SMS – Speakeasy! My pick, dang!!

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STOP THE PRESS!!! I’m here, I’m here!!

No I haven’t forgotten you. Yes I’ve been a bad blog mommy. Yes, I’m here to make it up to you… with cake!!

When I got the email about me hosting an SMS post the first thing that popped into mind was “Dang! it’s about TIME!” *jumps for joy* Then it was intermittently followed by “Gosh, what do I choose?!” *panic*

I did want to pick something tasty, simple with seasonal/staple ingredients and no allergens. Did I succeed? I’m not sure, you tell me ;)

With the national day of looooove (read: Valentine’s Day) just around the corner, I felt the need to gussy this bad boy up. And tweak it, cus that’s how I roll.

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I halved the recipe and made it in three 4″x4″ heart shaped springform pans, subbed Bailey’s for the Brandy and baked for 35 minutes. My cakes were about as temperamental as a teen during that time of the month… you see, they would rise beautifully and then I would discover a HUGE space between the top of the cake and where the cake actually was. I think I either over mixed the egg whites or over mixed the batter when adding the egg whites. Either way, my quick fix was cutting off the empty top shell and flipping the cake (which yielded in a pretty thin cake). I double drenched the cake in the ganache topping to make sure I had a nice thick and shiny coat. Topped with some lightly sweetened whipped cream (the cake provides plenty sweet) and a sprinkle of orange zest, this cake makes a wonderful V-Day dessert for that special someone. Or heck, make it for yourself. You deserve it!!

This cake is indulgent in every sense of the word: tender, moist, rich and chocolatey. So grab a fork, close your eyes and sigh with happiness.

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Speakeasy
Adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Yields one 8″ cake

FOR THE CAKE:
6 ounces best-quality semisweet (58%) chocolate (I used 50% German chocolate, yum!!)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup Brandy (I subbed Bailey’s. Rum works too!)
4 large eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
6 ounces best-quality semisweet (58%) chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

BEFORE YOU START:
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly butter an 8×2-inch round cake pan (springform works nicely here). Line the bottom with an 8-inch round of parchment paper.

TO MAKE THE CAKE:
1. In a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering, not boiling, hot water, melt the chocolate with the butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the brandy until smooth. Set aside to cool.
2. Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a large mixing bowl, and the whites in an electric mixer bowl.
3. Add half of the sugar to the bowl with the yolks and whisk until thick. Add the chocolate mixture to the yolks and whisk to combine. Sift the flour, cinnamon, and salt over the chocolate batter and stir to combine.
4. In the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, make a meringue by whipping the egg whites until foamy. In a slow steady stream, add the remaining sugar. Whip until the whites hold stiff but not dry peaks.
5. Briskly stir one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter. Gently fold the remaining two-thirds of the meringue into the batter until no streaks remain.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Spin the pan to level the batter. bake for 80 to 90 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. (Do not do the skewer test until the cake has ben baking for at least 70 minutes or you will deflate the batter!) Remove to a wire rack (I used a cookie rack over a baking sheet lined with foil) to cool before glazing.

TO MAKE THE GLAZE:
1. When the cake is cool enough to glaze, coarsely chop the chocolate and place it in a medium bowl.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the heavy cream until scalding, or until the cream is steaming and tiny bubbles have formed along the edges. Do not boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in the corn syrup.

TO COMPLETE THE CAKE:
1. Place the cake upside down on a rack set over the prepared cookie sheet.
2. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting the glaze spread itself. You may have to push it over the sides a bit, and use a small metal spatula or butter knife to smooth the sides. Try not to touch the top though, so it will be glossy and unmarred. Let the glaze set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once the glaze is set, transfer the cake to a serving plate.

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PRO TIP FROM MELISSA: Whenever I have a batter that uses a meringue or whipped egg whites for leavening, I am not all that gentle with the first addition. The base, in this case the chocolate-yolk mixture, tends to be heavy, and the first addition of the meringue acts as a liaison, lightening the batter enough so that the rest of the meringue is accepted into the batter more easily, and can therefore retain maximum volume. So just get that first addition in however you can, then be gentle and fold the remaining meringue in properly.

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14 thoughts on “SMS – Speakeasy! My pick, dang!!

  1. I love how you turned these into heart-shaped cakes for Valentine’s, and you made them sound delicious! Sorry they didn’t end up baking quite right. They definitely look beautiful!

  2. Hi Jeannette, good to see you’re back! After your holiday baking extravaganza I don’t blame you for taking a little break from baking/blogging. You really made the Speakeasy look beautiful – yay for chocolate cake! I was planning on baking it today, but now I’m not feeling well, so my apologies if I don’t get to it (I’m optimistic, though) on time.

  3. Now THAT is one beautiful little love cake. Love how you drizzled the white (?) chocolate on top. So lovely. That one would make a bakery cake blush with inferiority.

  4. Good choice this week Jeannette!! I’m generally not a fan of these rich chocolate cakes, but this one won me over :) Your cakes are stunning – love the white chocolate drizzle.

    I’m glad you’re back!

  5. Good call on the hearts! They are adorable. They look amazing with the drizzle on top and the orange zest. I added orange liquor to my cake and wish I would have included some orange zest. I thought the ganache was amazing. Thanks for hosting!

  6. Whoa girl! This looks incredible. So sorry I couldn’t bake along with you this week but I will surely be making this soon. Looks way too delish to miss out on.

  7. Pingback: Valentine’s Day Baking « Sunday Roses

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