Triple Chocolate Cake

From the 1994 KLO dinner — Italy

Jay got this recipe from The Cake Bible (ISBN 0-688-04402-6), by Rose Levy Beranbaum. If you want to make serious cakes, this is THE book.

Triple Chocolate Cake

  • 1 recipe Light Whipped Ganache, preferably made with extra bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 recipe Moist Chocolate Genoise, top and bottom crusts removed
  • 1 recipe Syrup, flavored with Frangelico
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Praline Sheets

Cake Assembly:

Frost the cake directly on a serving plate, using strips of wax paper slid under the sides. Or use a 9″ cardboard round as a base. Place a dab of ganache on the base to attach the cake.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup syrup on each side of cake layers.

Place 1 layer on the plate or cardboard – support the layer when lifting it with a spare cardboard round. Sandwich the layers with 1 cup ganache. Reserve 1/4 cup ganache to attach the praline sheets and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remainder.

Applying the praline sheets:

NOTE: This was an adventure for Jay and Greg. Some day I’ll get them to comment on this.

A warm room (80-85 F) will make the sheets more flexible. Any leftovers can be remelted, re-tempered, and cut into decorative shapes.

Begin by laying each sheet on the counter and peeling off its top layer of paper. Lift up 1 sheet, side against the cake, curving it gently to mold against the side. Carefully peel away the wax paper. Place a dab of frosting near the edge of the sheet and attach a second sheet, overlapping the first.

Continue with remaining sheets until the cake is completely surrounded. Note: Only 4 sheets are needed to encase a 9″ cake so there are 2 extra in case of breakage.

If the room is warm enough the sheets will begin to curve downward toward the center of the cake. Coax them gently into graceful, undulating shapes, allowing their natural inclination to be your guide. If the cho9colate remains resolutely rigid, wave a hair drier (set on warm) briefly and evenly over the sheets. Stop before they appear to have softened and wait a few moments as it is easy to apply too much heat and melt the chocolate.

To this day this process feels slightly scary, slightly risky, and delightfully creative! A word of reassurance: Whatever happens, however it winds up looking, the sheets are always delicious.

A breath of powdered sugar contrasts nicely with the dark chocolate. For the finest possible dusting of sugar, place a few spoonfuls in a fine strainer and flick the side with your finger.

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