courtesy of UNITED CAKES OF AMERICA: Recipes Celebrating Every State
|2 ounces Unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa)||2 teaspoons Baking powder|
|2 ounces Bittersweet chocolate (60% cocoa)||1/2 teaspoon Salt|
|5 ounces Unsalted butter, very soft, divided||6 Eggs|
|1/2 cup Half-and-half||10 ounces Superfine granulated sugar, divided|
|8 ounces All-purpose flour||1/4 cup Water|
|1 tablespoon Cornstarch|
Preheat the oven to 335°F and place the rack in the middle position. Line the bottoms of two 9-by-2-inch round pans with parchment.
Melt the chocolates, 1 ounce of the butter, and the half-and-half in a double boiler over steaming water. Once melted, remove the pot from the water and whisk to combine the ingredients. Set aside.
Measure the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. Separate the eggs and set the yolks aside.
Combine 6 ounces of the sugar and the water in a saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
Place 4 of the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. (Discard the 2 leftover whites or reserve them for another use.) When the sugar syrup measures 240°F on a candy thermometer, drizzle it slowly into the meringue while the mixer is on high speed. Whip for another 20 seconds and then remove the meringue from the bowl and set aside.
Add the reserved yolks and 2 ounces of sugar to the mixer's bowl and whip with the wire whip—there's no need to clean the bowl or whip. You can even leave the cooked meringue that's stuck inside the whip. Whip on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow, about 2 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low and add in the remaining 4 ounces of butter. The yolk base will lose volume— that's okay.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the melted chocolate to the mixer about a quarter at a time without pausing for the ingredients to combine. Detach the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the cooked meringue in two stages. It will be stiff at first. Use caution not to overmix it or you will deflate the batter.
Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the top appears dry, soft, and flat. It will give slightly to a very light touch.
Cool the cakes for about 20 minutes, then run a metal offset spatula around the rim of each and invert the cakes onto a flat surface. Cool completely.
To assemble the cake, slice each cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife to create four layers.
Spread about 1 cup of frosting between each layer with an offset spatula and stack into a four-layer cake. Then pipe on the frosting with an open star tip to cover the top and sides of the cake, or just spread it lavishly with the spatula.
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