The first time I baked this cake my daughter was only 14 months old…it was Christmas Eve 2006.
I had invited the entire family to a Christmas Day Open House at our home. I had cooked several savory appetizers, baked a few deserts and cookies…all recipes collected from Food Network that I was sure none of my relatives had ever tasted. The house was beautiful, the food came out so great.
…This cake did not look very appealing… I was confident about every dish and dessert I had prepared, but this cake. It was so soft and moist to the point of becoming shapeless. I remember as I cut the first slice I apologized for it to look like “cow manure”.
Everyone had a slice and everyone was silent at the first bite. And then…It was declared this was the best Chocolate Cake ever!!! Proclaimed by all the almost 30 family relatives that visited our home through out the day that Christmas Day.
I have baked it several times since then and the last time I baked this cake was 3 days ago for New Year’s Eve. I took a few picture along the way …
Here is the recipe!
FOR THE CAKE:
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup bleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
FOR THE PUDDING:
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
FOR THE GANACHE:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate squares, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
FOR THE CAKE: Put the eggs and 1 cup of the sugar in a large mixing bowl, and with an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and has tripled in volume, about 8 minutes, using the mixer.
Sift the cocoa, flour, and baking powder together in another large mixing bowl. Add the egg mixture and fold to mix thoroughly so the mixture is smooth.
Grease two 9 x 2-inch round cake pans with the butter. Sprinkle each with a tablespoon of the remaining sugar. Pour the cake batter evenly into the pans and bake until the cakes spring back when touched, about 25 minutes.
Let cool for about 2 minutes. Using a thin knife, loosen the edges of the cakes, then flip. Let cool completely.
FOR THE PUDDING: Combine 1/2 cup of the cream with the cornstarch in a small bowl and stir to make a paste. Combine the paste with the remaining 3 1/2 cups cream, the sugar, the chocolate chips, and the vanilla in a large nonstick saucepan. Using a wire whisk, stir the mixture until it is well blended. Put the saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk constantly until the chocolate melts thoroughly. Cook the mixture, stirring often, until it becomes very thick, like pudding, about 25 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down on the surface of the pudding to keep a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the pudding evenly on top of the layer. Top with a second layer of cake. Spread 1 1/2 cups of pudding evenly over it. Repeat the same process with the third layer. Top with the fourth layer. If necessary, shave off any uneven pieces of cake with a serrated knife so that it is smooth and even on all sides. Chill for 2 hours.
TO MAKE THE GANACHE: Combine the cream and chopped chocolate in a medium-size nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir to cool. It should be glossy and slightly thick.
Spoon the mixture onto the top of the chilled cake, allowing the overflow to drip down the sides. Cool slightly. Chill for at least 6 hours.