This is cute and adorable, but it still has enough chocolate
for anyone. A miniature sour cream chocolate cake is drizzled
with optional liqueur, then glazed with a bittersweet chocolate
ganache. The cake is easy enough to make by hand, or you can
use a hand-held electric mixer. You'll need two 6" layer pans,
which can be either round or heart-shaped; mine are 2" deep.
To decorate this, grate or shave a bit of white chocolate. Just
after the cake has been glazed (before the ganache sets up),
sprinkle it on top. This should be stored in the fridge; it
does freeze, but it seems to lose flavor in the process. While
this is really too much cake for two people, I think it would
be charming as a Valentine's Day dessert or gift. Nice for a
birthday cake in a small household, too.
- 3 Tbsp.
unsalted butter, cut into slim pats
- 1 egg,
- 1/3 cup
- 1/3 cup
squares (1-1/2 ozs.) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup
sifted cake flour
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1/4 tsp.
- 2/3 cup
- 2 Tsp.
- 1 to 2
Tbsp. black raspberry, orange, peppermint, coffee, or chocolate
- 4 ozs.
best-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Few grains
- 1/2 cup
plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
amount grated or shaved white chocolate
Adjust one rack to center of oven and one to bottom position
in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ready an 8" square
pan that is 2" deep, and enough simmering water to fill it almost
completely. Place butter pats into medium bowl; place egg into
small cup and measure out sour cream. Allow these ingredients
to stand at room temperature. Place 1/3 cup water in small pot
with tight-fitting lid; set aside.
Grease two 6" round or heat-shaped layer pans with vegetable
shortening. Line bottoms with wax paper cut to fit. Grease the
paper, then dust the insides lightly with flour, knocking out
any excess. Set aside.
In small bowl over simmering water on low heat (water should
not touch bottom of bowl), melt chocolate, stirring often just
until smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. Set aside to cool
slightly. Into separate small bowl, sift together cake flour,
baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
With large spoon or hand-held electric mixer, cream butter (which
should be soft by now--if not, put in a warm place briefly until
softened but not melted), sugar, and vanilla until well-mixed
and fluffy. Beat in egg thoroughly. Add chocolate, which should
still be slightly warm, and stir in. Stir in half the sifted
dry ingredients, all of the sour cream, then the remaining dry
ingredients, mixing after each just until combined (batter will
Place the 1/3 cup water in the covered saucepan on the heat
until it comes to a boil. Meanwhile, place the 8" square pan
on the bottom rack of the oven, and fill it almost to the top
with the already-simmering water. Carefully push the rack back
in and close the oven door. (Baking the cakes with steam helps
them end up as slightly more even layers than they otherwise
When the 1/3 cup of water is boiling, immediately pour about
half of it into the cake batter and mix in (with a mixer, use
lowest speed; by hand, you'll need a sturdy whisk). Scrape the
bowl with a rubber spatula. Add remaining water and mix in just
until combined. Batter will be thin. Divide evenly among prepared
pans, then tilt pans slightly to run batter a bit higher up
the sides. Place pans in preheated oven at least 2" apart.
Bake 18 to 23 minutes, turning back-to-front and exchanging
positions of pans in oven about halfway through baking time.
Cakes will still rise higher in center than on edges--OK. Layers
are done when a toothpick inserted in center emerges with a
few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake. Remove to
cooling rack. Cool layers only 5 minutes, then loosen edges
from pan and invert onto cooling rack. Remove pan; gently peel
off wax paper. Re-invert to cool right side up. Cool completely
For Ganache Glaze: In small heatproof bowl, combine chopped
chocolate and salt. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream
until very hot, stirring occasionally. Pour about 2/3 of hot
cream over chocolate; let stand about 2 minutes. Gently whisk
until smooth. (If necessary, place bowl of chocolate over simmering
water on low heat--water should not touch bottom of bowl--and
whisk often just until smooth. Remove from heat and hot water.)
Gradually whisk remaining hot cream into chocolate mixture.
Let stand until ganache has cooled to room temperature, gently
Meanwhile, with large, serrated knife, trim tops of completely
cooled cake layers so the layers are level. Invert one layer
upside down onto serving plate so that bottom of cake faces
up. Shortly before ganache is ready, drizzle half of optional
liqueur onto cake surface.
When ganache has cooled to room temperature, whisk to mix. Spread
a generous amount onto liqueur-drizzled cake surface, then place
second trimmed layer, right side up, on top. Drizzle with remaining
optional liqueur. Pour ganache slowly onto middle of top layer;
smooth down sides of cake, then make an even layer on top. If
desired, decorate top sparingly with shaved white chocolate.
Chill, covering tightly when cold. If possible, remove from
refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator.
2 to 4 servings
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