|8 ounces||Bittersweet or semisweet|
|½ cup||Rum, brandy or strong|
|½ cup||(1 stick) unsalted butter|
|⅓ cup||Granulated sugar|
|For the icing:|
|10 ounces||Semisweet or bittersweet|
|1 cup||Heavy cream|
|12||To 16 ounces Chocolate|
|Snaps* or other coating|
*Available at baking and cake decorating departments of cookware stores, such as New York Cake and Baking Supply and Broadway Panhandler. Most stores have mail order available.
Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (300 degrees for convection oven).
Grease and flour 1 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water combine the chocolate, rum, brandy or coffee and butter. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemon-colored. Fold chocolate mixture into yolk mixture.
In clean grease-free glass or metal bowl, beat whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whites.
Pour batter into cake pan, transfer pan to middle of preheated oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on pan size and type of oven. Cake will be firm at edges, but will seem under-baked in center. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pan. Put cake in pan in the refrigerator, overnight if possible. Cake must be cold to successfully remove it from the pan.
To remove cake from pan: Cut 2 cardboard circles the same size as the pan used. Put one circle on top of cake still in pan. Heat the bottom of the cake pan on top of the stove over high heat for approximately 20 seconds. Remove from heat and invert cake onto cardboard, gently tapping pan on table if necessary. Cake will fall out of pan. Put the other cardboard circle on bottom of cake and invert cake. Remove cardboard from cake top. Keep cake in refrigerator until ready to use.
For the icing: In the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water melt the chocolate, stirring, until smooth. In a small saucepan bring cream just to a boil. Remove pan from heat, add melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate to a bowl and let cool completely at room temperature. This is called Ganache and can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
To assemble the cake: Ice the top and sides of the cold cake with the ganache. If ganache becomes too cold to spread, soften it in a microwave oven or on top of stove for a few seconds and stir to blend. Use as much or as little of the icing as your taste desires.
The extra can be stored as stated in the recipe. Put the iced cake on a serving platter. Refrigerate if desired.
To decorate the cake: Cut 3 to 4 strips from a new (one-gallon size) freezer bag, each 10½ inches long and approximately 5 inches wide.
There should be enough strips to cover an 8 or 9 inch cake.
Melt chocolate as described in above instructions. Spread the melted chocolate over the entire surface of one strip. While the chocolate is still wet, pick up the strip and place it with the chocolate side to the cake, aligning the bottom of the strip to the bottom of the cake.
Allow the top to fold over the top of the cake - just like a piece of fabric. Refrigerate until the chocolate strip is cold (this should be about a minute or less). Remove cake from the refrigerator and peel away the plastic strip from the chocolate. The chocolate will adhere to the cake.
Repeat the process with the next strip, and then the third strip. The cake will be "wrapped" in a free-form blanket of chocolate. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
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(all recipes courtesy of Madeline Lanciani) For the cake:
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