I lost my father-in-law, B, this week and what a loss it was for everyone that knew him. He had a music school and had taught many, many people and their families for the last SIX decades!
He loved his Phillies, music in many forms AND chocolate. That last one is what I want to address today.
For the more than quarter of a century that I knew him, I would often be in charge of dessert and for B it had to be chocolate, and so it was. Blondies were okay, but brownies were better.
The funny thing is he didn’t realize that over all the years of family gatherings, I often made him the exact same cake, just in different guises. As long as it was chocolate and on the table, he was happy. Truthfully, he was happy anyway, but chocolate always enhanced that.
The recipe below is the simple version, just filled with whipped cream.
To make it especially pretty (and B always appreciated that), I often sliced strawberries and stuck them in the cream around the edges, so they peeked out.
Other times, I would bake meringue in the same rectangular shapes as the cut layers of chocolate cake. Then I would sandwich the cake with the meringue disks to make a really impressive “product”…as the Top Chef chefs always say.
I’ve coated it in ganache, topped it with meringue kisses and/or filled it with buttercream and not once did B ever say, “Oh that old cake again?”
I should have baked this cake tonight in his honor, but a chef once told me that baking when you’re sad isn’t a good idea. Make this when you have something to celebrate and think about all the wonderful people in your life who will really enjoy it. I may not be baking tonight, but I know who I’ll be thinking about.
Daniela’s Chocolate Cake
Printable recipe here
6 oz German Sweet Chocolate
3 tbls. water
5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
A spoonful of cocoa
2 cups cream
3 tbls. sugar
Line 9" x 13" jelly roll pan with foil and butter it.
Melt chocolate with water over low heat. Cool. Beat egg yolks with sugar until almost white. Fold in melted chocolate.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Stir in ¼ of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Spread in prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven for 20 minutes.
Sieve a spoonful of cocoa on a sheet of wax paper, which is a bit longer than the baking pan. Invert pan onto wax paper. Peel off foil. Cut in thirds widthwise. Trim off hard edges.
Fill with 2 cups heavy cream, which has been whipped with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut with a serrated knife.
This is Daniela's Chocolate Cake layered with meringue rectangles and filled with a coffee buttercream and whipped cream: