Gateau Rosie O.
cake is named for talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell, who is very
fond of the snack cake on which it is based. I won't mention
the name of that snack cake--but I will tell you that it rhymes
with "wingding". I tuned in to Ms. O'Donnell's show one day
for a short time and saw her engaged in a food fight and decided
I needed to invent a dessert in her honor. I came up with a
chocolate cake with a white chocolate-whipped cream filling
and a dark chocolate glaze; the trick is in the way the cake
is assembled. You'll need 9 inch round layer pans for this,
which must be 2 inches deep.
This is a project
that calls for both time and patience. Once made, the cake can
be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days. It also
freezes (to defrost, leave in the refrigerator overnight, still
in wrapping). A great cake for a party, the gateau looks very
showy when cut. If you know Rosie, do tell her about this; I
think it would amuse her.
- 2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
(do NOT use all-purpose flour here)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch
process cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter,
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. corn oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs, graded "large"
- 2 cups buttermilk, preferably
at room temperature
- 1 ounce good-quality semisweet
chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 5 ounces good-quality white
chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter,
cut into thin pats
- 1-3/4 cups heavy cream,
- 9 ounces good-quality semisweet
chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. mild,
- Few grains salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Shaved or grated white chocolate
Cut two circles of wax paper to fit the bottom of two round
layer pans, each 9 inches in diameter by 2 inches deep. Grease
pans with solid vegetable shortening, then line the bottom of
each with a wax paper circle. Grease the circles, then lightly
flour the inside of each pan, knocking out any excess. Set aside.
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together sifted cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder,
baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl of
electric mixer, combine softened butter, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
Beat at a low speed until mixed, then beat at medium speed for
5 full minutes, scraping down bowl and beater(s) once or twice
during this time. At a low speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating
after each until incorporated. When all eggs have been added,
scrape bowl and beater(s) thoroughly; beat mixture at medium
speed for 2 minutes.
At lowest speed,
add sifted dry ingredients in four additions and buttermilk
in three additions, beginning and ending with sifted dry ingredients
and beating after each addition only until incorporated. Scrape
bowl and beater(s) frequently. This makes a lot of batter; you
may have to increase the mixer speed slightly to get all of
the ingredients mixed in, or you can do what I do and add the
last addition or two by using a sturdy whisk to blend everything
Divide batter evenly
between prepared pans. Level batter in pans. Then, with back
of a large spoon, push batter slightly up sides of pans, leaving
a depression in the batter in the middle of each pan. Place
pans in preheated oven.
Bake layers 35
to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake
emerges with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not
overbake. Remember to shift pans front-to-back as well as in
oven position about halfway through baking time. Remove baked
layers to cooling rack.
Allow layers to
cool for 15 minutes. Gently loosen layers from edges of pans.
Invert layers, then gently peel wax paper from bottoms of layers.
The sides of the layers may slant inwards somewhat--OK. Re-invert
layers to cool completely, right side up.
While layers cool,
make Chocolate "Glue". In small heatproof bowl or cup, combine
chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Heat over simmering water
on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl), whisking
or stirring often until smooth and melted. Remove from heat
and hot water; let stand at room temperature, whisking or stirring
occasionally, until cool.
Start the Filling
now. In small heatproof bowl, combine chopped white chocolate,
butter pats, and 1/4 cup heavy cream (reserve remainder). Place
over warm water on low heat; stir often until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and hot water. (White chocolate is often stubborn
about melting smoothly, and it must not be overheated. If your
chocolate refuses to smooth out as it melts, use a hand blender
or place in a food processor fitted with a steel blade; blend
or process just until perfectly smooth.) Set aside to cool to
room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill a medium bowl
and beater(s) for a hand-held electric mixer. Have on hand a
larger bowl or pot and some ice; the medium bowl must fit partway
(but not entirely) into the larger pot/bowl.
When the cake,
chocolate "glue", and melted white chocolate mixture are all
at room temperature, proceed with the next steps. One cake layer
will be halved horizontally, and you'll make a ring from the
other. If one layer is thicker than the other, use the thicker
layer for the ring. Choose the layer that will be the ring and
place it on a cutting board. With a knife tip, make several
cuts, spaced around the cake , each one inch in from the outer
edge. With a sharp, serrated knife, complete the circle so you
have a one inch wide ring on the perimeter of the layer. You
will not need the cake inside the ring; I find it easiest to
quarter it before removing it. Now, cut the ring in half so
you have two identical arcs. Set aside for a moment.
If necessary, level
the top of the remaining layer. Split it in half horizontally.
Place a dab of the chocolate "glue" in the center of your serving
plate. Take the top half of the split layer and place it, cut
side down, on top of the "glue" on the serving plate. Place
some of the "glue" on the outer inch of this split layer, and
spread it thinly. Gently and carefully pick up one arc and place
it on top of the "glue". Make the outer edges of the arc as
even with those of the half layer as possible. Press down gently
on the arc to make sure it's attached to the split layer. The
arc should reach halfway round the split layer. Spread a bit
more "glue" on the cut edges of the arc, then transfer the second
arc to the split layer, placing it next to the first, as above;
the ring of cake from the first layer will now be on top of
the split layer. You'll be building a sort of round cake "box"
which will have no center (for the present). Loosely cover the
remaining half layer (the one you haven't used yet) with plastic
wrap; set aside at room temperature. Very gently cover the cake
"box" (not too tightly--it's fragile now) and chill it for 15
minutes. After 15 minutes, look at your "box". If it's holding
its shape, return to the refrigerator until needed. If some
of the cut edges are out of place, as sometimes happens, spread
a bit more "glue" on them to patch them, reshape the whole,
and chill 15 minutes more. You should not use all of the chocolate
Place ice and cold
water in the larger pot/bowl you had ready, then place the medium
bowl in the ice and water (the medium bowl should be partially,
but not completely, immersed in the ice/water, and the ice/water
should not overflow when the medium bowl is placed into it).
Pour the reserved 1-1/2 cups heavy cream for the Filling into
the medium bowl. Beat at high speed just until traces of beater
marks show in the cream. Quickly add the cooled white chocolate
mixture (if it is at all warm, it will deflate the cream). Beat
at high speed just to stiff peaks. By hand, with rubber spatula,
fold Filling over on itself a few times to make sure white chocolate
mixture is well-combined with cream (it likes to hide at the
bottom of the bowl). If necessary, re-beat Filling to stiff
peaks; it will be quite thick. Do not overbeat, or it will be
grainy. Leave the whipped Filling in the bowl in the ice/water
while you remove your cake "box" from the fridge and uncover
Remove the medium
bowl from the ice/water; quickly dry bowl bottom and sides.
Pile the Filling into the center of the cake "box"; you should
have about the right amount to fill it full. Quickly spread
a bit more "glue" on top of the conjoined arcs of cake, then
uncover the remaining split layer. Transfer that split layer,
cut side down, onto the top of the "box". You may not use all
of the "glue"--OK. Press very gently to compact lightly. Cover
the cake CAREFULLY (don't squash it!), and chill.
In medium heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolate, honey,
and salt. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream until
very hot, stirring occasionally. Pour about two- thirds of hot
cream into chocolate. Let stand for a minute or two, then stir
or whisk gently. Do not beat. Gradually stir or whisk in remaining
cream. If Glaze is not perfectly smooth, place over simmering
water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl), and
stir just until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot
water; dry bowl bottom and sides.
Allow Glaze to
stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until no longer
warm (test a bit on the inside of your wrist). Glaze will thicken
somewhat; when you lift a spoon and let some fall back into
the bowl, it will mound slightly before disappearing back into
the rest of the Glaze. Just before Glaze is ready, remove cake
from refrigerator and any wrappings from cake.
Pour Glaze slowly
onto center of cake top. Working quickly, preferably with an
offset spatula, spread Glaze over the sides first, using most
of it on the sides, then spread evenly over top to finish. If
desired, garnish before Glaze sets by sprinkling on shaved or
grated white chocolate. Chill cake, uncovered, until Glaze is
cold and set. Cover tightly and return to refrigerator. Chill
at least 2 hours before serving.
To serve, allow
cake to stand at room temperature, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes
before serving. To cut, use a large, sharp, serrated knife.
Run the blade under hot water, then shake it off (do not dry).
Cut cake gently, using a sawing motion; if you press down hard,
the Filling will squish out. Run knife blade under hot water
and shake off frequently while cutting.
10 to 12 servings
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