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Chocolate Espresso Fudge Cake
Yield: 8 Servings

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup hot water
3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon espresso powder
3 tablespoons hot water
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/3 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

candied violets for garnish, optional

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees
F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 17 1/2 by 11 1/2-inch jelly
roll pan and line the bottom with baking parchment or waxed paper.
Lightly dust the sides of the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

In the 4 1/2-quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, place the
cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Using the paddle
attachment, blend the dry ingredients on low speed, until combined.
Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time and continue to mix until
the mixture resembles coarse meal. At medium speed, beat in the
water, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Continue
to beat the batter at medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the
eggs, one at a time, scralling down the sides of the bowl with a
rubber spatula after each addition. Scrape the batter into the
prepared pan and, using an offset metal cake spatula, smooth it
into an even layer. Bake the cake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the
cake springs back when gently touched in the center. Run the tip
of a knife around the edges of the pan. Invert the cake onto a
wire rack. Carefully peel off the paper and cool the cake completely.

In a small cup, stir the espresso powder into the hot water until
dissolved; set aside. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl: set
aside. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the heavy cream and
espresso mixture. Bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and pour
the mixture over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to stand for 1
minute to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Cover the
bowl and refrigerate the ganache for 2 hours, until chilled and
slightly thickened. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the
ganache just until lightened in color, about 30 seconds. Do not
overbeat the ganache or it will become grainy.

Using eight 3-inch (2 inches in height) metal ring molds, cut out
8 rounds of the devil's food cake. Place the molds on a baking
sheet and place a cake round in the bottom of each mold. Fill a
pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip with the whipped ganache.
Pipe the ganache on top of each round, filling each mold to the
top. With a small, offset metal spatula, scrape the top of each
mold to the level the ganache. Place the sheet of molds in the
freezer for 2 hours.

Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring
the cream and corn syrup to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over
the chocolate and let the mixture stand for 1 minute to melt the
chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Cover the surface of the
glaze with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature until
ready to glaze the cakes.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the cocoa, espresso powder and
sugar. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Stir in the corn syrup.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is
completely dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high and while
continuing to stir, bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan
from the heat and add the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30
seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the
butter and vanilla. Unmold and glaze the cakes:

Remove the molds from the freezer. Gently heat the side of each
mold using a portable hair dryer or a hot, damp towel. Carefully
slide off each mold. Place the cakes on a wire rack set over a
baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap from the glaze and gently whisk until
smooth. Remove the desserts from the freezer and pour the glaze
over each cake to coat it completely.

Place a spoonful of chocolate espresso fudge sauce on a dessert
plate. Place a cake on top of the sauce; garnish with a candied
violet, if desired. Repeat with the remaining cakes.


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