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Measurements

THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE
Categories: Cakes
Yield: 16 Servings

1 lb Bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
1/2 lb Butter; unsalted
6 Eggs; lightly beaten

GLAZE
2/3 c Heavy cream
6 oz Semisweet chocolate finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Wrap the outside of an 8-inch springform pan in a double layer of aluminum foil to prevent seepage. Butter pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or waxed paper. Butter the paper.

2. Combine the chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl over a pan of hot - not simmering - water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is smooth and melted. Or melt in a glass bowl in a microwave oven on high (100%), stopping and stirring every 15 seconds; remove the chocolate when there are still a few lumps and stir until completely smooth.

3. Put the eggs in a large mixer bowl set over simmering water and stir constantly until warm to the touch, about 3 minutes; remove from the heat. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they triple in volume and form soft peaks when the beater is lifted, 5 to 8 minutes. (To ensure maximum volume, if using a hand-held mixer, continue to beat the eggs over simmering water until they are hot to the touch, about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and beat until cool.)

4. Fold half the eggs into the melted chocolate until partially incorporated. Add the remaining eggs and fold until they are just blended and no streaks remain.

5. Pour at once into the prepared springform pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Place in a larger roasting pan and add enough hot water to the pan to reach about two-thirds of the way up the springform.

6. Bake for 5 minutes. Cover the top of the springform loosely with lightly buttered aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes longer. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool on a rack for 45 minutes; then cover and refrigerate until chilled and very firm, about 3 hours.

7. To unmold, run a small spatula or a blunt knife around the edge and remove the side of the springform. Carefully invert the cake into a plate that has been covered with plastic wrap and remove the bottom of the springform; peel off the parchment. Reinvert the cake onto a cardboard round or a cake plate. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled, before serving.

8. If you want to cover the cake with a chocolate ganache glaze, set it on a rack or tuck strips of waxed paper around the bottom of the cake. Pour the tepid glaze onto the center of the cake, letting it cascade over the sides. Run a long metal spatula lightly across the top so that the glaze will not be too thick. If necessary, use the spatula to patch any pare spots. Work quickly before the glaze sets. Prick any air bubbles with a needle or pin. Carefully remove any strips of waxed paper. Let the glaze stand undisturbed until set, 2 to 3 hours at room temperature, or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE GLAZE:

1. In a small heavy saucepan, scald the cream. Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes; then stir gently until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Let cool until tepid.

2. Stir the glaze to test it. It is ready to use when a small amount mounds just a tiny bit when dropped from the spoon before disappearing into the mixture. If the glaze is too thick and the mound remainds on the surface, add
warm water (or liqueur) by the teaspoonful, testing until the consistency is correct. If for some reason the glaze remains too thin, stir in more finely grated chocolate, heat until melted and then let cool again.


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