Palet d’Or – A.K.A prize winning devil’s chocolate food cake

This has to be the faffiest recipe I have put on the blog – it is a beast of a cake, two layers of moist chocolate sponge painted with dark chocolate, sandwiched together with a chocolate truffle cream coated in a shimmery chocolate glaze.

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The Bouchon Bakery book came from my mum a few years back and it really is a gem for anyone wanting to step it up a little in the baking arena past the basics (though who doesn’t love a Victoria Sandwich). I’ve made this cake twice in the last week in the run up to the University of Manchester Charity Bake-Off (see link to competition site)– which I won 🙂 – Hence amusing cake and prize picture from the competition…

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I want on a charity cycle ride for the British Heart Foundation with a twist on Sunday – the 52miles route left Manchester at 1am! We had a few hiccups at the start but made really good time completing the route in 3hours 20mins (not including mechanical and jelly baby breaks). This super duper rich chocolate cake was the perfect antidote to achy legs.

Good luck and keep your patience.

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Palet d’Or – Thomas Keller: from ‘Bouchon Bakery’

For this recipe you will need an 8” x 1 3/8” bottomless cake ring and silver leaf gelatin.

Cake:

  • 101g plain flour
  • 31g cocoa powder
  • 5g baking soda
  • 5g baking powder
  • 1g salt
  • 56g eggs
  • 126g caster sugar
  • 2g vanilla paste
  • 86g mayonnaise
  • 105g water

Preheat the oven to 165C. Line a sheet pan with a silpat or line with parchment paper and spray the parchment.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt and whisk to combine.

Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and mix on medium-low speed for about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and whip about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whip medium high-speed for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. When the whisk is lifted, the mixture should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.

Add the mayonnaise and whip to combine. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the dry ingredients and water in 2 additions each.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and using an offset spatula, spread it in an even layer, making sure that it reaches into the corners. Bake for 10 minutes. Set on a cooling rack and cool completely.

Cut two 7 ¼ inch discs from the cake. Using a small offset spatula paint 25 grams of melted dark chocolate over each cake round.

Line a sheet pan with a silpat and position a cake ring toward one end of the pan. Centre a cake round, chocolate side down, in the ring. Place the second cake round next to the ring, and freeze for about 1 hour.

Chocolate Cream:

  • 333g double cream
  • 233g 64% chocolate, chopped
  • 50g eggs
  • 100g egg yolks
  • 83g caster sugar

Whip the cream to soft peaks and refrigerate. Melt the chocolate in the top of a bain marie. Transfer the chocolate to a large bowl and let cool to 37.7° to 48.8°C.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in the clean top of the double boiler over simmering water. Initially the eggs will increase in volume and foam, but after 5-7 minutes, the foam will begin to subside and the eggs will thicken. Watch the temperature closely, as the eggs will begin to set if they get too hot; when the temperature reaches 83.8°C, immediately transfer them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed for about 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. When the whisk is lifted, the mixture should form a slowly dissolving ribbon.

Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate to combine. Fold in the egg mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Transfer the chocolate cream to the pastry bag.

Remove the sheet pan from the freezer. Pipe a ring of cream to fill the gap between the edges of the cake and the ring. Then pipe a spiral, beginning in the centre of the cake and extending to the edges of the pan. Centre the second cake layer over the first layer. Repeat the piping, using enough cream to reach slightly above the rim of the ring. Sweep a long offset spatula over the cream from one side of the ring to the other for a perfectly smooth surface. Place the sheet pan in the freezer overnight.

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 2.7 g of silver leaf gelatin
  • 150g double cream
  • 225g sugar
  • 180g water
  • 75g cocoa powder

Place the gelatin in a bowl of ice water to soften

Place the cream, sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cocoa powder, reduce the heat to keep the mixture at a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by about one-third. Test by spooning a small amount onto a plate: run your finger through it – if it runs together, continue to reduce it until your finger leaves a track. Once it has reached the desired consistency, remove the mixture from the heat. Wring the gelatin of excess water and whisk it into the cocoa mixture.

Assembling the Cake:

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set cooling rack on top. Position the frozen cake, still in the ring, on the rack. Warm the sides of the ring with your hands or with warm towels. (Do not use hot water- the cream must remain frozen.) Holding one side of the cake steady, lift up and remove the ring.

Reheat the glaze if necessary until hot, and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a spouted measuring cup. In one smooth, quick motion, pour the glaze over the top of the cake, beginning 1 ½ inches from the edges, allowing the glaze to flow down the sides and into the centre to coat. Tap the sheet pan against the work surface to distribute the glaze evenly.

Let the glaze set for a few minutes and then, using a cake lifter or a wide spatula, lift the cake from the rack. If there are any drops of glaze clinging to the bottom of the cake, carefully scrape them against the rack to remove them, then place the cake on a serving platter

To serve, run a slicing knife under hot water and dry well. Slice the cake, heating the knife again as necessary.

*phew* hope you made it through that 🙂

6 thoughts on “Palet d’Or – A.K.A prize winning devil’s chocolate food cake

    1. Thanks! I’ve made the butter nutters, the chocolate chip cookies and the plum tart as well and they’ve all worked out amazingly well, you should have a go! I was daunted at first but just bought myself a set of really accurate scales and everything from the Bouchon book turns out beautifly 🙂 I haven’t quite been brave enough to venture into the bread/croissant section but I’m determined to try this winter… 😀

  1. I love your blog, your posts are all so beautiful! I just followed you, it would be great if we can support each other 🙂 I am so glad I got to discover you ❤

    1. not at all! it keeps the mixture really moist, at the end of the day it’s just eggs, oil and a little bit of vinegar – which really cuts through the richness of the chocolate (but no you can’t taste any acidity!) – why not have a go and see 🙂

      1. That is so awesome. Good point about it being simply the sum of the ingredients 🙂 I totally agree about it cutting the chocolate’s decadence factor. I’ll bet it’s delicious. On my to-bake list!

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