Recipe: Quadruple Layered Dark Chocolate Cake

~ This is Day 250 ~

This cake is a mashup of this and my signature triple layered dark chocolate tart. I didn’t want to make a tart and I wasn’t entirely happy with the last two layers of the cake that I made in August so I made this instead: a cake-y bottom, ganache, mousse, then a velvety glaze!

Makes an 8-inch square or round cake.

For the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Grease it with either butter or Pam spray, then dust with cocoa powder. 

In a bain marie (which is a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), place the chopped chocolate into the bowl and melt it. Remove from heat and whisk chocolate to completely melt it. Cut the butter into small pieces with a bench scraper and add that into the bowl, along with the sugar, eggs, and sifted flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared mold and place it in the oven for 20 minutes. The cake should look underdone. Unmold the cake onto a rack and let it cool. Clean and dry the mold, then wrap in plastic. Put the cooled cake in the bottom of the mold.

For the Chocolate Cream

  • 70 g dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 100 g whole milk
  • 100 g heavy cream
  • 50 g egg yolks (around 3)
  • 50 g granulated sugar

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until pale yellow. Off the heat, slowly temper the egg-sugar mixture by pouring the hot milk/cream slowly into the egg/sugar. Then transfer everything back into the pot and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is 180°F, be careful not to overheat or else the egg yolk will curdle. 

Pour one third of the mixture over the chopped chocolate, stirring well. Repeat 2 more times then using an immersion blender, process the mixture thoroughly. Pour the cream over the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour and then in the freezer for another hour.

For the Chocolate Mousse

  • 170 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 80 g whole milk
  • 20 g egg yolk
  • 120 g egg whites
  • 20 g granulated sugar

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie then remove from the heat. In a small pot, bring the milk to a boil. Pour the milk over the chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is smooth. Lastly, add in the egg yolk and incorporate well.

In a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff with a dash of sugar. Then as the whites begin to stiffen, add the remaining sugar. Incorporate one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining whites. 

Pour the chocolate mousse over the smooth chocolate cream in the mold. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula. Freeze this for 2 hours.

For the Chocolate Glaze

Pour the water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cream and cocoa and simmer for 5 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, bloom the gelatin into a bowl of cold, iced water then squeeze out any excess water when soft.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in the chocolate and bloomed gelatin and strain through a fine sieve. Leave to cool to about 90°F, stirring occasionally.

Remove the cake from the mold and discard the plastic wrap. Put the cake over a rack lined with a sheet tray. Using a small ladle or not, pour the chocolate glaze over the center of the cake and tilt the cake to spread the glaze over the sides. Continue with the rest of the glaze and cover the top and sides of the cake. You can use a small offset spatula too, to evenly coat the sides and edges of the cake. 

Leave to set for a few minutes before transferring to a cake stand or plate. Return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Cut with a knife dipped in hot water for clean lines! Sprinkle flaky sea salt over wedge/slice if you like that! Or whatever you want, in this version, I have some coffee soil over the top.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Melon Vinaigrette

At home, what do you usually do to with seeds when you cut melons such as cantaloupes and honeydews apart? Throw them away right? I sometimes put them in my mouth because the pulp sack around them is really sweet. However, I find it annoying that I have to eat them over the trash because I’m basically spitting out the seeds like a machine gun.

Anyway, save those seeds and pulp next time so you can make delicious melon vinaigrette!

  • Seed cavities from two melons (e.g. cantaloupe, honeydew, Crenshaw)
  • ½ cup white wine/white balsamic/champagne vinegar
  • 1½ cups neutral oil (e.g. grapeseed)
  • Salt
  • Xanthum gum (optional)

Push the seed cavities through a fine mesh strainer or chinois and reserve juices. The more juice you get out, the better.

In a VitaMix, pour reserved juices, vinegar, and oil into blender. Add a pinch of salt and a touch of xanthum to combine.

Sample dishes:

Skate Wing with Barley Risotto

I feel like skate is such an under-appreciated fish. I love skate wing. I love the texture of the flesh, the chewiness of it, and how gelatinous it is. A classic way to cook skate is with brown butter, thyme, and garlic. It’s perfect every time. I don’t think I’ve had it any other way.

This Skate Wing is served with a Barley Risotto, Rock Shrimp, Garlic Chives, a Riesling Saffron Sauce, Mascarpone Foam, and Saltwort.

Cuttlefish “Noodles” with Nori Pesto

This has to be one of my most innovative dishes using modernist cuisine methods. I sous vide the cuttlefish, rolled it up tightly, froze it, and then shaved it on a meat slicer.

I served the Cuttlefish “Noodles” with a Nori Pesto, Crispy Quinoa, and fresh Mezza Mâche. The overall taste was quite “Asian” with the texture of the noodles and the consistency of the nori pesto. But it was delicious, as an appetizer.

*Also, this is the dish that I chose for my homepage.

Poached Egg in Sunchoke Velouté

I love this dish – minus the preparation of sunchokes. I love sunchokes but they are the most frustrating ingredients to peel. Because of this, this poached egg was only on the tasting menu for a week.

This is a Poached Egg in a Sunchoke Velouté, Crispy Prosciutto, Sunchoke Chips, Pecans, Thai Basil Oil, and Fried Sage.

Frog Legs with Two Sauces

You don’t see much frog outside of Chinese and French restaurants. We had it briefly on our tasting menus. In my opinion, Frenching the legs so that they look like fancy mini drumsticks was too much for something so little. I still prefer them whole, intact, and cooked the rustic Chinese way. But anyhow, these Frenched Frog Legs are served with a Garlic Chive Purée, a Chinese Black Vinegar Reduction, Sunchoke Chips, and Tangerine Frills.

Crisp Octopus

I’m quite proud of my octopus dish. It was on our a la carte menu for six months, from September through March.

This dish comes with Celeriac Purée, Garlic Purée, Asian Pear, Micro Chervil and sits on a streak of Cuttlefish Ink Miso Paste.

IMG_3607

Sous Vide Egg & Mushroom Panzanella

A hearty dish on the tasting menu earlier this week. This was quite delicious (mainly because of my amazing red wine jus) and I think perfect for NYC’s current weather and season. It’s not entirely spring yet, winter still has its grip on the state of things.

This Sous Vide Egg has a Wild Mushroom Panzanella, Wintered Spinach, a Red Wine Jus, and Arugula Flowers.