Friday, July 27, 2012

Lemon Chocolate Drum Torte

There were two major problems with this particular experiment, though I plan to fix both of those the next time I make it, since both were "user" errors. The first was when I was making my ganache. I had it chilling in an ice bath in the sink, and some water got splashed into it, making it less solid than I wanted it. The second was using too much batter in each layer (I originally used two cups), and the layers were less spongy than I wanted them, and a little more solid. I have fixed the second error in the recipe. The first...well, just don't forget you have ganache chilling in the sink when you make this.

Lemon Chocolate Drum Torte

Ganache (Make this several hours ahead, or the night before)
16 oz semisweet chocolate
6 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
8 tbsp butter, cut

Sponge Cake
24 large eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
4 tsp lemon extract
2 2/3 cups cake flour
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp lemon juice

      Prepare ganache early: Combine chocolates, cream, and butter in top half of a double boiler. Stir together as all elements melt, until smooth. If you do not have access to a double boiler, combine your chocolates in a large bowl, preferably metal, and heat cream to boiling over medium high heat in small saucepan. Pour boiling cream over chocolate in bowl, and let stand 1 minute. Stir with rubber spatula until smooth. Stir in butter until melted and smooth.

      Chill ganache in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. If in a hurry, set bowl in ice bath and chill about 20 minutes, until thick, stirring occasionally. I don't care for the ice bath method, for several reasons now. My best results with this ganache have been when I chilled it overnight, then let it stand the next day until it was room temperature, stirred easily, and spread easily.

      Once your ganache is warming to room temperature (if refrigerated), prepare the sponge cake: Preheat oven to 400. Grease bottoms of two 9-inch round metal cake pans (I used heart shaped pans, though I have also used the bottom of a bundt pan so I could make it into a wreath). Line each pan with a 9-inch reusable non-stick bakeware liner, or kitchen parchment, or waxed paper; grease parchment or waxed paper.

      In a small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg yolks with ½ cup sugar about 10 minutes, until thick and lemon colored. Beat in extract; set aside. 

      In a large bowl, with clean beaters and with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beating at high speed, gradually sprinkle in remaining ½ cup sugar, 2 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition until sugar dissolves and whites stand in stiff peaks. 

      Transfer yolk mixture to very large bowl. Gradually sift in and fold flour into yolk mixture, then fold in melted butter and lemon juice until blended (add food coloring if desired...I do, because I like my lemon cake to be yellow).

      With spatula, fold beaten egg-white mixture into yolk mixture, one third at a time, just until blended. 

      Spoon about 1 cup batter into each prepared pan (Do NOT use too much. If you are using a larger pan, you can use more, but you want your layers very thin). With spatula, spread batter to even thickness. Bake cake layers about 10 minutes, until lightly golden and cake springs back when gently touched with finger. Loosen edge of each layer with spatula, and invert onto wire rack to cool completely. 

      When pans are cool, repeat with remaining batter to make remaining layers. Stack cooled layers between sheets of waxed paper.

      Spread 1/3 cup ganache on one cake layer. Top with second layer and spread with 1/3 cup ganache. Repeat until all layers covered and cake is assembled.  I added some chocolate chips on top, for a little texture.

 Assembled cake

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