Friday, February 18, 2011

It's That Time Of Month Again. Dessert Wars. I Made Dark Chocolate Broken Heart Cake.

Dessert Wars
Last month, Reeni of Cinnamon Spice And Everything Nice and Momma Cupcake of The Cupcake Bandits started a wonderful dessert competition: Dessert Wars. Each month's competition has a different dessert theme. There is a winner and a runner-up each month, the winner receiving neat prizes and the runner-up nada. Here are the prizes for the winner:
-Endless Vanilla and Cinnamon Extract -Unlimited Layers: A Recipe for Turning Your Passion into Profits -$50 Gift Certificate to Theme Kitchen -$50 Coupon Redeemable for Organic Valley Products -$50 Coupon Redeemable for Organic Prairie Products Both the winner and the runner-up each month will be eligible for the Grand Prize in December. If you enter every month and never win jack, then you're still in for the Grand Prize. For January, I was off and running. The theme was Nutella. And I thought I did a pretty good job. See HERE. February's theme is Dark Chocolate and Hearts. I think I got it covered. Ahhhh ... February - the month of lurve. I actually made a chocolatescape draft of what I wanted to make for this competition. Am I lame or what??!!?? See here: Listen up, folks! I'm giving you a peak inside the mind of Rosie, as she creates an entry for this competition. From paper to Dark Chocolate Broken Heart Cakes.
 Or is it Dark Heart Broken Chocolate Cake? 
Rosie is on a roll and you are my witness.

One part of the theme is hearts:
Hey, I gots hearts!  
Sugar Cookies.
  Here's how I made 'em.
 I could so do these deliciously light sugar cookies. 
 Except I just lied. 
I bought the above hearts at the Dollar Store.
 They're totally inedible. They're plastic. 
But I could make those cookies very edible indeedy. 
And more hearts!
 Last August, I made a wonderful dark chocolate cake
for Youngest Hawthorne's birthday
 and I'm going to be adapting that recipe for this cake.
 I'm going with triple-chocolate decadence:
a dark chocolate cake,
 with a dark chocolate filling,
and a dark chocolate ganache.

Here's my mise en place for Dark Chocolate Cake:
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cake
 1 cup sifted flour
 1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
 1 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
 1 TB vanilla extract
 3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, specifically, Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet
 Heat oven to 350 degrees.
 Butter a 9-inch diameter cake pan.
Line bottom with parchment paper.
 Butter and cocoa parchment and pan.
 Whisk first 5 ingredients.
 Beat butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
 Gradually beat in sugars, then vanilla.
Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
 Beat in dry ingredients alternatively with buttermilk
in 2 additions each.
Fold in chocolate chips.
 Pour batter in prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes,
 or until a tester comes out clean.
For the process:
When I'm baking a chocolate cake,
instead of buttering and flouring the pans,
 I butter and cocoa my pans.
Mix the sifted flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Softened butter into the mixer.

Beat butter until light and fluffy, then gradually add in sugar ...

... brown sugar ...
... vanilla ...
... and eggs.
Alternatively, add in dry ingredients ...

... and buttermilk, in two additions each ...
... beating well after each addition.

Fold in dark chocolate chips.

Pour into buttered and cocoa'd pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes.
Let cool.
Invert on rack and peel off parchment.
Let cool completely before slicing horizontally in half
 and spreading on the dark chocolate filling.

 Ingredients for the Dark Chocolate Filling:
Dark Chocolate Filling
8 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TB corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine cream, syrup, and extract and heat to just boiling.
 Pour over chocolates and whisk until perfectly smooth.
 For the dark chocolates,
I used a Ghiradelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie
 and a Taste of Inspirations Authentic Belgian Dark Chocolate.
I combined the cream, corn syrup, and vanilla

and nuked it until just boiling, then poured it over my chocolates.
Stir a bit to let chocolate melt.

Whisk until perfectly smooth.
When the cake has cooled ...
... I sliced it in half horizontally.

I poured the dark chocolate filling over the cake half ...

... spreading evenly to the edges ...
... and topped with the remaining half.

Now, Rosie has to figure out where she's going with the cake.
Let's go hearts.
With a very sharp knife, I cut around my heart cutters.
And I have 5 little sad hearts that need fixing up.
 Here's a Rosie Tip #268:  
If you ever cut out cake shapes, and have a lot of cake pieces leftover, use them for a wonderful tiramisu. Just make some whipped cream, layer a pretty glass bowl with the chocolate cake pieces, pour in the whipped cream, and stuff more chocolate cake in the cream. Drizzle your favorite chocolate sauce over top.

 Next, I'm making a Dark Chocolate Ganache to coat my hearts.
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Ganache:
 8 ounces dark chocolate
 1 stick butter
1 TB corn syrup
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 Mix all ingredients in small pan and heat until chocolate and butter are melted. Stir until smooth. My chocolate of choice was Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate. And you might want to check out their site as they have some good-looking recipes up.
Combine butter, chocolate, corn syrup, and vanilla extract.
Whisk until completely melted and smooth.
Pour ganache over top of heart cakes, spreading evenly.
Rosie can be a messy little baker.
 Refrigerate the cakes.
 So much for the dark chocolates.
 Let's get started on the hearts and presentation.
The Dollar Store can be your best friend.
That's where I found all the hearts.
 The semi-ho-silver-coated tray thingie is from Mama Hawthorne.

My little heart cakes cleaned up nicely.
On to the decorations:
I decided to prettify my cakes with royal icing.
Royal icing generally uses raw egg whites and is not edible,
so I substituted meringue powder for the egg whites.
 The directions called for:
 3 TB meringue powder
 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
 6 TB warm water
 Beat all ingredients at high speed until icing forms peaks.
 I scaled back since I didn't need that much icing.
 I only used 1 cup of sugar about 1 TB of meringue powder,
 and enough water to make a pipeable icing.

I beat until the icing formed peaks, then I added some tasteless red coloring ...
... and piped an outline of a heart on my cakes. Then I whipped some cream with a little sugar, vanilla, and red coloring to make a pink frosting which I piped along the sides of the cakes. Added a few sprinkles and silver dragees and I'm done.

Enjoy the pictures and good luck to all the Dessert Warriors! My Dark Heart Broken Chocolate cake.

This is my favorite picture.

Just so's you can see the center.
We're talking some intense chocolate here.
 And I'm loving the silver dragees.
For best results, slightly nuke before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Happy Valentine's Day. Shoot! Happy ME!!


Marilyn said...

I love the broken heart. Clever. Or is that cleaver?

Anonymous said...

Rosie, you sure work hard on those desserts! They are beautiful. Dark chocolate is the only chocolate I like, so those cakes would do it for me.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thank you, ladies.

Catherine said...

Dear Rosie, I am glad I found your blog. I feel very welcome. Your an blog is inspiring and has a good attitude. I am going to bake your, Dark Heart Broken Chocolate Cake, tomorrow. I will return to visit. Blessings to you Rosie, Catherine

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hi Catherine,
Please let me know how you liked it.

A Girl In Her Kitchen said...

I love how deep and dense that cake looks. Also love the term chocolatescape. I draw mine out sometimes too. :)

Lora said...

So lovely! I love the broken heart version. And that cross section shot is mouth watering.

Reeni said...

This is a chocoholic's dream! I love the broken heart idea. Cute. Thanks for entering Dessert Wars!!