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Friday, April 25, 2008

Chocolate Grand Marnier Cake

I am not normally a fan of a chocolate/orange combination, and I have to admit I don't normally have much use for Grand Marnier, because I am not a huge fan of synthetic orange flavor, but my friend Frannie brought in this chocolate Grand Marnier cake into work about 6 months ago, and it was fabulous. She originally got the recipe from, so I pulled the recipe, and began tweaking from there. I was sloppy when I was frosting, but the cake looks really nice, and I have gotten nothing but raves.


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 C all-purpose flour
10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted (I used bittersweet chips to make it easier)
1 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbls Grand Marnier
6 eggs, separated

First, preheat oven to 350F, and butter a 10-inch springform pan (and put a round of parchment on the bottom of pan).

1) Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes, until fluffy.
2) Beat in the egg yolks
3) Add in the chocolate, vanilla and Grand Marnier, and mix well
4) Add in the flour and mix until just combined
5) In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
6) Fold the whites (by hand) into the cake batter in 3 additions
7) Pour into pan and bake 35-45 minutes, until top is dry and starting to crack (it will have a flaky coating that will come off) and a toothpick comes out with a few wet crumbs. This cake has a fudge-like density.
8. Cool in pan on rack completely before running a butterknife around the edge of the cake and de-panning.

Chocolate Ganache
7 tbs unsalted butter
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
2/3 C heavy, whipping or light cream
2-4 tsps (go by taste) Grand Marnier

1) Put butter and chips into a heat resistant glass or metal bowl
2) Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan
3) Once it boils, remove from heat and pour over the butter/chocolate
4) Mix until smooth (I think a whisk is easiest for this step)
5) Add Grand Marnier to taste
6) Pour over the cake, and smooth over the top and sides, encasing the cake in ganache
7) Cover and keep refrigerated

Now that I have made this cake, I want to tweak the recipe more. I am going to make a variation that substitutes either Frangelico or Kahlua for the GM, and I am going to split the cake and fill it with an espresso buttercream. I have the recipes already worked out, but I won't post it until I have actually tried it.