Chocolate Ciao


Chocolate ciao cake:
10.5 ounces (three 3.5-ounce bars) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
1/3 cup Kahlua liqueur
6 large eggs

Chocolate glaze:
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Sambuca crème anglaise:
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons Sambuca liqueur

Fresh raspberries
Mint sprigs


1. Make cake: Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly butter bottom and sides of a 91/2" springform pan. Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper, cut to fit. Place pan in a large roasting pan and set aside.

2. Place chopped chocolate in a large bowl and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, espresso and Kahlua. Place over medium-high heat and, stirring frequently, bring to a boil. Pour hot sugar mixture over chocolate and let stand 1 minute to melt chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.

4. Place eggs in medium bowl and whisk until yolks and whites are well blended. Add eggs all at once to chocolate mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Add hot water to roasting pan so that it comes halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake cake in water bath for 30-40 minutes, until center is shiny, but set. Remove cake pan from water bath and let cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.

5. Refrigerate cake in pan for at least 4 hours before unmolding. To unmold, run a paring knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Remove side of pan. Carefully invert cake onto cardboard cake round or plate and peel off parchment paper. Place cake on a wire rack positioned over a baking sheet.

6. Make glaze: Place chocolate in medium bowl and set aside.

7. In medium saucepan, combine butter, cream and sugar. Place over medium-high heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil. Pour hot mixture over chocolate and let stand 1 minute to melt chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

8. Pour warm glaze over cake. Use a small, offset metal spatula to smooth the glaze over uncovered areas. Refrigerate cake for 10 minutes to set glaze.

9. Make sauce: In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cream and about half of sugar. Using a sharp paring knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and add them to saucepan along with pod. Place over medium heat just until milk begins to scald. Remove.

10. In medium bowl, whisk together yolks and remaining sugar. Whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Pour mixture back into saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens and a path remains in custard when you draw it across back of spoon (temperature should be 175°F-180°F). Pass sauce through fine-mesh sieve into glass bowl. Stir in Sambuca liqueur. Cool slightly, then cover loosely and refrigerate several hours, until chilled.

11. Serve a piece of Chocolate Ciao Cake with Sambuca Crème Anglaise and fresh raspberries.
The Federalist, 15 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108; 617-670-2515.


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