Bake Club: Chocolate Mirror Cake

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Bake Club: Chocolate Mirror Cake

Makes one 9” cake

¼ cup water

4 tsp gelatin powder (about 1 ½ packets)

1 cup sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

Pinch salt

⅔ cup water

⅔ cup cream

1x 9” chocolate cake base, recipe follows

Bloom gelatin: measure ¼ cup water in a small bowl, then sprinkle gelatin across the surface, so all the powder is wet. Let sit for 2-3 minutes until bouncy and hydrated. 

Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, cocoa powder and salt together. Add the ⅔ cup of water and cream, whisking a little at a time until smooth. Turn on heat to medium low ditching your whisk for a spatula so as not to incorporate air bubbles. The cocoa powder will hydrate and deepen in color and the sugar will dissolve as your mixture slowly comes up to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in bloomed gelatin and stir until it dissolves and mixture is smooth and glossy. 

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Tap the bowl on the counter to surface and pop any bubbles. Continue doing this until no bubbles appear.

Cover the glaze with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let cool on countertop until 85F (it’s so specific, I know, but trust me, it’s all about fluidity and thickness of glaze in the coating process). This takes about 2 hours, check back in every 30 mins or so and skim off any film that rises to the surface. While you’re waiting and skimming, make the cake. Once your cake is cool, remove from the fridge/freezer and invert the cake onto a wire rack with a sheet pan below. 

Confidently, starting at the bullseye center of the cake, pour the glaze onto the cake, moving around and around edging towards the outer circles of the target as you go until the glaze hits the edges being careful not to use all the glaze at once. You want one thick stream and coat (rather than a thin drizzle). If the sides are not fully coated, pour more glaze down the sides again.

Gently move the cake to a plate quickly there after (it takes the glaze 10-15 minutes to set). Use a clean chefs knife dipped or run under warm water each time you slice the cake for perfect pieces.

Chocolate Cake Base

makes one 9-inch cake

1 stick butter, super soft

1 ⅔ cup sugar

½ cup chocolate chips, melted

3 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

⅓ cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup flour (cake flour if you have it!)

⅔ cup cocoa powder 

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

Heat the oven to 350°F and grease and parchment paper a 9-inch cake pan (I cut my parchment piece into a circle to fit the bottom of the pan.)

In a large bowl, using a sturdy spatula, mix together the butter, sugar and melted chocolate, flexing your muscles for about 2 minutes, until they are fully combined. Add the eggs and stir until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla and stir until combined, about 1 minute. You will have a loose, nearly broken liquid mixture at this stage. Don’t freak out!

Measure the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into the mixing bowl. Toss only the dry ingredients on top together with the spatula first, before truly stirring them into the wet ingredients below. Mix all until just combined. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes, during which time the cake will nearly double in size, yet will still remain buttery and dense. At 35 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests.

Take the cake out of the oven and refrigerate or freeze the cake 1 hour to cool quickly and completely. This will also keep some of the residual moisture in the cake leaving it with a fudgier crumb structure- exactly what we want for this masterpiece! 



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