Chocolate Chiffon Cake, taken from the Tartine Bakery cookbook (10-inch by 3-inch) (I used this cake pan)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (40g)
1 1/2 cups sugar (300g)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
6 large egg yolks (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup water
zest from 2 small or 1 medium lemon
10 large egg whites (1 1/3 cups)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake or springform pan with 3-inch sides with parchment paper cut to fit exactly; don’t grease the pan.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the salt and whisk to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, egg yolks, and water. Make a well in the flour, add the yolk mixture, and then whisk thoroughly and quickly for about 1 minutes until very smooth.
In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and beat on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar slowly while beating on medium-high speed until the whites hold firm, shiny peaks. Add a third of the egg whites and fold into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the rest of the whites until just combined.
Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top if necessary. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once completely cool, run a thin knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake an then release and lift off the pan sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment
(I didn't use a springform pan, and I probably should have lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or a cooking spray. Also, the cake took a little longer to bake. I had to test it 5 times before I was satisfied with the fork/toothpick.)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache, influenced by Tartine and this recipe.
12oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used E. Guittard chocolate wafers/coins)
~3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used an actual spoon, not a measuring tablespoon.)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Heat the chocolate and peanut butter together in a double boiler until melted, then remove from heat and add heavy cream, stirring until incorporated. Use while still warm.
(I reheated a little to help it incorporate better. To be honest, I forgot to add the heavy cream until after I'd already used like 1/3 of the mixture, so I only used ~1 cup heavy cream after all.)
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, mostly from this recipe.
10oz. cream cheese, room temp.
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (I used ~3 heaping tablespoonfuls-- once again, using a regular tablespoon rather than a measuring tablespoon)
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
(This may have worked out better without an electric mixer, as it was a messy ordeal with the powdered sugar, but it still turned out well. It may have been a little too sweet, so maybe I didn't need all 5 cups of sugar... though the sugar helps the frosting retain its structure. The cake tasted awesome cold, though. I think the frosting was better after refrigerated.)
I only sliced the baked cake into 2 layers, rather than three.
I spread the ganache between the cake layers, then used it as a crumb coat on/around the entire cake. (Spread like frosting, in order to pick up the crumbs that the cake will inevitably shed before layering on the frosting, which looks better when it's not unintentionally speckled with cake crumbs.)
I then placed cake in refrigerator while making the frosting so that the chocolate would have cooled/stiffened enough before added the frosting.
Once frosted, the cake was ridiculously decadent. Click Here to Read More!