4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt
2/3 cup (160 ml) orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
Granulated white sugar
5 ounces (140 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (240 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)
1 - 2 tablespoons (12 - 25 grams) granulated white sugar (or to taste)
1 - 6 ounce (170 grams) package of fresh raspberries
5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35-40% butterfat content)
1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter, diced
1/2 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
Sponge Cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour a 7 cup (1.7 liter) stainless steel bowl.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until nice and thick and fluffy (this will take about 5-10 minutes). (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) Then sift about half the flour and salt over the egg mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula or whisk, just until the flour is incorporated. Sift the remaining flour over the batter and fold in. (Don't over mix or the batter will deflate.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until golden brown, firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake has cooled completely remove from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut the sponge into three equal layers.
Note: You can make the cake a few days in advance. Just wrap the cake in plastic wrap, place it back into the bowl, and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dessert.
Soaking Syrup: In a small measuring cup combine the orange juice and Grand Marnier. Add sugar to taste.
Chocolate Mousse: Place the chocolate and about 2 tablespoons of the cream in a heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel). Place over a saucepan of simmering water and melt until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
Whip the remaining cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Using a wire whisk, quickly whisk a little of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Then add the rest of the whipped cream and whisk until combined.
To Assemble the Cake: Take the bowl you baked the cake in and line it with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap overlaps the top of the bowl. Place the top rounded piece of the cake into the bottom of the bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the sponge with some of the soaking syrup. Evenly spoon about 1/3 of the chocolate mousse onto the cake. Top with some fresh raspberries. Place the next layer of the cake on top of the mousse and brush the layer with some of the soaking syrup. Again, evenly spoon the rest of the chocolate mousse on top of the cake layer. Top with some fresh raspberries. Cover the mousse with the last layer of cake and brush the cake with some of the soaking syrup. Lightly press down on the cake and cover the assembled cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours, or even overnight before covering with the ganache.
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes so the chocolate melts. Gently stir until smooth. Then add the liqueur. Let cool for about 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and turn the cake, domed side up, onto a cake circle and place on a wire rack. Lift off the bowl and plastic wrap. Put the wire rack onto a baking sheet to catch any drips. Pour the ganache over the cake, letting the ganache flow down the sides of the cake (make sure you are covering all the sides of the cake with the ganache). If there are any bare spots on the sides of the cake, take a little of the leftover ganache and cover the bare spots. Once the cake is covered with the ganache, using a large spatula, remove the cake from the wire rack and place on your serving plate. At this point you can decorate the cake with chocolate truffles and/or berries, if desired. Refrigerate the cake until serving. The cake be completely assembled the day before serving.
Note: Leftover ganache can be strained to remove any crumbs, chilled, formed into small rounds, and rolled in cocoa powder to make chocolate truffles.
Serves about 8-10 people.
One Saturday afternoon I was watching Julia Child's television show "Cooking with Master Chefs" and the famous chef, Michel Richard, made a Chocolate Dome Cake. It looked so beautiful that I hurried out and bought Julia Child's book (of the same name) so I could make this wonderful dessert. What I love about this cake is its dome shape and how the three layers of sponge cake are brushed with an orange flavored syrup and then filled with a delicious chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries. The finished touch was that the whole cake was covered in melted chocolate.
Now, I will say that I have changed the recipe somewhat. Instead of covering the cake with melted chocolate, I used a chocolate ganache. What is different about this sponge cake is that it's baked in a stainless steel bowl. That is how you get the unique dome shape. Once baked I find it best to invert the cake onto a wire rack so it doesn't deflate as it cools. (You can bake and store the cake about two to three days before assembling the dessert.) Because this type of cake doesn't contain any butter or oil, it needs some type of soaking syrup to keep it nice and moist (plus it adds flavor to the cake). The syrup used is a mixture of lightly sweetened orange juice and Grand Marnier which I think nicely complements the chocolate mousse filling and fresh raspberries.
Both the chocolate mousse filling and chocolate ganache are made with dark chocolate and heavy "whipping" cream. (That is cream with a 35-40% butter fat content. Which means when you whip the cream it will reach stiff peaks.). And try to use a good quality semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate that you enjoy eating on its own.