A Special Chocolate Cake for Father's Day

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The Chocolate Pavarotti

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I posted this recipe two father's day ago and was such a hit i am posting it once again.

Perhaps the most remarkable sound I have ever heard was achieved by Luciano Pavarotti, in a recording of Bellini's I Puritani, when he reached an impossible sounding F above high C. This cake is dedicated to him and will appear in my upcoming book.

In the past, I've added melted white chocolate to yellow cake, and also to white cake, with excellent results of higher rise and more moistness. One day it suddenly dawned on me that it could be equally wonderful in a dark chocolate cake. Yes!

The Chocolate Pavarotti
Serves about 8

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake 30  to 40 minutes

Makes:  A 1-7/8 inch high cake

The Batter

INGREDIENTS

MEASURE

WEIGHT

volume

ounces

grams

white chocolate containing cocoa butter, chopped

.

4 ounces

113 grams

unsweetened cocoa powder (alkalized)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (sifted before measuring)

1.5 ounces

42 grams

boiling water

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces)

4.2 ounces

118 grams

2 large eggs, preferably Safest Choice Pasteurized, room temperature

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces)

3.5 ounces

100 grams

water

3 tablespoons (1-1/2 fluid ounces)

1.5 ounces

44 grams

pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 teaspoons

-

-

bleached cake flour

1-1/2 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off)

5.5 ounces

156 grams

superfine sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon

5.7 ounces

162 grams

baking powder

3-1/4 teaspoons

-

-

salt

1 teaspoon

-

-

unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)

8 tablespoons (1 stick)

4 ounces

113 grams

canola, safflower, or sunflower oil, room temperature

2 tablespoons

1 ounce

28 grams

Special Equipment One 9 by 2-inch cake pan, encircled with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with parchment round, then lightly coated with baking spray with flour.

Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Melt the White Chocolate Heat the chocolate until almost completely melted. Use a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often- do not let the bottom of the container touch the water.).

Remove the chocolate from the heat source and, with the silicone spatula, stir until fully melted. Allow the chocolate to cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.

Mix the Cocoa and Water In a medium bowl whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. To speed cooling, place it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before proceeding.

Mix the Remaining Liquid Ingredients In another bowl whisk the eggs, the 3 tablespoons of water, and vanilla just until lightly combined.

Mix the Batter In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter, oil, and the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the melted chocolate and beat at medium speed for about 10 seconds until evenly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface evenly with a small offset spatula.

Bake the Cake Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake spring back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. It will have a few cracks in the top.

Cool and Unmold the Cake Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan, and invert it onto a wire rack that have been coated with cooking spray. To prevent splitting, reinvert the cake so that the top side is up, and cool completely.

Sprinkle the cake lightly with powdered sugar shortly before serving or frost with your favorite buttercream. Ganache would be a great choice!