Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chocolate Gateau

Our next food item is one of the many decadent desserts served in the Hogwarts Great Hall. And like our last item, it also appears at Hermione's first stand against the slavery of House Elves:

"Treacle tart, Hermione!" said Ron, deliberately wafting its smell toward her. "Spotted dick, look! Chocolate gateau!" (Goblet of Fire 183).

You may know that "gateau" is the French word for "cake." But according to Dinah Bucholz, gateau is quite different from a normal cake. Gateau is all about the filling. The cake part of gateau is simply a delivery method for the rich and delicious filling. And so, today we shall use Ms. Bucholz' recipe for "Creamy Dreamy Chocolate Gateau from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.

For the Rich Chocolate Cake, You Will Need:
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tsp instant coffee
1.25 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1.5 tsp vanilla

For the Chocolate Whipped Cream, You Will Need:
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans, for topping (I didn't use them)

For the Chocolate Pastry Cream, You Will Need:
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

For the Chocolate Glaze, You Will Need:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. I used 3 pans so I wouldn't have to deal with slicing the cake into 3 pieces.
2. Whisk together the boiling water, cocoa powder, and instant coffee in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter (be sure it really is room temperature!), granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the eggs on at a time, beating after each until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.

6. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined (oops, I forgot the vanilla).
7. Add the hot cocoa mixture and beat until combined, scraping the sides as needed.

8. Add the flour mixture and stir on the lowest speed until combined. Finish by scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula and folding the batter together.
9. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 45 minutes. I baked mine for 37 minutes, and it was almost too long. Maybe 45 is good if you have all the batter in one pan. When finished, let the cake cool for ten minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack (or plates...) to cool completely.

10. To make the Chocolate Whipped Cream, combine the heavy cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.

11. Whisk some of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate to lighten it, then fold the rest of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Refrigerate covered until you're ready to assemble the cake.

12. To make the chocolate pastry cream and the chocolate glaze, you should look at my Chocolate Eclairs entry, as they are the same and this is getting rather long!
13. To assemble the gateau, place your first layer of cake on your serving plate or cake round, and spread with half the chocolate whipped cream.
14. Spread half the chocolate pastry cream on top of the chocolate whipped cream (don't spread this quite to the edges, gravity will do it for you!).

15. Add the next cake layer and repeat steps 13 and 14. Add the final cake layer and pour the chocolate glaze on top. Pour it pretty much in the center, and spread toward the edges. It will drip artistically on its own.

Once the glaze is set, it's ready to eat! This is one that you need to keep in the fridge when you're not serving it, as it will melt. And let me tell you, you'll be serving it  A LOT! This is one decadent dessert, my friends! If you are a chocolate fan, you have just found your new favorite dessert. Super rich, positively sinful, you are going to need a tall glass of milk to go with each and every slice. House Elves or not, Hermione was crazy to pass up this one!

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