Monday, March 7, 2011

HCB - Moist Chocolate Genoise (anniversary cake)

As you can tell from the title of this post, I skipped the "raspberry" part of this week's Heavenly Cake Bakers cake. I also skipped the cocoa syrup and the ganache. So what did I make? Just half of the chocolate genoise recipe in two 6" round pans, and then I took a big detour :o) One of the main reasons is that I didn't want to make the cake too "chocolaty" because hubby is not a fan of super-chocolaty desserts. Since this is our wedding anniversary cake, I figured we should both like it :o)

Four layer chocolate genoise cake with strawberry-and-cream filling and chocolate whipped cream frosting

I've made many genoise cakes before but never a chocolate one. However, this recipe starts out like none of the recipes I've ever made. Chop chocolate and add boiling water. My first thought was, what??? Chocolate and water don't play nice together. Rose couldn't possibly be wrong so I plowed forward. After 5 and then 10 minutes of stirring, I still had chocolate soup. I started to get worried and my mind was racing on what to do if this remains chocolate soup forever and always. After about 15 minutes, it finally came to a boil. While stirring I came to the realization that Rose should have included a warning in this recipe: "wear long sleeves and oven mittens". I burned myself twice while the "chocolate soup" was bubbling away and bubbles jumped from the pan onto my arm and thumb. Today I have two red spots on my arm :o( I said to myself, this cake better taste good :o)

I didn't read Marie's last post close enough and didn't know about the "other" mixing method for the chocolate genoise. As far as I can tell, I didn't find any flour pellets in the final product. I did stick my hand in the genoise batter but couldn't find any pellets at the bottom of my bowl so I figured I got lucky.

Two small changes I made to the genoise batter: added a large pinch of salt and a little vanilla.

Four eggs (half a recipe) whipped on High until quadrupled in volume

8 oz of batter in each 6" round cake pan and the rest went into a ramekin (for quality control, of course)

Wow, the genoise rose really well. It measured 1.5" on the side.
And then came the detour:
  • Orange syrup: 1/3 cup water, 3 Tbsp sugar, bring to a boil, then add 6 Tbsp of orange juice. Cool. Remove top and bottom crust on each cake and torte it. Brush syrup on both sides of each cake half.
  • Strawberry-cream filling: make your favorite whipped cream cheese frosting with cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and whipped cream. Dice about 8 oz of strawberries and sprinkle some sugar on them to macerate them. Fold in a little orange zest. Spread about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of filling on each cake layer and distribute 2-3 Tbsp of diced strawberries on top before stacking it with another cake layer.
  • Chocolate cream frosting: whipped cream, sugar, vanilla and Dutch cocoa.

We ate a quarter cake in one sitting :o)

A slice of chocolate heaven. Bon appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:
  • This cake was a big hit. My husband's action (not just his words) more than proved that. When I gave him his slice, he said that it was too big and that he wouldn't be able to finish it. A few minutes later, it was gone. He commented on how "light" it was which is why he was able to finish it. He gave it a 9.5 out of 10. Score!
  • This cake is a winner. It tastes even better the next day (the orange flavor was much more pronounced). Although this was my first Chocolate Genoise, it won't be my last. For sure, this is now my go-to recipe for Chocolate Genoise. The orange syrup made the genoise moist and gave it a nice subtle orange flavor which perfectly complimented the orange zest in the strawberry filling. The subtle tang from the cream cheese filling worked really well against the chocolate in the cake and frosting. Overall, I'd say the flavors were very well-balanced.
  • When I first cut into the cake, the white-red-chocolate look reminded me of the Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte (aka Black Forest Cake). I'm sure there are many other uses for this Chocolate Genoise.
  • Recap of my changes (for 1/2 a recipe): added a large pinch of salt and some vanilla to the batter. Made an orange syrup to brush both sides of the cake layers (when I was done, I only had about 1 Tbsp of syrup left). Used a strawberry-cream filling. Had chocolate whipped cream in the freezer so I used that for the frosting. As for the strawberry slices on the outside, just wash, dry and thinly slice strawberries and use only 3 middle slices. Put on paper towel to dry well before applying to the outside of the cake. Try to pick strawberries that are about the same size.
Before I forget, I wanted to share with you some pictures of our special home-cooked anniversary meal (prepared/cooked by yours truly):

Mixed spring lettuce salad with homemade vinaigrette, cottage cheese and craisins

An adaptation of Giada's Roasted Red Pepper Soup with a "sour cream heart" :o)

Oven-roasted mixed veggies and grilled tuna steak


    1. Happy anniversary, Hanaa! I love the "detour," it resulted in a really spectacular cake. Your anniversary dinner looks wonderful, too.

    2. Hola! Happy Anniversary dear! You are surely innovative and creative. So inspiring!

    3. Gorgeous looking cake, so perfect.

    4. Beautiful cake Hanaa! I LOVE the strawberry slices outside. Usually I see thick slices outside the cake. I like how thin yours is.

      Your cake sounded so delicious. I'm particularly interested in how much dutch cocoa you add to the whip cream? Would you mind telling me? (you can also email me).

      And the rest of the dessert looks yummy as well. Cute sour cream heart! :)

    5. Oh forgot! Happy ANNIVERSARY!!!

    6. Wow! This cake is even more beautiful than I imagined it when you tweeted about it! I also love the thin strawberry slices, and your mention of Black Forest cake has me thinking about an adaptation using your syrup idea with cherry juice... Happy anniversary to you and the hubs!

    7. Happy Anniversary Hanaa! What a beautiful cake! Such a lovely and delicious sounding dinner. Your husband is quite fortunate to have such a talented wife.

    8. @Margot: thank you. Both the cake and dinner were a big hit!

      @VeganCfC: thank you very much. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment :o)

      @Umm Mymoonah: thank you!

      @Jenn: thanks Jenn! I emailed you the recipe for the Choc Cream Frosting. Let me know how you like it.

      @Leslie: awwww... thank you :o) Yes, cherry juice syrup would work really well. And if you really want to "up" the cherry flavor, try reducing the cherry juice to a thick syrup (boil in microwave for 3-5 minutes until reduced by half).

      @Vicki: thanks Vicki. I think hubby knows he got lucky :o)

    9. Happy Anniversary Hanaa! Your cake (and dinner) look spectacular! Hope you enjoyed a fun night! I will definitely try this the orange syrup with it. Your tips, as always, are quite helpful. Cheers.

    10. Happy Anniversary Hanaa! Your meal looks delicious and that cake is seriously stunning - definitely sounds like a wonderful celebration :)

    11. Your cake looks fantastic. I really like your strawberry version. And the orange syrup...oh my! Happy Anniversary, hope you have many more!!!

    12. wow! that looks incredible! love the combo of chocolate and the "light" filling. stunning.


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