Intensive Chocolate Cake

Yoshida Brothers – Storm

The intensive chocolate cake. Or the “Coffee-Infused Chocolate Cake with Praline Filling, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Glaze, and Ganache.”

This recipe creates a large party cake suited for 16+ people. Halving it works – turning it into a 2 layer, rather than 4 layer. I made an average of three of these a week at an absolutely terrible job I had. Boss skimmed 2-3 grand off me over a 6 month period – he’d get into the computer logs and simply remove hours. My life.

The cake sold for around.. 150 bucks – 16 slices at 9.50 a pop. It’s pretty amazing, and very tedious. You’ll impress everyone – when you do it right. But doing it right might kill you. Feel free to ask for details, as I’ve left some out. And even with all the information, it’s still a hell of a recipe; took me months to master, and even my bosses couldn’t reproduce my quality.

I highly suggest making the glaze, filling, and ganache in advance. I also prefer making the cake patties a day in advance. I’ve made it all in one go, but I cannot recommend it.

 

Cake Base
20 OZ Butter, melted
2 ½ C brewed Coffee
1 C Cocoa powder

6 Eggs
1 ¼ C Buttermilk
1 T Vanilla

5 C Flour – Sifted
3 ½ C Sugar
1 ½ t Salt
2 t Baking Powder
2 ½ t Baking Soda

Heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

Melt butter, brew coffee, and have cocoa measured. Well-whisk together. Cool in refrigerator until mixture is around room-temperature.

Well-whisk eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mixture will appear congealed. Leave out while butter mix cools.

Sift together dry ingredients; balls of flour will exist otherwise. Leave out while butter mix cools.

If you’re working quickly, all ingredients should be around room-temperature by now. Into butter mix, alternating, add part of the dry mix, then part of the eggs mix.

(I still haven’t figured out the best way to combine them. I did it quickly, trying not to overmix, in a mixer with whisk attachment. I first added 3/4ths of the flour mix, then 2/3rd of the eggs mix, then rest of flour, rest of egg. But, I’ve overmixed it and it came out fluffier. I don’t know. Try folding, maybe.)

Once combined, split mixture between 2 pre-greased deep cake pans, with parchment paper lining the bottom. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit. After 30 minutes, rotate cake pan 180 degrees. Fifteen minutes later, check the cake for doneness by inserting a knife into center of cake. If knife comes out clean, cake is done. If not clean, rotate again, and cook for another 5-15 minutes. Repeat this process until knife comes out clean.

Cool cake until outside is cool to touch. The cooler the cake, the easier it is to work with when assembling; you can work with it warm, it’s just difficult. I preferred putting them in the fridge, overnight, lightly-covered with plastic wrap.

 

Whiskey Glaze

(This is enough for a single cake, with extra. Extra can be put on any desert.)

8 OZ Melted Butter
½ C White Sugar
½ C Brown Sugar

2/3 C Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
2 t Vanilla
Sea Salt to taste

Combine butter, w. sugar,  & b. sugar in deep pot. Heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until sugars melt – there should little, to no, granules left. As always, when working with sugar, be careful not to burn – the butter will add a good buffer, however.

Remove from heat. CAREFULLY add Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, having a lid nearby to cover pot should fire become unwieldy. Fire may start immediately upon adding. (Have baking powder nearby to put out possible fires – using water can be dangerous.)

Return to heat, ignite mixture carefully – a flame to fumes should be enough. Allow flame to burn until desired amount of alcohol is removed. 30 seconds is fine. (If mixture will not ignite: lightly cover pot with lid, allowing fumes to build, before introducing flame. This, however, can be very dangerous.)

Remove from heat, cover with lid.

Add vanilla and salt, mix.

Mixture can be kept refrigerated for weeks. Separating into appropriate batch sizes is preferable. I have made X-8 batches of this that kept fine.

Reheat in microwave. When reheating, be sure to completely reheat the entire batch and remix, as the fat separates when chilled.

 

Praline filling

(This recipe will be too large for a single cake. I estimate a necessary total of 3-4 C of filling for a quad-layer cake.)

3 C Pecans, chopped fine in robo-coupe
12 OZ Butter, melted
3 C Brown Sugar
½ C Heavy Cream

2 t Vanilla
3 C Powdered sugar – Sifted
1 t Salt

Roast pecans. Approximately 10-15 minutes at 350. If they start to blacken, it’s too long. Chop in robo-coupe, or just chop fine.You want them.. a quarter the size of a pea, at most. But you do not want to make it grainy.

Melt butter, add b. sugar and heavy cream. Mix occasionally, on medium-high heat, until sugar melts – no granules left.

Remove from heat, add vanilla.

Gradually stir in powdered sugar and salt until combined. This is difficult: it will become very thick. Liquid fat will consistently seep out of mixture even when completely mixed; simply remix before using.

Mixture can be kept in fridge for weeks. Reheat in microwave until malleable.

 

Ganache

First of all: Don’t get anything mixed in with the ingredients, as it will ruin the ganache. Especially water. Second, ganache is a unique material to work with. Google it.

Equal parts semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream – by weight. You’ll need about 3 C total per large cake. So, 12oz chocolate, 12 oz heavy cream – extra is a good idea, as you will likely make a big mess applying it to cake.

Chop/shave chocolate fine. A long, serrated knife, is ideal – bread knife is fine. Place in DRY large bowl.

Heat heavy cream, stirring, over high heat, until it starts rapidly rising in the pot. Immediately remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Be careful with this process, as the milk can burn on the bottom of the pan, and the entire batch will taste of it. Best watch it closely, mixing very slowly. Or just turn down the heat – I just didn’t have time.

Gently shake bowl to get cream to surround and cover chocolate. Let rest 2-3 minutes.

Whisk slowly until ganache forms. It will go from milky with flecks of chocolate, to a smooth, shiny, creamy chocolate. Do not mix quickly – the ganache can supposedly break, though I’ve never seen it.

Can be refrigerated for weeks. Large batches can be made. Reheat SLOWLY, in 3-4 C portions, or it will break – 10-30 seconds at a time, mixing inbetween.

 

Finalizing Cake

Microwave glaze, filling, and ganache as needed.

On 6 pieces of parchment paper, which are larger than the cake pans, trace lines around bottom of cake-pans.

With separate parchment paper, cut 4 strips… about 12 inches long by 4 inches wide. These will soon be placed under the cake during the assembly and icing process, to control the mess.

Place approx. 1 C of praline on one of the traced parchment sheets, place a second sheet ontop of that, aligning both, and sandwiching the parline inbetween. Flatten out to fill tracing. The filling should be no more than a quarter-inch thickness, but I can’t exactly remember. Repeat til you have 3 sets filled. Now, place these in the freezer. They will chill, causing them to be easier to work with. Theoretically, this could be done far in advance.

Remove cakes from cake pans if not already done. Horizontally flatten cakes by cutting off the tops. Now that the cake is topped, horizontally split the cake into two equate pieces. You will now have a total of 4 cake bases.

On a completely flat plate [preferably atop a rotating, cake decoration stand], place the 4 parchment strips so that the edges of a cake base will rest on it. Then, place a cake base atop the plate and parchment strips. (Preferably, you will use one of the two cake bases with a “pan-side”, placing the cake base pan-side down. This isn’t hugely important, but if you’re making something this complex, might as well make it perfectly.)

Ladle 2 OZ of glaze atop cake base, spreading around. Less won’t work, more can be ok, but it can also make the cake soggy.

Place flattened praline atop that, removing parchment paper.

Place next cake base atop all that, being sure to align the sides of the bases. (Ideally, you will use the cake base that is partnered with the first cake base, and place the second ontop of the first, exactly how it was when they were cut apart.) 

Add glaze, then filling, as before.

Repeat until forth base is atop. (Ideally, you want the a pan-side, of the final base, facing upwards – to produce a flat surface. Otherwise, you can simply shave the top flat. But it doesn’t look as perfect on the inside.)

Glaze the final, top, cake base. Once glaze is applied, scrape off the excess so that it does not interfere with ganache application. Do NOT place another layer of praline atop this.

Scratch excess praline and loose cake off sides of cake.

Ganache the whole thing, using approximately half of the ganache. Ganache is easiest to work with when not too runny. Micro/refrigerate to change consistency. This step is for filling-in the inconsistencies in the cake’s shape. It ok if it’s ugly, as long as the shape is approximately correct. You can do more patchwork on the, immediately following, second application of ganache – but it makes that step more difficult.

Chill for.. maybe 30 minutes. Once chilled, the first coating of ganache should have firmed up, though not necessarily completely. I never went longer than 30, so I can’t give you advice there.

Apply final coating of ganache. The goal of this coating is to make a very smooth and attractive exterior. That is difficult without the proper tools and experience. For your first few runs, don’t worry about it. When you want to make beautiful exterior, for your very last touch-ups, heat the ganache to make it a bit runnier – this helps when making a flawless exterior.

Sell the intensive chocolate cake, and a measurable fraction of your soul, for about 150 bucks.


Cooking Hub

Homepage

Advertisements

~ by Louis Naughtic on July 28, 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s