Yield: 1 Servings
|See part 1
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Set the bowl over direct heat or in a pan of barely simmering water and heat the eggs, whisking constantly, until they are warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and, working with a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a hand-held mixer), beat the eggs at high speed until they are cool, have tripled in volume, and hold a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
Sift one third of the dry ingredients over the eggs and, using a large rubber spatula, fold in gently but thoroughly. When the color of the batter is almost uniform, fold in the rest of the flour-cocoa mixture.= Spoon about 1 cup of the batter into the hot clarified butter add fold together until well blended. Spoon this over the batter and, using the large rubber spatula, gently fold it in.
Spoon the batter into the pan: there's no need to smooth the top or rap the pan on the counter, as is sometimes done with foam-based cakes. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until top of the cake springs back when pressed gently. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake cool in the pan.
When the cake is completely cool, run a small knife around the sides of the pan to release the cake and unmold onto a rack; invert right side up onto a piece of parchment paper. (The cake can be made ahead to this point, wrapped well, and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.) Preparing the Chocolate -- The chocolate is going to be spread and then scraped into ruffles from four baking pans; if you don't have enough pans, you can make the ruffles in 2 batches. Choose heavy-duty jelly-roll pans that are neither warped nor dented, neither nonstick non treated with special coatings. Keep them close at hand.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, in the top of a double boiler over an inch of simmering water, or in a microwave oven sat at medium power. Stir the chocolate regularly until it is fully melted. Smooth, and 115F to 120F (You can test the temperature with an instant-read thermometer or by putting a drop on your top lip - it should feel warm.)
Hold the bottom of one of the baking sheets over a burner (either gas or electric) and, moving it back and forth, heat it until it is warm but not hot enough to burn your fingers. Put the baking pan upside down on a flat surface and pour on about ⅓ cup of the chocolate. Use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate thinly and evenly over the bottom of the baking pan: the chocolate will only be about 1/16 inch thick. Refrigerate the pan for at least 30 minutes, or for as long as several hours, depending on your schedule. (It is better to chill the pans for a long time and let them come up to ruffling temperature - in which case they'll stay at temperature longer - than to catch them the moment they turn cool enough to ruffle.) Repeat with rest of the chocolate and the other baking pans.
Shaping the Ruffles -- To shape the ruffles, work with one baking pan of chocolate at a time. Remove a pan of chocolate from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature to warm gradually until it is pliable enough to be scraped.
Place the baking pan on a counter in front of you, a short side braced against your body. Hold the end of the blade of a then, flexible 8-inch metal icing spatula in your left hand (reverse procedures if left-handed) and, with your right hand, grab the blade close to the handle. You should have 4 to 5 inches of blade exposed and available for ruffling.
Using the top left corner of the pan as your staring point and imagining that corner of the pan as 12 o'clock, position your left hand in that corner, and your right at 2 o'clock. Press the edge of the blade against the chocolate at a very shallow angle, as if you were going to slide the spatula blade under the chocolate. Now slide the blade forward, moving your right hand down to 5 o'clock and then pivoting the blade to the left, all the way to the edge of the pan. As your right hand is moving down, so is your left, although not as far - your left hand will move down 4 to 5 inches. This is an important point - if you don't move your left hand down, you'll end up with tight curls of chocolate rather than ruffles. As you scrape and ruffle the chocolate against the blade and then make the pivot, the chocolate will gather against the blade -- use you left hand to pinch the chocolate so that the ruffles form a fan and the pinched part is a little handle. You've completed one ruffle.
CONT in part 3