No, I won't tell you how these got their name, but they consist
of two layers of very light, not too sweet, chocolatey sponge
cake, sandwiched together with an equally light ganache, which
can be flavored with a bit of black raspberry liqueur. Because
they are not very sweet and rather sophisticated, these would
probably be appreciated more by adults than by children.
This sponge cake here is extremely delicate and must be handled
very carefully. I find it helps to dust my fingers with some
of the additional unsweetened cocoa powder called for in the
recipe. The completed triangles can be stored in the refrigerator
for up to three days; to store, line a non-metal airtight container
with wax paper, then place each triangle carefully inside. Cut
a piece of wax paper to dimensions slightly smaller then the
inside top of the container, and lay it lightly on top of the
pastries, then cut a piece of paper towel to slightly larger
dimensions, and lay that lightly on top of the wax paper (the
paper towel will absorb any condensation that might form). Cover
the container airtight.
It is important that the eggs be at room temperature before
they are beaten, as both yolks and whites will achieve much
greater volume that way. Although I use a stand mixer to beat
the egg whites, you could use a second hand-held mixer, or you
could wash (with soap!) and dry thoroughly the beaters used
for the yolks. Either way, the beater(s) and bowl you use must
be completely free of any grease.
- 4 ounces
best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup
plus 1 Tbsp. warm water
- 1/4 cup
sifted unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 5 eggs,
graded "large", separated and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup
plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tsp.
freshly-squeezed, strained lemon juice
unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- 8 ounces
best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups
heavy cream, divided
1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp. black raspberry liqueur
thin chocolate sauce or syrup
unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
Fresh raspberries and/or fresh mint leaves
For the Sponge Cake: Adjust rack to center of oven. Preheat
oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15-1/2" by 10-1/2" by 1" baking
sheet with solid vegetable shortening. Line the bottom and the
two short sides with one piece of baking parchment, allowing
about 1/2" overhang on each short edge. Grease the parchment,
then dust the entire pan lightly with flour, knocking out any
excess. Have ready a cotton (not terrycloth) dishtowel that
is longer and wider than the baking sheet, a very fine strainer,
and additional unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder for immediate
use after the cake is baked.
In small heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolate and warm
water. Place over simmering water on low heat (water should
not touch bottom of bowl); whisk frequently until chocolate
is melted. Remove from heat and hot water. Add cocoa powder
and whisk in thoroughly until most lumps are gone. Cool until
Place egg yolks in medium nonreactive bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. sugar
(reserve remainder). With hand-held electric mixer, start beating
at low speed to combine yolks and sugar. Gradually increase
speed to high; beat 3 full minutes. Scrape sides and bottom
of bowl with rubber spatula; beat 2 minutes longer at high speed.
Yolk mixture will be increased in volume and a pale yellow.
Add barely warm chocolate mixture; beat at a low speed just
until incorporated. Scrape bowl bottom and sides with rubber
Place egg whites in absolutely clean, grease-free small bowl
of electric mixer; attach whisk beater. Add salt, then lemon
juice. Beat at high speed until white and very foamy; gradually
add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating between each addition.
Beat just until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer.
Transfer a large spoonful of the beaten whites to the yolk-chocolate
mixture, and fold it in to lighten the latter (do not be too
thorough). Repeat with a second large spoonful. Transfer the
lightened yolk-chocolate mixture to the bowl containing the
whites. Fold the two mixtures together quickly but gently, only
until no white streaks remain.
Turn batter into prepared baking sheet and quickly but gently
spread evenly. Bake in preheated oven 14 to 16 minutes, or just
until center of cake springs back when pressed lightly with
a fingertip. The cake will start to shrink from the sides of
the pan only after removal from the oven. Do not overbake! Remove
to cooling rack. Immediately cover surface with additional unsweetened
Dutch process cocoa powder forced through a very fine strainer
(you want a light covering on the cake surface, but you want
it to be as completely covered as possible). Work quickly. When
done, lay the dishtowel gently over the top of the cake. Allow
to cool completely.
Meanwhile, start the Ganache: In medium heatproof bowl,
combine finely chopped chocolate and 2/3 cup heavy cream (reserve
remainder in refrigerator). Place over simmering water on low
heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until
melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Allow to
cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile,
chill a medium bowl and the beater(s) from a hand-held electric
mixer. When the chocolate mixture has cooled to room temperature,
stir in the liqueur, if you're using it.
In preparation for assembly, have ready a cutting board that
is at least 11" long and 9" wide. Cut a sheet of wax paper to
fit the top surface of the board, and tape it on in several
places. Have ready a baking sheet or flat surface larger than
15-1/2" long by 10-1/2" wide. You'll also need a short, sharp,
serrated knife and a long, very sharp, serrated knife; an offset
spatula is handy, too.
When the cake and the chocolate mixture are both at room temperature,
assemble the pastries. With the small, sharp, serrated knife,
gently loosen the cake from the long edges of the pan. Loosen
the short edges of the baking parchment from the pan (if necessary),
then loosen the short edges of the cake from the parchment (if
required). Make sure the top surface of the cake is still coated
with cocoa powder. Tear off a length of wax paper larger than
the surface of the cake, and place it gently on top. Cover with
the bottom of the larger baking sheet, then invert. Remove the
15-1/2" by 10-1/2" baking sheet (you may have to pull very gently
at an edge of the parchment paper to help the cake out of the
pan--OK). To remove the baking parchment from the cake, work
from the middle of a long edge. Gently tear the paper off in
small sections. Be careful!! This cake is delicate!! Once the
parchment has been removed, the cake will be roughly 14-1/2"
long by 9-1/2" wide; use the large, very sharp, serrated knife
to gently cut the cake in half (use a sawing motion) so that
you have two pieces, each about 7-1/4" long by 9-1/2" wide.
Dust your fingers with unsweetened cocoa powder, then VERY GENTLY
work them under one of the halves. Carefully and quickly pick
up that half and transfer it, cocoa side down, to the wax paper
covered cutting board. Don't worry if it cracks or splits slightly.
Gently place a piece of plastic wrap loosely over each half
of the sponge cake.
Finish the ganache filling. Pour remaining 1-1/3 cups of cold
heavy cream into the chilled medium bowl. Beat with chilled
beater(s) at high speed just until definite traces of beater
marks show in the cream. Stir the cooled chocolate mixture vigorously
for a few seconds to loosen it, then quickly add it all at once
to the cream. Quickly resume beating JUST until soft peaks form--do
NOT beat to stiff peaks! If the ganache is overbeaten, it will
not be smooth or delicate in the finished triangles. The cream
and chocolate probably will not be completely combined at this
point--OK. Use a rubber spatula to fold the two together until
the mixture is a uniform color. Remove plastic wrap from both
sponge cake halves. By large spoonfuls, place all of the ganache
on top of the chocolate sponge cake half on the wax paper lined
cutting board (it will look like too much, but it isn't). With
an offset spatula (if available), spread the ganache into an
even layer, stopping just short of the cake edges.
The remaining sponge cake half will be lying cocoa side down
on wax paper. Use the wax paper to help you and very gently
flip it over so that the cocoa side is now facing up. Gently
and carefully brush any excess cocoa from the cake surface,
using either your fingers or a clean, soft pastry brush. Dust
your fingers with a bit more unsweetened cocoa powder, then
carefully and gently pick up this sponge cake half., and quickly
place it (in the same orientation) on top of the ganache. Press
together VERY GENTLY. The uncut pastry should be the same thickness
throughout (although if the very edges are a bit thicker or
thinner it doesn't matter). Chill, uncovered, for three hours
before cutting. This gives the ganache a chance to firm up.
To cut, you'll need a large, very sharp, thin-bladed, serrated
knife. Place the uncut pastry in front of you so that one long
edge is parallel to the edge of your work surface. To cut, saw
very gently through the top sponge cake layer, then cut straight
down to the wax paper; you'll have to rinse the blade under
hot water, then dry it, after every cut. Gently trim all four
edges so that they are even (cut off as little as possible here).
Place the pastry so that one long edge is parallel to the edge
of your work surface; cut it in half with respect to the short
edges, so that your halves measure about 9-1/4" long by 3-1/2"
wide. Next, cut each half into fifths with respect to the long
edges, so that you'll have 10 rectangles, each a bit under 2"
long by 3-1/2" wide. Finally, cut each rectangle in half diagonally;
this will leave you with twenty "Love Triangles". Gently transfer
the cut triangles (using cocoa-dusted fingers and a stiff, thin-bladed,
preferably offset metal spatula ) to airtight storage container
prepared as described in recipe introduction. Chill until serving
To serve, drizzle a small amount of good-quality thin chocolate
sauce or syrup on each light- colored (preferably white) serving
plate, forming a random zigzag pattern. Place one or two triangles
on top of the sauce/syrup. Using a very fine strainer, dust
a thin coating of unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder over
the top of each (some of the cocoa will fall onto the serving
plate, which looks very pretty). If you wish, place a few fresh
raspberries and a mint leaf or two onto each plate. Serve immediately.
20 triangles, 10 to 20 servings
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