Cranberries: Pick over
the cranberries and remove any berries that are soft or rotten and then place 2
cups of cranberries into a 6-8 cup (1.5 - 2 liter) stainless steel (or other heatproof) bowl.
The cranberries are going to be 'steamed' so you will need a steamer or pot that
is large enough to hold the bowl of cranberries. Fill the large pot or
steamer with a few inches (5 cm) of water and bring to a simmer.
combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour
the boiling syrup over the cranberries and cover the bowl with a plate.
(You need to 'weigh' the bowl down so it will not move around once it is in the
pot with the water.) Set the
covered bowl of cranberries into the pot or steamer. Cover the pot and
steam the berries over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes.
heat and let cool. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the berries sit in
the syrup for 3 to 4 days at room temperature. The syrup will become a
little jellied. If using right away, drain the berries before using,
keeping the syrup for some other use. If storing, place the covered
berries, still in their syrup, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Chocolate Genoise: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or
spray with a non stick spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan and line the
bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
the flour with the salt and cocoa powder.
In a heatproof
bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a saucepan of
simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until
lukewarm to the touch (this will take about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to
the bowl of
your electric mixer. Beat on high speed (about 3-5 minutes) until the egg
mixture has cooled, tripled in volume, and looks like softly whipped cream (the batter
will fall back into the bowl in a
pattern). Beat in the vanilla extract.
one-third of the
flour mixture over the whipped eggs and gently
fold in using a
large rubber spatula or
whisk. Fold in half of the remaining flour, and then
fold in the rest. (Do not over mix or the batter
will deflate). Take about 1 cup of
the batter and fold it into the hot butter mixture. (This lightens the butter mixture.) Then,
with a spatula, gently
fold the butter
mixture completely into the egg batter. Pour into
your prepared pan, smoothing the
top. Bake until
the cake shrinks
slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly pressed
(about 20 - 25
minutes). (A toothpick
inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.) Cool on a metal rack. When the cake has cooled completely, run a small knife around
to release the cake. The
will keep two days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for a
couple of months.
To Assemble the Cake:
Drain the candied cranberries, reserving the syrup. Make a liqueur syrup
by combining 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the drained cranberry syrup with the 2
tablespoons of Kirsch.
the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl
a saucepan of simmering water. Let cool to room temperature.
Using a serrated knife,
cut the chocolate genoise, horizontally, into two layers. Turn over the top
layer of the cake (so the top of the cake becomes the bottom) and center it on
your serving platter. Brush the layer with about 2 tablespoons
of the liqueur syrup.
Beat 1/2 cup (120 ml) of
the chilled heavy whipping cream until soft
peaks form. With a rubber spatula or whisk quickly
the cream into the chocolate mixture. Immediately spread the moistened genoise layer
with the chocolate cream.
enough drained cranberries evenly over the chocolate cream to cover the cream
completely. (The remaining cranberries should be placed back into the left over
cranberry syrup, refrigerated, and they will be used for decorating the top of
the assembled cake.)
Moisten the cut-side of
the second genoise layer with 2 tablespoons syrup. Place cut-side down on top of
chocolate cream, gently pressing to compact. Brush the top layer with
Beat remaining whipping
cream with the 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons (28 grams)
granulated white sugar until
stiff peaks form. Spread a thick layer of whipping cream over top and
sides of cake. If you like, place any remaining cream in a pastry bag
fitted with a large star tip (I used a Wilton 1M tip) and
pipe large rosettes
over the entire top surface of the cake. At this point refrigerate the
cake, covered, for 24 to 36 hours before serving (this allows time
for the flavors to mingle). Just before serving, drain the reserved candied cranberries
and blot with paper towels to remove any remaining moisture, and randomly place on top of cake.