So, creating a blog has been one of the most nerve-wracking-slash-dumbfounding experiences of my life. My hats off to all of you bloggers who do it on your own because my brain is seriously entering hibernate mode due to my crash course on wordpress, platforms, RSS feeds and many other terms you really should not test me on.
I suppose a shout-out to Misiu is necessary as well, for putting up with my incessant blagging (blog-nagging) and having the patience to actually work with me! You’re a champ, babe! IOU your favourite apple pie! <3 Now, on to the good stuff! The Chocolate Cake Recipe Panna Cotta is one of my favourite elegant desserts – it is a rich chocolate cake with class, elevated with creamy chocolate panna cotta layers and wrapped in a fancy chocolate band.
Panna Cotta is a traditional Italian cooked cream mixed with gelatine and left to set in the fridge, resulting in a tasty hybrid of a pudding and mousse. Traditionally served with fruits, nuts and vanilla flavouring, my cake calls for a chocolate panna cotta, which, in my unbiased opinion, makes it that much better.
Mmm, chocolate. This cake requires a little planning and time, but it is totally worth the effort. The original recipe is from the December 2007 issue of Bon Appétit, but when I first made this cake for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday, the cake recipe gave me really awful cake layers that completely fell apart on me and I vowed to never make it again, even if the end result was magnifique.
After rave reviews however, I knew that the chocolate cake recipe panna cotta was a keeper, and decided to substitute the cake recipe for one from Smitten Kitchen, which never disappoints. I made this cake for my boyfriend’s father’s office party, with some extra cakes for my visiting cousin and for my father’s birthday. Dad lives in Poland and didn’t get a chance to try the cake for himself, but we assured him it was chocolicious and sent him some cyber-slices.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Double Chocolate Layer Cake
This recipe makes 2 10” cakes for 2 layers. If you want to split the layers I would seriously recommend making another third or half of the panna cotta layers to have enough to cover and fill the cake.
Ingredients Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
How to Make Chocolate Cake Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 300°F and grease and flour pans.
2. Finely chop your semi-sweet chocolate and place in bowl, pouring hot coffee over and mixing to combine. Stir the mixture occasionally, until all of the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add your oil, buttermilk and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl, sift together your sugar, flour, cocoa power, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat eggs on medium-high until thickened and light in colour. (3-5 minutes depending on mixer). Slowly, in a steady stream, add your chocolate mixture to your eggs, beating until well combined, stopping to scrape your bowl half way through.
5. Once combined, scrape your bowl again and add the sugar mixture, beating on medium speed until just combined, again scraping half way through. Do not over mix as this can result in a tougher, heavier cake.
6. Divide the batter between your greased pans and bake in the middle of your over until a toothpick comes out clean and the top springs back lightly, about 60-70 minutes.
7. Cool cake layers on racks for about 20 minutes and run a thin knife around the edges of the pans before inverting them onto your racks. Cool layers completely before using. If you are in a hurry, popping the almost cooled layers in the freezer can speed up the process.
Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe
adapted from Bon Appétit
Ingredients Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 teaspoons unflavored gelatine
- 7 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 5 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, such as Lindt or Perugina, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
How to Make Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe
1. Sprinkle gelatine into your ½ cup water and let soften for 10 minutes.
2. Place all of your chopped chocolates in a large metal bowl.
3. In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, scraped vanilla been seeds and the entire beans. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves and remove from heat. Whisk in the gelatine mixture, and pour the cream mixture over your chocolates in the metal bowl, whisking until chocolate is melted and combined.
4. Place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water and ice and whisk often until mixture thickens like a pudding, adding more ice and draining water as needed. It should take 30-45 minutes to thicken; remove from over water.
TO ASSEMBLE CAKE:
Once your cake layers have cooled completely, you can use either a cake ring or your cake pan to assemble the cake.
Place the first cake layer at the bottom of your cake pan and pour half of the panna cotta mixture over the cake. It will drip down the side of the cake. Freeze the cake for 45 minutes, keeping the remaining panna cotta at room temperature.
Once the cake has set, carefully lift the 2nd cake layer and set atop the panna cotta covered cake layer. Pour remaining panna cotta overtop, filling the pan completely. Chill overnight to set.
(Can be covered and frozen for 2 weeks; thraw overnight in the refrigerator before wrapping the cake with the chocolate band)
- 2 16×3-inch strips waxed paper
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
The chocolate band is something that looks incredibly accomplished, but is actually deceivingly simple. You may need someone to help you wrap the band around the cake, and do not make the band too tall or it will fall over and look sloppy. I have yet to master the perfect ruffle, but the chocolate band itself is always impressive.
Cut strips of waxed parchment paper and set atop large sheet of parchment paper. Have an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet ready.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and spread a thin layer of chocolate evenly over your parchment strips, using an offset spatula. Gently lift the strips and transfer them to your aluminum lined sheet and transfer to the fridge to chill until firm but pliable, about 3 minutes.
Remove chilled cake from pan. Carefully lift your strips, and wrap your cake slowly and evenly, parchment paper side out. The band will sit higher than the cake. Carefully, repeat with second band, trimming any excess or overlapping chocolate and paper.
Using your fingertips, gently press the top edge of the band in toward the cake, to form a slight ruffle. Chill until set, about 5 minutes. Gently, peel off waxed paper. Chill Cake. (The cake can be made one day ahead.)