
Using a long, serrated bread knife, trim top of each cake to even, then slice each cake horizontally into three layers. Place first layer on a 10-inch serving platter, and, with a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, pipe a ring of Chocolate Buttercream around outer edge of bottom layer only.
Carefully cover top of layer with Chocolate Pot de Crème. Repeat with remaining layers, leaving top layer unfrosted. If layers start to slip, chill cake between fillings.
Frost top and sides with Chocolate Buttercream. Chill cake 20 minutes. Pour Chocolate Glaze over top and allow it to run down sides of cake.
Chocolate Pot de Crème Filling
MAKES ABOUT 3 CUPS
- 5 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar in all
- pinch of salt
- 5 ounces Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, 64% Madagascar (available at
- valrhonachocolate.com or in upscale markets)
- 10 large egg yolks
- 4 sheets gelatin or 2 tablespoons powdered gelatin, bloomed in cold water
Add cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt to a saucepan set over medium heat. Chop chocolate and add to hot cream mixture, stirring constantly.
Blend yolks and remaining sugar in a small bowl. Temper eggs by adding 1/3 of hot cream mixture, whisking constantly.
Return tempered egg mixture to remaining hot cream in saucepan and continue cooking until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and mix well. Strain into a metal container and chill in an ice water bath. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup Cacao Barry extra-brute cocoa powder (available at cacao-barry.com or in baking section of upscale food markets)
- 4 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 3 ounces Cognac
Add all ingredients except Cognac to a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Whip until emulsified and slowly pour in Cognac. Mix until blended.
Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
MAKES ABOUT 3/4 CUP
- 3 ounces chopped Valrhona Manjari Chocolate, 64%, Madagascar (available at valrhona-chocolate.com or in upscale markets)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat all ingredients in a double boiler set over medium-high heat and whisk until smooth. Keep warm until ready to use.
Recipe courtesy of Louisiana Cookin’