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    Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone & Praline

    Source of Recipe

    Gourmet, April 1999

    Recipe Introduction

    This recipe is more work than some, but the end result is worth it!

    List of Ingredients

    Cafe Mezzo
    London, England

    Gourmet, April 1999

    Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone and Praline

    For praline:

    1/2 c. whole blanched almonds
    1/2 c. hazelnuts
    3/4 c. sugar
    1/4 c. water

    For cake:

    3 oz. good bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
    1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
    5 T. unsalted butter
    1/3 c. vegetable oil
    2/3 c. water
    1 c. plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    1 large egg
    1 1/4 c. flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1/3 c. buttermilk

    8 oz. mascarpone cheese at room temperature
    1 1/2 T. sugar


    Make praline:

    Preheat oven to 350F. In a baking pan toast nuts in one layer in middle of oven 10 minutes, or until almonds are lightly colored and hazelnut skins are blistered. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove any loose hazelnut skins (do not worry about skins that do not come off) and cool completely.

    Line a baking sheet with foil. In a small heavy saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil syrup, without stirring, washing down any sugar crystals that cling to side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water, until it begins to turn golden. Swirl pan until syrup is deep golden and remove from heat. Stir in nuts and pour praline onto baking sheet, spreading evenly. Cool praline completely and break into pieces. Transfer praline to a sealable plastic bag and with a rolling pin coarsely crush.

    Make cake:

    Preheat oven to 300F. Generously butter a 9-inch round cake pan (at least 2 inches deep) and line bottom with wax or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.

    Finely chop chocolate. In a small saucepan combine cocoa powder, butter, oil, and water. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until smooth, and remove pan from heat. Add chocolate and sugar, whisking until smooth, and transfer to a bowl. Cool chocolate mixture completely and whisk in egg. Sift flour and baking powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Whisk in buttermilk and pour batter into cake pan, preading evenly.

    Bake cake in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan and invert cake onto rack.

    Discard paper. Cool cake completely and transfer to a plate. In a bowl stir together mascarpone and sugar. Spread mixture over top of cake and generously sprinkle with praline.




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