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Black Chocolate Zinger Mini Cakes recipe

April 30, 2009 - Andy Gray
As promised in my column today, here is the recipe for Black Chocolate Zinger Mini Cakes.

Black Chocolate Zinger Mini Cakes

Recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Great Cakes” by Carole Walter.

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon instant coffee

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

¼ cup vegetable shortening

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup ice water

1. Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Bring the ¾ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Immediately remove from the heat. Stir in the coffee until dissolved. Add the chocolate and honey and whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture thickens. Set aside.

3. Using a triple sifter, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and black pepper. Set aside.

4. Cut the butter into one-inch pieces and place in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with beaters or the paddle attachment to soften on low speed. Increase the speed to medium. Cream until softened and smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds. Add the vegetable shortening. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds longer.

5. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, taking 8 to 10 minutes to blend well. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time at 1-minute intervals. Reduce the speed to medium. Stir the reserved chocolate mixture once or twice, then add to the batter along with the vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat 30 seconds longer.

7. Reduce the mixer to low. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the ice water in two additions. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.

8. Fill mini muffin pans with liners and scoop batter into the liner, filling each about two-thirds full. Center the pan on the rack and cook for about 9 to 11 minutes.

9. Remove the cakes from the pan and cool on wire racks.

10. Dip each cake into the Grand Marnier Ganache (recipe below) and enjoy. Makes about 9 dozen.

Grand Marnier Ganache

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

6 ounces (3/4 cup) heavy cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liqueur

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ to 1 teaspoon hot water, if needed

1. Place chocolate in the basket of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the chocolate is finely chopped. Empty the chocolate into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and corn syrup on low heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and cream together, slowly mixing until all the chocolate is melted.

3. Blend in the Grand Marnier and vanilla. If the surface is oily, stir in ½ to 1 teaspoon of hot water. The glaze should thicken as it stands, but remain pourable. If the ganache fails to thicken, chill in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 minutes.


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