Melts in your mouth!
Just one little structural concern: the cakes tend to come out a little uneven after baked. This will be fine once you frost it with the fresh whipped cream. (: We have served this cake at our Pesach family meal for the past three years. It is always a hit. This cake will not weigh you down and can easily be made with stevia instead of sugar for a low-carb version. It’s a little time consuming but well worth the effort. I have modified it slightly from the recipe found at: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/03/the-best-chocolate-cake-expletive-free/ —–K. G.
To make four cake layers:
12 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened and no sweeter than semi-sweet), chopped
6 tablespoons water OR use left-over strong coffee (IMO coffee is best)
12 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (IMO the darker the better)
2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 tsp real vanilla extract
Fresh Raspberries (or berry of your choice)
Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease four 9-inch circular cake pans (I just buy the disposable variety) with Pam and line bottoms of circles with a piece of parchment paper—— don’t skip this step or you’ll have a mess.
Melt chocolate with water (or coffee) in a small heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring. Cool to lukewarm.
Beat yolks, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 5 minutes in a standing mixer or about 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer. Fold in melted chocolate until blended. Beat whites with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks (you will need a large bowl for 12 egg whites).
Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and beat until whites just hold stiff peaks. Fold one third of whites into melted-chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
Spread batter evenly over four cake pans and bake until puffed and top is dry to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating cakes between racks to ensure they bake evenly. Transfer pans to cooling racks and if necessary, loosen edges with a knife.
Sift cocoa powder over top of cake layers and place a piece of waxed paper over the top of the pans. (Don’t skip this step or they will “stick”) Place a baking sheet over paper and invert cake onto it, gently peeling off wax paper lining. Place layers in the freezer for about an hour, until they are firm enough to be carefully lifted without breaking. (Or overnight if you’re making cake ahead)
Make filling: Beat cream with powdered sugar and Grand Marnier OR vanilla extract with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks.
Fill and stack cakes: Bring first cake layer out of the freezer and arrange on platter, cocoa side down. Spread one-quarter of filling evenly over the cake. Bring the next cake layer out of the freezer, placing it gently over the filling, again cocoa side down. Repeat this process until all layers and whipped cream are used.
Keep cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Two hours should be more than enough to assure that the layers are no longer frozen. Garish with fresh raspberries —–yummy! If making ahead, wait until “day of” to whip the cream for best results. Please don’t use cool whip———– the fresh cream “makes” this cake. (: