Walnut brownie cake:
1 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light brown sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/4 cup water
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cornstarch, lightly spooned into measuring cup and leveled with the
straight edge of a knife
2 cups milk, divided
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces Swiss white chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream
and dark chocolate triangles:
5 ounces Swiss white chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 ounces Swiss dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
One 6-ounce chunk dark chocolate, about 3/4-inch thick
the walnut brownie cake:
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Lightly butter the bottoms and sides of two 9-by-1 1/2 inch round cake pans.
Line the bottoms with circles of baking parchment or waxed paper. Dust the sides
of the pans with flour and tap out the excess.
2. In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour, baking soda
and salt, until thoroughly blended. Sift the flour mixture onto a piece of
3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook, stirring
occasionally over medium heat until smooth. Continue cooking until the sugar
mixture comes to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chocolate to the
saucepan. Let the mixture stand for thirty seconds to melt the chocolate. Stir
until smooth. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and cool for 10 to
15 minutes, until tepid.
4. Using a wire whisk, stir in the eggs one at a time, until smooth. Stir in the
vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the
walnuts until blended.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth it with a
spatula. Bake the cake layers for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted
two inches from the edge of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging
6. Cool the cake layers in the pans set on wire racks for 15 minutes. Run a
thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake layers to loosen them. Invert
them onto wire racks. Peel off the paper circles and leave them loosely set so
that they are right side up. Cool the cake layers completely.
the white chocolate mousse:
7. Put the water in a small heatproof cup. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water
and let the mixture soften while you prepare the mousse.
8. In a medium bowl, whisk the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth.
Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk until blended.
9. In a heavy, medium, noncorrosive saucepan, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups
milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until small
bubbles form around the side of the pan . Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot milk
into the cornstarch/egg mixture until blended. Pour this mixture back
into the saucepan.
10. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture
starts to form bubbles. Continue stirring and boil the mixture for 2 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat. Add the chocolate and gelatin mixture. Whisk until
smooth. Stir in the butter until blended.
11. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla.
Place the bowl over a bowl of iced water and stir for 5 to 10 minutes, until
cool. Remove the white chocolate mixture from the bowl of iced water.
12. In a chilled large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium
speed, beat the cream until soft peaks begin to form. Do not overwhip the cream.
Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the whipped cream into the white
chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
13. Remove the side from a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. Trim a 10-inch cardboard
cake circle so that it fits snugly within the curved lip of the bottom of the
springform pan. Reattach the side of the springform pan. Remove the paper from
the bottom of the cake layers. Place one of the cake layers into
the prepared pan.
14. Scrape 3 cups of the white chocolate mousse over the cake layer in the pan.
Using a small offset metal cake spatula, spread the mousse in an even layer over
the cake. Make sure that the mousse is evenly distributed within
the narrow space between the side of the pan and the edge of the cake layer.
Place the second cake layer over the mousse. Scrape 1 1/2 cups of the remaining
white chocolate mousse or enough mousse to fill the space between the top layer
of cake and the top edge of the pan. Spread the mousse in an even layer over the
cake using the rim of the pan as a guide. With a long metal cake spatula, scrape
off any excess mousse. Transfer the remaining white chocolate mousse to a small
bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the assembled cake and reserved
mousse for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
the chocolate triangles:
15. Separately melt the white and dark chocolates according to the melting
instructions in the
Chocolate Key. Line two flat baking sheets with uncreased pieces of aluminum foil. Draw a 9-inch circle on each piece of foil.
Tape the four corners of each piece of foil to the baking sheets to hold it in
16. Pour the melted white chocolate into the center of a traced circle on one of
the foil-lined pans. Using a small offset metal cake spatula, spread the
chocolate evenly until it fills in the circle. Refrigerate the baking sheet for
to 10 minutes, until the chocolate feels firm, but not brittle.
17. With a long sharp knife, cut the circle into 12 wedges. Using an offset
metal cake spatula, gently lift the wedges off the foil and transfer them to a
waxed paper-lined baking sheet. If the wedges become soft while you are cutting
them, return the baking sheet to the refrigerator briefly until the chocolate is
firm again. You will have 4 extra triangles in case of breakage.
18. Repeat the above two steps to make 12 triangles using the melted dark
chocolate and the second foil-lined baking sheet. Before making the dark
chocolate triangles, spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of the dark chocolate onto the
foil next to the traced 9-inch circle. Spread the chocolate into a small circle
that is about 1/16-inch thick. When the chocolate is firm, use a 3/4-inch round
cutter to make a circle to put on the top center of the cake. Store the white
and dark chocolate triangles and the circle in the refrigerator until you are
ready to decorate the cake.
the chocolate curls:
19. Warm the 6-ounce chunk of dark chocolate by placing it on a piece of waxed
paper. Microwave on MEDIUM (50 percent) power for 10-second intervals, until the
chocolate starts to soften slightly. This can take 3 to 6 tries, depending on
the wattage of the microwave oven, type and brand of chocolate and the
temperature of the kitchen. The chocolate should soften slightly, not melt.
Alternatively, soften the chocolate by heating it with a portable blow dryer.
Turn the chocolate chunk every few seconds, until it begins to soften.
20. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Grip the chocolate chunk with a folded
paper towel so your hand does not melt the chocolate. Using a sharp vegetable
peeler, scrape one narrow side of the chocolate chunk in a downward motion,
forming loosely shaped curls. As you form the curls, let them fall onto the
waxed paper. Refrigerate the curls on the baking sheet until you are ready to
decorate the cake.
21. Using a portable blow dryer or damp (not wet) very hot towel, carefully heat
the outside of the springform pan until the edge of the mousse melts slightly.
Release the clamp on the side of the springform pan and gently lift it up and
remove it from around the side of the cake.
Decorate the cake:
22. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the chilled white chocolate mousse for piping on
the top of the cake. Using an offset metal cake spatula, spread a thin layer of
the remaining white chocolate mousse around the side of the cake to coat the
exposed cake layers.
23. Lift up the cake on the cardboard cake circle, supporting the bottom of the
cake in one hand. Use a metal spatula to lift up the chocolate curls and press
them against the side of the cake, working around the cake until the side is
completely covered with curls. Put the cake on a serving plate.
24. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large closed star tip (such as Ateco #4)
with the reserved 3/4 cup of white chocolate mousse. Pipe 1 rosette in the top
center of the cake and 16 rosettes evenly spaced around the top outer edge of
25. Alternate 16 dark and white triangles around the top of the cake. Place each
triangle so that the widest portion rests at a slight angle on a piped rosette
at the edge of the cake. Place the chocolate circle in the middle of the cake so
that it covers the points of the triangles and the single piped rosette.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
and White Chocolate Torte
Chocolate Mocha Napoleons
Index - Chocolate Recipe
Index - Cake Recipe