Candied Cranberries: Put the cranberries into an 8 cup (2 liter) stainless steel (or other heatproof) bowl.
Fill a large saucepan 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 aluminum foil.
covered bowl of cranberries over the saucepan of simmering water and let the
berries 'steam' for about 60 minutes.
heat and let cool. Let the berries sit in
the syrup, covered, for about 4 days at room temperature. If not using right
away, place the berries, still in their syrup, in the refrigerator for up to two
Chocolate Genoise: Preheat your 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 the eggs with the 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 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to
the bowl of
your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand
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 (240 ml) of
the batter and fold it into the hot butter. (This lightens the butter.) Then,
with a spatula, gently
fold the butter
mixture completely into the egg batter. Pour into
your prepared pan, smoothing the
Bake for about 18-22 minutes or
until the cake shrinks slightly from the edges of the pan and the top springs
back when lightly pressed. (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
spatula or knife around
to release the cake. Well wrapped, the
will keep two days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for a
couple of months.
Drain the candied cranberries, reserving the syrup. In a small bowl stir 1/3 cup (80 ml/grams)
of the drained cranberry syrup with the 2 tablespoons of Kirsch.
Chocolate Filling: Melt
the chocolate in a heatproof bowl
a saucepan of simmering water. Let cool to just above room temperature.
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the
whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the cold heavy whipping cream until soft
peaks form. With a rubber spatula or whisk quickly
about 1/3 of
the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the rest of the
whipped cream. Place the chocolate cream in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch
(1.25 cm) plain tip (I used a Wilton 1A).
Assemble the Cake:
Using a long
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 cake turntable or serving plate. With a pastry brush, soak the layer of
the genoise with about 2 tablespoons of the soaking syrup.
Next, pipe the chocolate filling, in
concentric circles, on the moistened genoise. Place
the drained cranberries evenly over the chocolate cream to cover the cream
Moisten the cut side of
the second genoise layer with about 2 tablespoons syrup. Place cut-side down on top of
chocolate cream, gently pressing to compact. Brush the top layer with
syrup. With a spatula, smooths the sides of the cake. Place the cake in the
refrigerator until set while you make the Whipped Cream Frosting.
Frosting: Place the cranberry syrup in a small saucepan and heat until
warm. Meanwhile, in a small cup, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and
let stand about 2-3 minutes or until the gelatin has become soft and spongy. Add
the gelatin to the warm cranberry syrup and heat (over low heat), stirring
constantly, until the gelatin has dissolved. Remove from heat and let the
mixture cool to room temperature.
Then, in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment
(or with a hand mixer), beat
the cold whipping
cream with the vanilla extract and sugar until
soft peaks form. Slowly add the cranberry syrup and food coloring (if
using) to the whipped cream,
beating to medium firm peaks. Place the cream in a piping bag, fitted with a
star tip (I used an Ateco #827).
Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake, using a
spatula to make it nice and smooth. (This is called a crumb coat.)
Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or
until the frosting has set. Then pipe a thick layer of whipping cream over top and
sides of cake and spread until nice and smooth. With the remaining cream
over the entire top surface of the cake. If desired, press grated or shaved
chocolate on the sides of the cake. At this point refrigerate the
cake, covered, overnight before serving (this allows time
for the flavors to mingle). Just
before serving, you can decorate the top of the cake with fresh cranberries.
Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
Serves 12-14 people.