As I mentioned last week, Rachel is holding a contest for the best fair trade chocolate recipe. Ok, here it is, my tribute to fair trade chocolate. It did take DAYS to make, but the good news is that it can be made in stages. Also, each cake can be made separately and would be fabulous on its own. This is basically a dacquoise and a chocolate soufflé cake layered together to make one big really pretty cake. Head over to rkhooks.net and see how to vote for your favorite.*
I used a wonderful fair trade dark chocolate, Rapunzel, which was rich, very flavorful and in the style of the best chocolates these days, not too sweet, and Rapunzel cocoa powder, which I was also very happy with. I found them in my local health food store, but any organic-y type store will have fair trade chocolate.
Mile High Chocolate Dacquoise Torte
6 oz. fair trade dark chocolate
3 tbls. water
5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
Line 11” by 13” baking sheet with foil. Butter it well.
Melt chocolate with water over low heat. Cool.
Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale yellow. Stir in melted chocolate.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Stir one quarter of egg whites into yolk and chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites carefully. Spread on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 deg. Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle cocoa powder onto long sheet of waxed paper and invert cake onto it. Remove pan and then carefully peel off foil. Cut cake, widthwise, into thirds. Trim edges. If making in advance, carefully place back on baking sheet, using wax paper to help you move the cake (wax paper side down). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup toasted nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans)
1 tbl. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbls. fair trade cocoa
6 egg whites
½ tsp. cream of tartar
For dacquoise, line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Trace 3 rectangles onto foil, 2 on one baking sheet, 1 on the other. They should be the same size as your chocolate cake rectangles above.
Place ¾ cup sugar in food processor. Pulse 3 times for 10 seconds to make the sugar finer. Take out approximately ½ cup and set aside. Add nuts, cornstarch and cocoa to remaining sugar in processor. Pulse until nuts are finely ground. Set aside.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in ½ cup of sugar that was set aside. Beat until meringue is stiff and shiny. Fold in nut mixture, using a metal slotted spoon or large spatula. Pipe 3 rectangles onto foil. Bake at 200 deg. Fahrenheit for 1½ hours.
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla OR 1 tbl. coffee OR 1 tbl. brandy
Beat yolks until light yellow.
Stir together sugar and water in small heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil. Boil, not stirring, to 238 deg. Fahrenheit (soft ball stage). With mixer running, pour sugar syrup into yolks, beating all the time. Beat until mixture is completely cool, at least 5 minutes.
Gradually beat in butter and flavoring. Refrigerate until spreadable. Mixture can be refrigerated for a few days. Before using, leave at room temperature until spreadable.
2 cups heavy cream
4 tbls. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla OR 1 tbl. coffee OR 1 tbl. Brandy
small amount of cocoa
dark chocolate for grating
Beat together until cream is stiffly beaten.
To assemble, lay one meringue rectangle on serving dish.** Spread one third of buttercream over. Spread 3 tablespoons of whipped cream over buttercream.
Carefully lay one chocolate rectangle over. Spread with 4 spoonfuls of cream.
Continue alternating meringue rectangles with chocolate ones, spreading butter cream and whipped cream on meringues, and just whipped cream on chocolate cake layer, finishing with chocolate cake.
Pipe remaining cream on top of cake. Sprinkle over cocoa and grate over dark chocolate. Freeze for 4 to 5 hours or overnight until hard. If not ready to serve, wrap in foil and return to freezer.
This can stay frozen until 15 to 20 minutes before serving. (It’s much easier to slice from frozen.) To serve, remove all wrapping, and place on serving dish. Do not remove wrapping AFTER thawing, or you’ll mess up your piping.
* Guess who I want you to vote for...Helllooo! Whose blog are you reading, after all?