The Great Chocolate Cake
Unsweetened cocoa powder, pr
-ferably dutch process
Butter, room temperature
Eggs, room temperature
Light corn syrup
Bittersweet or semisweet cho
Fresh flowers, strawberries
For cake, bring water to boil. Place cocoa in large bowl. Add water in thin
stream, whisking until smooth. Cool, stirring frequently. Add vanilla.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour one 14" or two 10" round cake
pans. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into large bowl.
Using electric mixer, cream butter in another bowl. Gradually, blend in
sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fold in flour mixture and dissolved
cocoa, alternately in three additions each, beginning and ending with
flour. Batter may appear curdled. Do not overmix. Turn batter into prepared
pan or pans. Bake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean,
about 40 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. Cook cake completely.
For glaze, bring butter and corn syrup to simmer in heavy saucepan over low
heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until
smooth. Cool 15 minutes. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until spreadable. Set
aside 1/2 cup. Spread remainder on top and sides of cake. For lattice,
bring milk, water and butter to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from
heat. Whisk in flour. Set over medium-high heat and stir until dough forms
ball and leaves film on bottom of pan. Remove pan from heat. Stir in eggs,
one at a time. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter baking sheet. Spoon
batter into pastry bag fitting with Number 2 plain tip. Pipe 12 - 4 x 4"
square lattices on prepared sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly browned,
about 10 minutes. Using spatula, transfer to rack. Cool slightly. Dust with
powdered sugar. For sauce, melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium-low
heat . Stir in sugar, gradually, letting each addition dissolve before
adding more. Cook until rich brown color, stirring frequently, about 30
minutes. Stir in cream (be careful, mixture may splatter), then gradually,
bring to boil, stirring until smooth. Cool completely. Transfer to
processor. Whisk yolks with milk. With machine running, blend mixture into
sauce. To assemble, cut cake into 4 x 4" squares or 4" diamonds. Spoon
sauce onto plate. Set lattice in center. Top with cake. gently, reheat
reserved glaze. Spoon into plastic applicator bottle with fine tip. Pipe
two parallel circles around outer edge of lattice. Using knife, bisect both
lines at 1/2" intervals to form design. Decorate with flowersor berries.