I bought the new Meursault album, ‘Something For The Weakened’ a few weeks ago. It has not left my CD changer. It is on constant repeat on my iPod.
It’s that good.
Of course, you might remember this post I wrote about Neil Pennycook being my Musician Of The Moment.
He still is.
So, to celebrate this amazing musician, fabulous band and great new album, I made a special cake. Dense chocolate sponge is topped with apricot jam and cloaked in a thick chocolate ganache. The screamer is the creamy, chocolatey, liqueur scented truffles topping the cake.
A heart shaped cake is also fitting here since Neil recently became engaged.
Congratulations Neil and much happiness to you both!
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting pans
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 teaspoons orange-flavored liqueur
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Chocolate Truffles (Recipe follows)
Directions to make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 300℉, with rack in center.
2. Butter two 6-inch heart-shape cake pans. (I used one heart shaped pan like this one.) Line bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. Dust with cocoa powder, and tap out excess; set aside.
3. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring often; set aside. (I did this in microwave)
4. Put butter and 1/3 cup sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in yolks, then vanilla and melted chocolate. Reduce speed to low. Mix in flour. Transfer batter to a large bowl.
5. Put egg whites and salt into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed until foamy. Raise speed to medium-high; gradually beat in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Raise speed to high, and beat just until stiff peaks form. Stir half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining egg whites.
6. Divide batter between prepared pans. Tap firmly on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake until centers are just set, 16 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on a wire rack. Turn out cakes; remove parchment. Reinvert onto rack.
7. Trim cakes flat.
8. Warm jam in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly runny. Stir in liqueur. Spread warm jam over 1 cake layer. Top with remaining layer. (Since I only had one layer, I just brushed the jam over the top of the cake.)
Directions to make the ganache:
1. Put chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a boil over medium-high heat; pour over chocolate. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until cooled and the consistency of corn syrup, about 30 minutes.
3. Arrange truffles over top of cake. Serve.
8 ounces best-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon liqueur, such as triple sec or framboise
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling the truffles in
1. Put chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over chocolate in bowl. Stir in liqueur. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand until thick, about 15 minutes.
2. Pour chocolate mixture into a shallow 8-inch dish or pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until mixture is very cold and set but still pliable, about 30 minutes.
3. Using a teaspoon or a 1/2-inch melon baller, scoop balls of chocolate mixture, transferring them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper as you work. Refrigerate truffles 10 minutes.
4. Using hands dusted with cocoa powder, dip each truffle in cocoa powder to coat, then quickly shape truffle into a rough round.
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine
I love this track by track guide from Neil Pennycook to ‘Something For The Weakened’.
Every single song on the album is special in its own right.
Right now, I cannot get enough of Settling.
The very quiet start with the crisp vocals coiled around the hum of the instruments gives me chills.
Then that perfect moment at 1:10 into the song.
Ha, Fucking, Ha!
Makes me melt.
Turn up the volume and get a smile on your face. You might be tempted to pull out your air guitar.