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If you are not drooling from this picture then you must not be a chocolate lover. I’ll confess, when I watched Yigit (pronounced Yeet) Pura, executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Taste Catering Co. (and winner of the 2010 Top Chef: Just Desserts), whip this treat up I had every inclination that it would be good — but I had no idea that after taking my first bite that I would want to unhinge my jaw and push the entire dessert into my mouth. It was seriously – THAT GOOD!

In typical Scharffen Berger fashion, the day long event and bakery hop received rave reviews. The day culminated at the Ferry Building and left everyone licking their digits as globs of ganache glaze dripped off of spoons. What’s all the hub-bub about? Well it was the official 2011/2012 kick-off to the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Contest. The theme: Elevate a Classic Dessert. >and the wheels are turning<

The following is Chef Yigit Pura’s recipe – and I sincerely hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! >Sidebar: at the event Yigit made this cake recipe into cup cakes and added a little extra filling in the middle, which demonstrates how much fun you can having augmenting this recipe.<

(Note: Be sure to read over the entire recipe as there are two ingredients lists and two sets of directions.)

Scharffen Berger Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Serves 8

Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake Ingredients

1 tsp baking powder

5 TBS Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 1/4 cups flour

3/5 oz creme fraiche

3/4 cup plus 4 tsp whole milk

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

7 TBS grapeseed oil

4 tsp Ceylon tea, chopped

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground clove

1 tsp ground green cardamom

1/4 tsp ground star anise

Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the baking powder, cocoa powder and flour; set aside. In a bowl, mix the creme fraiche and milk and set aside.

Place the eggs, sugar, grapeseed oil, tea and spices in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until the mixture has a thick, fluffy consistency.

In two steps, alternately mix the creme fraiche mixure and the flour mixture into the eggs using a spatula. Be gentle not to overwork the batter or deflate it.

Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. Pour the batter into the pan, about 1 inch from the top.

Bake until the cake has a rise and peak, rotate gently, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, and lightly bounces back to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes and then loosen with a spatula on each side, and gently unmold and cool on a cake rack.

Ganache Glaze Ingredients

7 oz Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

1 1/3 (10.5 oz) cups heavy cream

5 1/3 TBS corn syrup

cinnamon stick, for garnish

star anise, for garnish

candied orange strips for garnish

Ganache Glaze Directions

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Bring cream and the syrup to a boil, and pour over the chocolate. Mix using a spatula, and in the end finish mixing using an emersion blender to emulsify the mixture, taking care not to add too many air bubbles. Use the glaze while it remains warm.

To assemble, place the chocolate cake on a cooling rack with a pan lined with plastic underneath to catch the glaze drippings.

Put the chocolate glaze in the container with a spout, and gently yet quickly pour evenly over the chocolate cake, covering the entire top. Garnish the cinnamon stick, whole star anise and candied orange strips.

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