A dessert called Mocha Brownie Cake that contains more than a pound of chocolate has got too be great, right? Well, it didn’t turn out that way for me. The recipe is from Baking With Julia and was contributed by Marcel Desaulniers. There is a compact one-pan chocolate cake filled and covered with mocha ganache. I baked the cake twice – the first time following instructions closely, except for the baking temperature. I set the oven at 425 degrees, instead of 325…oops. After 45 minutes, the cake was decidedly burnt.
So I started again, but since I’d used most of the bittersweet chocolate in the first cake and the ganache, I used more unsweetened chocolate and less bitterweet in the second cake and added a little more sugar to compensate. I was also out of sour cream at this point, so I substituted some plain yogurt.
The cake is cooled, sliced into three layers, then layered with ganache. The recipe calls for using a springform pan to contain the cake layers while pourable consistency ganache is added, then chilled to set. For this procedure to work successfully, the cake and springform pans have to be exactly the same size. My springform pan was slightly smaller than the cake pan, and the layering process was awkward. I think it would have been fine to just let the ganache cool to a spreadable consistency and spread it onto the cake layers.
I wasn’t overwhelmed by this cake. I found both the cake and ganache a little dry. It was very dense and rich and much improved with a scoop of ice cream. But the bottom line for me is that a cake with this much chocolate should be better than this.
The recipe can be found on pages 282-283 of Baking With Julia. The Tuesdays With Dorie-Baking With Julia website lists links to more bakers’ experiences with this recipe.