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Chocolate Devastation

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 12
Categories: Chocolate / Desserts / Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt


2  c  Raisins
1/2  c  Jack Daniel's whiskey
8  oz  Semi-sweet chocolate
2  c  Heavy cream
1  c  Half & half
2  oz  Unsweet chocolate
8    Egg yolks
1/4  c  Sugar

1/2  c  Powdered sugar
1  tb  Cornstarch
1  tb  Unsweetened cocoa powder
8    Egg whites
3/4  c  Sugar
2  ts  Instant espresso
1/4  t  Cream of tartar
1/8  t  Salt

2  c  Heavy cream
2  tb  Unsalted butter
2  tb  Sugar
8  oz  Semi-sweet chocolate
4  oz  Unsweetened chocolate

1. Combine the raisins and whiskey in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Allow to stand at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap. Heat for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Transfer to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 c heavy cream and the half-and-half in a 2 1/2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the cream to a boil. While the cream is heating, place 8 egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat the eggs on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on high until slightly thickened and lemon-colored, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. (At this point, the cream should be boiling. If not, adjust the mixer speed to low and continue to mix until the cream boils. If this is not done, the egg yolks will develop undesirable lumps.) Pour the boiling cream into the beaten egg yolks and whisk to combine. Return to the saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the cream reaches a temperature of 185~, 2-4 minutes. Then pour into the melted chocolate mixture, and stir to combine. Cool the mixture in an ice-water bath to a temperature of 40-45~, about 15-20 minutes. Line 2, 8" cake pans with enough film wrap to cover the insides of the pan. Set aside until needed. Fold the whiskey-soaked raisins and any residual liquid into the cooled chocolate custard mixture. Freeze in an ice cream freezer following the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the semi-frozen ice cream to the 2 cake pans, evenly dividing the ice cream between the two pans. Use a rubber spatula to spread the ice cream evenly to the edges of the pans. Tightly cover the tops of the pans with film wrap, then place in the freezer for at least 12 hours before assembling the cake.

2. MOCHA MERINGUE: Using a 9" cake circle (or cake plate) as a guide, trace a circle on each of 3 sheets of parchment paper (cut to fit the baking sheets) with a pencil. Turn each sheet of parchment paper over and place with the trace mark down on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 250~. Combine together in a sifter the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa. Sift onto the wax paper and set aside until needed. Heat 1" of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium-high heat. Place 8 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, the espresso powder, the cream of tartar, and the salt in the top half of the double boiler. Heat the egg white mixture to a temperature of 120~ while gently and constantly whisking, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high until stiff but not dry, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the sifted dry ingredients. Fill a pastry bag (with no tip) with about a third of the meringue. Fill a traced circle with meringue:start in the center and pipe a 1/2" wide spiral toward the ouside of the circle. Fill the pastry bag again and repeat this procedure with each of the 2 remaining circles (each circle should be filled with about a third of the original amount of meringue.) Place the meringues in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 225~ and bake for an additional 2 hours. Cool on baking sheets for 30 minutes before handling.

3. THE GANACHE: Heat 2 cups heavy cream, the butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate and 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate in a stainless bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Reserve 1 cup of ganache and set aside at room temperature. Pour the remaining amount of ganache onto a baking sheet with sides and refrigerate for 35-40 minutes. Pour 1/4 cup of the reserved room-temperature ganache onto the center of a baked meringue (supported by a cake circle). Remove an ice-cream disk from the freezer. Unwrap the disk and place it onto the puddle of ganache. Press down on the ice cream disk gently but firmly (this will spread the ganache). Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized star tip with one-third of the chilled ganache. Pipe about 28-30 individual vertical strips 1 1/2" long and 3/4" wide--all the way around the side of the ice cream disk (each strip should be touching the other, and each strip should also be wider at the base where it touches the meringue and tapered at the crest where it rises to the top edge of the ice cream disk). Place this section into the freezer and repeat the preceding procedure with another meringue and ice cream disk. Place in the freezer after completion for about 10-15 minutes. Remove a meringue and ice cream section from the freezer. Pour 1/4 cup of room-temperature ganache onto the center of the ice cream. Remove the second section from the freezer, and center onto the first. Press down on the ice cream, gently but firmly, to spread the ganache. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of room-temperature genache onto the top ice cream disk, and onto this ganache place the remaining baked meringue, once again pressing down gently but firmly to spread the ganache. Place the Devastation in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized star tip with the remaining chilled ganache. Remove the Devastation from the freezer. Starting 1/2" inside the edge of the top meringue, pipe a ring of about 28-30 individual strips--1 1/2" long and 3/4" wide--all the way around the top (each strip should be touching the other, and each strip should also be wider at the point closest to the edge and tapered at the point closest to the center). Return the completed Devastation to the freezer for at least 1 hour before serving. To serve, cut the Devastation with a serrated slicer. Heat the blade of the slicer under hot running water before making each slice.

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