Celebrate Mother’s Day with Pièce de Résistance: The Best Ever Chocolate Dessert!

It is in-grained in my mind – that my mother will always be there for me. Perhaps, it is the security of her love, or simply one of our weaknesses for being human. One thing I do know that if it wasn’t for my mom – I wouldn’t be here, period. The funny thing is that growing up, my mom didn’t cook for us. She had a full-time job and we had house keepers. Most people are raised with fond memories of their mom’s cooking. I think that sentiment skipped a generation in my family. My mom expressed our love through other ways. Most importantly, she expressed her love by being by our sides, no matter which path we took.

My mom’s mantra to us, ” this is the right path, that is the wrong one; regardless of what choices you make, I will always love you and be here for you”.

And till today, across continents, she is supporting me; whether it is to share a recipe, or to discuss new ventures; I know she is just a phone call away. Since, this post is about my mom, expressing my gratitude with the one thing I do best, cooking! MOM – Thank you for making me who I am today!!

Whether you are a novice, like me, or an experienced baker, baking is a science I leave up to sound hands of professional bakers. Ms. Flo Braker’s The Simple Art of Baking is a fantastic addition to your recipe collection. I have had this book for a while now but some how it always seemed daunting. Looking for an excuse to try my hand at some ‘professional’ baking, I finally took the plunge and chose this chocolate dessert.

 

The Best Ever Chocolate Dessert

Light chocolate mousse surrounded with fluffy, moist, and delicate ladyfingers, need I say more? No frills, no fuss, no fancy ingredients, just melting in your mouth chocolate goodness. It would taste fabulous next day with a cup of Joe too. There aren’t too many fancy ingredients in this recipe. Just good quality chocolate and a mound of love in preparing this cake. It turned out to be true to its name: “The Best Ever Chocolate Dessert“. If you haven’t made ladyfingers before I highly recommend dividing the batter into three 9” baking pans to make cake layers rather than taking on the arduous exercise of individual lady fingers. Trust me, it will be less stressful.

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Ingredients:

For the Ladyfingers or Cake Layers:

  • 11/4 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

For the Chocolate Filling:

  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 12 oz Baker’s German sweet chocolate
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

For the Garnish:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Chocolate curls
  • 22 or more store-bought fresh lady fingers

Directions:

Cake Layers:

  1. Sift flour and 1 tablespoon sugar three times.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside.
  3. Place the egg yolks and eggs in a heavy-duty mixer bowl. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and whisk by hand to combine. Place the bowl over a large skillet filled with hot tap water and whisk until the mixture is smooth, and not grainy.
  4. Whip the mixture on medium-high speed until it has cooled and increased in volume, appears pale yellow in color, approximately 4-5 minutes. Fold in the vanilla essence.
  5. To test the consistency, lift the whisk. If the mixture falls back into the bowl in ribbons and remains on the surface, proceed with the flour addition. Otherwise, continue whisking till desired consistency is reached.
  6. Scoop one third flour mixture and sprinkle over the meringue. Fold until incorporated and repeat until all flour is absorbed.
  7. Gently pour one cup batter into the butter and fold until combined. Return the butter to rest of the batter and fold again to combine.
  8. Divide the batter into three 9″ baking pans, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the batter with a sieve. Bake for 5-6 minutes in a pre-heated 425 degree oven on the middle racks until the cake is firm but spongy. Remove and cool.

Chocolate Filling:

  1. Lightly butter a 9″ spring form pan sides, dust with powdered sugar, and insert of circle of parchment paper on the bottom.
  2. Line the sides of the pan with the store-bought ladyfingers.
  3. Place the white of the eggs  in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer and yolks in a small bowl.
  4. Pour hot water into the bottom of a double broiler. Pour 6 tablespoons of sugar on chocolate, 1/4 cup hot water, and place the mixture on top of the double boiler. Let the heat penetrate and stir till the chocolate is melted. Add egg yolks and stir briskly to combine until smooth and shiny. Remove mixture from double broiler.
  5. Whip the whites on medium high with 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla essence and fold.
  6. Stir and fold about 1/2 cup egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Continue folding in increments till all the egg mixture is absorbed.
  7. Place one layer of cake on the bottom of the spring form. Pour one third of the chocolate mixture and spread it evenly. Place the second cake layer and repeat with the chocolate mixture. Repeat the layering one more time and end with chocolate mixture on top.
  8. Cover the top with foil and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.
  9. To decorate, whip the cream with sugar and vanilla essence until soft peaks form. Spread on top of the dessert and sprinkle with chocolate curls.
  10. Let the dessert rest at room temperature for 20 minutes or so before serving.

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How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? I would love to hear from you…until next time, give your mom, including  yourself a big hug from my side.

 

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