Ich liebe dich.
Aloha wau i’a oe.
Eu te amo.
Ya tebe kokhayu.
Jeg elsker dig.
Ja tebe volim (This one is for Jenny of de Arte Coquinaria!)
However you say it. In whatever language you say it. Today is the day to say, "I Love You!"
So I’m putting on my little cupid outfit, I’m pulling out my little love arrow and I’m aiming it at all of you.
A shot of chocolate love.
Straight to the heart.
Blanc et Noir
Adapted from Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow.
This dessert also requires time as there are many steps to follow. My advice is to begin making the cake 36 to 48 hours before you plan to serve it. This will give you plenty of time to chill the dessert.
This post is also my entry for the Valentine’s Day MEME that I was tagged for by Cannella of La Zuccheriera. Mille grazie, Cannella, e Buon San Valentino!
For the White Chocolate Ganache Filling:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces (1/2 pound) white chocolate, finely chopped
- Place the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
- In a saucepan, heat the cream until simmering.
- Pour the cream over the white chocolate; stir until melted and smooth.
- Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache to prevent a skin from forming.
- Let sit at room temperature overnight; but not longer than 12 hours.
For the chocolate cake:
- 8 ounces (1/2 pound) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Chocolate Ganache Glaze (recipe follows)
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet or quarter-sheet pan; line with parchment paper and butter parchment paper; set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat. Stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool while you begin the batter. (If the chocolate and butter harden a bit, return briefly to the double boiler.)
- In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and half the sugar for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they have tripled in volume and become pale yellow.
- With a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg yolks.
- Clean the whisk and in another bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until frothy. Once the egg whites are frothy, increase speed to high and slowly add the remaining sugar. Continue to whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Add 1/4 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Working quickly, fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts. Do not overmix.
- Spread the batter in the pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The cake may rise above the edges of the pan and form a light crust on top. The cake is done when you insert a toothpick or cake tester into the centre of the cake and only a few moist crumbs cling to the tester.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
For the Chocolate Ganache Glaze:
- 8 ounces (1/2 pound) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
- Bring the cream to a simmer and then pour over the chocolate.
- With a rubber spatula, stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Place 1/4 of the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Allow the remainder of the ganache to sit at room temperature; stir the mixture occasionally.
For the decorating chocolate:
- 2 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- In a small heat-proof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate.
- Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and add the vegetable oil; stir until smooth.
- Place the chocolate in a small plastic bag and seal the bag.
- When you’re ready to decorate the Blanc et Noir, snip off one corner of the bag.
To assemble the cake:
- With a hand mixer or electric mixer, whip the white chocolate ganache filling for 2 minutes on high speed. The filling will fluff up and lighten in colour.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and run a sharp knife around all the edges. Using the back of a sheet pan, place the sheet pan over the cake. Flip the cake over, so that it releases onto the back of the sheet pan. Be careful with this step as you may experience some difficulty with releasing the cake. If you do, try to maneouvre a spatula under the parchment and slowly lift up the cake, being careful not to break it.
- Once the cake has been released, you can cut it into three equal strips or two equal strips. The original recipe calls for three strips, but I chose two.
- Place one strip on a plate.
- Spread the white ganache filling over the strip and top with another strip (if you’re using three strips for three layers, then spread half the ganache over the first strip, place the second strip on top and then top with the third strip).
- Refrigerate the cake for one hour.
- While the cake is setting in the refrigerator, make the Chocolate Ganache Glaze.
- Once the glaze is ready, remove the cake from the refrigerator and carefully transfer it to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
- Using the 1/4 of the glaze that was refrigerated and an offset spatula, spread the glaze in a thin layer over the top of the cake.
- Return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and using the remaining glaze and an offset spatula, carefully pour the glaze around the edges of the cake using the spatula to cover the sides. Leave a bit of the glaze to pour over the top. With the spatula, make sure the top and sides of the cake are as smooth as possible.
- Take the plastic bag with the decorating chocolate and snip off the corner. Pipe three lines of white chocolate from one side of the cake (lengthwise) to the other side of the cake. With a toothpick, quickly make figure eights with the white chocolate so that you create a design over the top of the cake.
- Once you’re done, carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When slicing the cake, use a sharp knife. Dip the knife in hot water in between each cut and be sure to wipe the water off the knife before you slice.
Note: For this recipe, I used Lindt chocolate.