Food processors aren’t really used much in the world of cake making, but somehow this just works. The perfect chocolate cake for entertaining, this little number is best made a day or two in advance so that it has time to rest and get extra fudgy. All you need to do to serve is whip some mascarpone cream and scatter some berries, leaving you as the host with a relaxed, breezy ,“oh, this little thing?” air.
For the cake
1 tbsp + 1/4 cup cocoa powder
10 1/2 oz dark chocolate, at least 55% cocoa
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup very hot coffee
6 eggs, separated
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp kosher salt
For the topping
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup whipping (35%) cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange, divided
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp orange liqueur or orange juice
2 pints whatever fruit your heart desires
Preheat your oven to350°F, grease an 8-inch springform pan with cooking, and dust the inside with the 1 tablespoon of cocoa.
For the cake, place the remaining cocoa, the chocolate, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and blitz until finely ground and combined. Pour in the hot coffee and process until smooth. Add in the egg yolks, butter, vanilla, orange zest, and salt and blitz to combine.Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold about one-third of them into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whites, taking care to be very gentle in order to maintain as much volume as possible. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until souffléd and the top of the cake looks dry and matte.Let the cake cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight to settle.
When you’re ready to serve, make the topping. Whip together the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar, vanilla, and half of the orange zest until light and fluffy. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining orange zest, granulated sugar, orange liqueur (or juice) and fruit. Dollop this mascarpone cream on to the chilled cake and top with the fruit.
The top of the cake will fall once you take it out of the oven, but that’s all part of the plan. It makes for a super-fudgy cake with lots of room for topping with mascarpone cream and berries. A 9-inch springform pan will also work here; just check for doneness at the 40-minute mark.
Excerpted from Kitchen Party by Mary Berg. Copyright © 2019 Mary Berg. Photography by Lauren Vandenbrook. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.