This beautiful one-layer cake has the wonderful, fluffy texture you expect to get from boxed cake mixes, but with a made-from-scratch flavor they never touch. There are no artificial ingredients. It takes the same amount of time to mix as a box mix.
Need a quick dessert that with WOW factor for chocolate lovers? Here it is. It’s a one bowl, one layer, chocolate torte with a decadent chocolate glaze that flamboyantly drips down the sides designed by the queen of chocolate, Alice Medrich. It is mixed just like a muffin batter–the wet stirred into the dry ingredients. Use one of the delicious cocoa powders, like Sharfen Berger or Valhrona. You will taste the difference.
Many new bakers do not know what ganache is. And once you do, you will never be without it in your arsenal of cake finishing techniques. Ganache is simply an emulsion of chocolate and cream. Ganache has many uses in the pastry kitchen. You can fill a cake with it. You can frost a cake with it. You can whip it. You can make truffles. You can pour it over ice cream. Here I glaze the one layer cake with it.
At its simplest, ganache is just heavy cream and chocolate. Make it with 2 parts cream to one part chocolate, and you can whip it. Make it with equal parts cream and chocolate, and you can glaze a cake or top a sundae. Make it with 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream, and you have the truffle. Keep whisking until the melted emulsion is complete. Try not to introduce air bubbles by beating hard, especially it you’re using this as a glaze. Strain it if you want be sure it’s completely smooth.
•If you want your glaze to be super shiny, add just a little splash of organic corn syrup. Corn syrup is the shine serum of the culinary world.
•If you want to add a bit more richness, whisk in a teaspoon or two of unsalted butter.
•You can add a splash of liqueur, espresso powder, or vanilla to accent the flavor.
Make one 8- square or 9-inch single layer cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
4 oz. (1/2 cup/1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream; more as needed
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom of an 8×2- or 9×2-inch round cake pan or springform pan, or line it with parchment.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift only if the cocoa remains lumpy after whisking. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Pour the hot water over the batter; stir just until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes for a 9-inch pan; 35 to 40 min. for an 8-inch pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 min. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert the cake (peel off the parchment if necessary). Invert it again onto the rack and let cool completely.
Once cool, set the rack over a baking sheet or foil. Make the ganache fudge glaze. Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk gently until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. (If using a 70% bittersweet chocolate, the ganche might be a bit thick; add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, to thin it. You might also want to add a couple of teaspoons of sugar when you add the hot cream. Pour the warm ganache over the cake and use an icing spatula to spread it over the top of the cake and down the sides. Let set for about an hour before serving.
text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016
Recipe copyright Alice Medrich 2011
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.