Prep 55 mins
Cook 2 hrs 45 mins
Chef Kookabura found this recipe in response to a request from KrisLady. It is from Gourmet Magazine, September 1999. It sounds incredible and the ratings were good - three and a half forks (four being exceptional). Ginger cream topping tempers the intensity of the rich chocolate. UPDATE May 3, 2008: Sorry I have not updated this since the first time I made it (have made it several times since!). This cake is a wonderful palate teaser. The deep chocolate taste with the Anise and Clove flavors peaking through and then the creamy zip of the Ginger cream ... excellent. I used Scharffen Berger chocolate to get the deep chocolate flavor. I recommend this for an elegant dessert or a very special treat for coffee or tea with friends (when I use it for morning coffee, I make it the day before, refrigerate it, and take it out about two hours before serving time).
- 7 ounces fine-quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
- 1 1⁄8 cups unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Preheat oven to 350°F Butter a 10- by 2-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter the paper (one reviewer said pan was hard to find so used a 9x9 square with good results -do not use springform pan!).
- Put chocolates in a large shallow bowl. Bring water, 1/2 cup sugar, and spice to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then pour through a fine sieve set over chocolates. Stir until smooth, then stir in butter until smooth.
- Beat eggs with remaining 3/4 cup sugar until increased in volume and pale and beaters leave a distinct trail (4 to 5 minutes in a standing mixer or 15 to 20 with a hand-held).
- Stir 1/4 of eggs into chocolate to lighten and fold in remainder gently but thoroughly (fold 1 to 2 minutes).
- Pour batter into pan and smooth top. Put pan in a water bath and bake in middle of oven 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs adhering.
- While cake is in oven, prepare Ginger Cream:.
- Beat cream to soft peaks and fold in crystallized ginger. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- When cake is done, remove from water bath and cool 2 hours in pan on a rack.
- Unmold cake by running a thin knife around edge, then heating pan 5 to 10 seconds on burner set at moderately low. Invert cake plate over pan and flip cake onto plate. (If cake sticks, tap bottom of pan with a knife handle. If that doesn't work, heat pan again.) Peel off paper.
- Serve cake in thin slices garnished with Ginger Cream.
- Cooks' note: You can make cake 2 days ahead and chill, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.