Chiffon Cake: Preheat
your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of
the oven. Butter and flour an 9-inch heart-shaped cake pan with 2 1/4 inch (6 cm) sides.
Separate the eggs, placing
the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. To the whites, add the
additional egg white and then cover both bowls with plastic wrap. Bring the
eggs to room temperature (this takes about 30 minutes)
whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and
In a liquid
measuring cup, whisk together the oil, coffee or water, and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of your
electric mixer (or with a hand mixer or wire whisk) beat the egg yolks with 2/3
cup (135 grams) of the sugar. Turn
the mixer on low speed and slowly pour the oil mixture into the egg yolks and
well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until well
In a separate
mixing bowl, fitted with
the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the
remaining 1/3 cup (65 grams) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
With a rubber spatula or wire whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the
batter (in three stages) just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).
Pour the batter
into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer
inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (When lightly
pressed the cake will spring back). Cool on a wire rack for about 15
minutes. To remove
the cake from the pan, run a spatula around the inside of the pan to loosen
the cake. Invert onto a wire rack.
Chocolate Whipped Cream: In a large mixing bowl
combine all the ingredients. Then beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
To Assemble the Cake: Once the
cake has cooled completely, place on a flat surface
and, using a
knife, cut the cake, horizontally, into two layers. Turn over the top layer of
the cake (so the top of the cake becomes the bottom) and spread
with the chocolate whipped cream.
Place the second layer of cake,
cut-side down, on top of the chocolate cream, gently pressing to compact.
Cover with plastic wrap and place the cake in the refrigerator for several
hours, or even overnight, before covering with the ganache.
Ganache: Place the
finely chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.
Then immediately pour the boiling cream over the
chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes so the chocolate melts.
Gently stir until smooth. Add the liqueur, if using, and let cool for about
cake from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and place the cake on a
wire rack. Put the wire rack onto a baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour
the ganache over the top of the cake and, with a large spatula, push (spread) the ganache over the sides of the cake, to
create an even coating of ganache. If there are any bare spots on sides of
the cake, cover with some of the ganache that has accumulated on the baking sheet. (If there is leftover ganache
you can use it to make chocolate truffles. Strain the ganache to remove any crumbs,
chill until firm, form into small rounds, and roll in cocoa powder.)
Let the cake set a
little on the wire rack and then gently transfer the cake to
your serving platter and place the cake in the refrigerator until serving time. This cake can be made a day or two before serving. You
can decorate the top of the
cake with the chocolate truffles or fresh raspberries or strawberries, if desired.
Serves about 8-10
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