Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Danny's Chocolate Sponge Cake

Danny didn't bake this entirely by himself, but he did the bulk of it. I let him select the recipe, decide on decoration, etc. It turned out lovely, and while he's still not ready to take credit for it as he didn't, "Do everything", I'm going to go ahead and consider this Danny's first cake baked more or less without me.

The recipe comes from Chocolate by, Nick Malgieri. So far, I like this cookbook-the recipes are simple enough for a seven year old to manage. The cake was about as perfect as a sponge gets, and the addition of cornstarch (cornflour) makes for a really light, delicate crumb.

The ganache was something I tossed together from a combination of semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolate (I didn't have any bittersweet). That turned out to be a pretty good balance. Danny thought shavings of white chocolate would look nice on top, and I agreed.

For The Cake:

1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
4 large eggs, separated at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Grease a 9 inch spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift the dry ingredients together through a fine sieve and keep the sieve handy. Whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar until light, about 4 minutes on medium with a mixer. It should be pale yellow, and fluffy. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then add the other half of the sugar slowly, beating until stiff peaks for,. Fold the yolk mixture gently into the whites. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture into the eggs and fold in, just until combined. Repeat two more times.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan (I always put my springform pan on a baking sheet-your call) and bake 30 minutes or until it tests done.

Cool on a rack 10 minutes, then remove from pan, remove parchment, and let cool completely before glazing.

For the Ganache:

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chop chocolate fine and place in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, combine cream and corn syrup until steaming. Pour over chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add vanilla. Pour over cold cake on a rack over a baking sheet while ganache is still warm. Remove cake to a plate and chill to set ganache. Scrape any leftover ganache into a bowl and chill. When firm, roll into truffles. I coated mine in red and gold sprinkles for Valentine's Day.


Susan from Food Blogga said...

Oh, my gosh, we grew up eating sponge cake at every family occasion from birthdays to holidays. It was always my favorite because it was so delectably moist. But I've never had chocolate sponge cake. Chocolate angel cake, yes. But if it's a Nick M recipe, you know it's good. Thanks for sharing this deliciously dark idea.

Goody said...

We ate our share of sponge too-but I should warn you, this one is on the dry side. Not dry like a genoise, but not like a typical golden butter sponge that you'd serve with fruit. Still delicious, but I thought I point that out to head off any disappointment.