~ The Brig
This is the Christmas variation of Paul's Cherry Chocolate Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake*
6 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar, 6 egg yolks
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Black Cherry Sauce
3 pounds fresh, pitted cherries or frozen black cherries
¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup water
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup cherry juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Whipped Cream Filling*
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You may want to double the whipped cream to have some to serve on the side
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
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Black Cherry Sauce
Black Cherry Sauce
- Remove pits and stems from 2 pounds of cherries and place in a small sauce pan (you may use frozen cherries for this step). Add water and sprinkle with sugar. Bring the cherries to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Place a fine sieve over a mixing bowl. Scoop the cherries into the sieve a little at a time and press the cherries with the back of a wooden spoon to release the juice and pulp into the bowl. Scrape the skins out of the sieve and repeat until all of the cherries have been juiced.
- Return the juice to the sauce pan over medium heat and stir in the lemon juice. Combine the bottled cherry juice with the cornstarch to make a slurry and stir until there are no lumps. Slowly pour the slurry into the sauce pan while whisking.
- Gently simmer until the cherry juice reaches the desired thickness. It will become thicker as it cools.
- Just before removing the sauce from the heat, add the remaining one pound of pitted cherries and fold into the sauce. Allow the sauce to return to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. The cherries should retain a firm texture.
- Add the Amaretto Liqueur (and vanilla if you choose) after removing the sauce from the heat or it will have a bitter taste.
- Let the sauce cool and pour into a jar. Keep refrigerated for up to one week.
- Heat oven to 200°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt in bowl of stand mixer on high speed until they just hold soft peaks. Beat in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition, and continue to beat at high speed until meringue is very stiff, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and beat again until very stiff.
- Sift cocoa over meringue, and fold it in gently but thoroughly.
- Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with tip. Holding bag vertically, about 1/2 inch above baking sheet, pipe meringue into 25 mounds, ranging in size from about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, to resemble mushroom caps.
- Still holding pastry bag vertically, pipe remaining meringue vertically into 25 "stems," 1 1/4- to 1 1/2 -inch-long lengths (make different lengths), making each base about 1 inch in diameter and tapering top end by pulling up on bag. (Pipe extra caps and stems with any remaining meringue in case of breakage.)
- With a finger dipped in water, gently tamp down any peaks of meringue on caps to make a smooth mushroom cap.
- Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until mushrooms caps are crisp and firm to touch, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
- Turn off oven, then leave meringues in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes to dry. Slide parchment with meringues from baking sheets onto racks to cool. Cool completely.
- With tip of a sharp paring knife, cut a small hollow the diameter of the tapered top of mushroom "stem" in center of the underside (flat side) of each mushroom cap.
- Spread chocolate generously over flat bottom of a cap with offset spatula or back of spoon, then insert narrow end of stem. Let cap rest, stem end up, on a tray or baking sheet. Attach remaining stems to remaining caps, and let stand, stem ends up, at cool room temperature until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.
- To melt chocolate, melt finely chopped chocolate in a dry metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.
- Meringue mushrooms can be made 1 day ahead and kept between sheets of wax paper in airtight cookie tins.
- Good luck if your family leave any to actually make it on the cake. I have to hide them from Jasper and Riley.
- Grease bottom of a 15 1/2 - by – 10 1/2 - by – 1 inch jelly-roll pan; line with waxed paper; grease lightly. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large electric-mixer bowl, at high speed, beat egg whites just until soft peaks form when the beater is slowly raised.
- Add 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly raised. With same beaters, beat yolks at high speed, adding remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat until mixture is very thick—about 4 minutes.
- At low speed, beat in cocoa, vanilla, and salt, just until smooth. With wire whisk or rubber scraper, using an under-and-over motion, gently fold the cocoa mixture into the beaten egg whites, just until they are blended (no egg white should show).
- Spread evenly into a pan. Bake 15 minutes, just until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Sift confectioners’ sugar, in a 15-by-10-inch rectangle, on clean linen towel. Turn cake out on sugar; lift off pan; peel paper off cake.
- Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, starting with the short end, towel and all. Cool completely on rack, seam side down—at least 1/2 hour.
- To make the filling: Combine ingredients in medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until thick, and then refrigerate.
- Cook the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
- Unroll cake; spread with Black Cherry Sauce to 1 inch from edge
- Spread with Whipped Cream Filling to 1 inch from edge; re-roll. Place, seam side down, on plate.
- Pour and gently spread the Ganache over the top, but not the ends of the roll
- Add Meringue Mushrooms
- Slice and serve!
- Serve with additional Black Cherry sauce and Whipped Cream on the side (optional)
- *The Overall Buche de Noel, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Whipped Cream Filling recipes come from Mike, a member of the Yahoo Falls Chance Discussion Group
- The Black Cherry Sauce is from http://www.everydaysouthwest.com/
- The Meringue Mushrooms came from http://www.epicurious.com/
- The Chocolate Ganache recipe comes from http://www.foodnetwork.com/