Monday, January 30, 2012

American Beauty Cake

Do you watch pageants like Miss America? We normally do not but recently we saw a child beauty pageants television show and my youngest daughter thought it was great. She was ready to enter any pageant she could. I didn't want to discourage her but I have a full time job plus a hockey schedule for my youngest son at this time. So, I took the easy route and said, "You know dear those dress cost a lot of money so you really should talk to Grandmom about making you one. Since it is late, you will have to call her tomorrow." Lucky for me, she forgot all about it. However, today she went with my sister and Mom to look at wedding dresses so she may remember after all.
The only reason why I bring up pageants is this week on PQ was the American Beauty Cake picked by Alice of This Home Plate. My cake will not win any pageants for beauty. Now, talent is another category and it would rock. As my son says, this cake is Awesome! Since my cake didn't look the prettiest no matter what angle, I included a more attractive subject. My son didn't care because he was eating.
This cake takes a day to make since it needs to be frozen for at least six hours. It is a rich, decadent dessert. I did cheat and used store bought mousse. Please check out the other members cake for recipes of the mousse. I would definitely make this again especially for a special occasion like an anniversary. My son enjoyed making it with me since all he did was help with the whip cream but took credit for making the whole dessert. Doesn't he look proud?
American Beauty Cake
1 cup unsalted butter
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
6 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Glaze:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
Place the cake pan in a roasting or baking pan to make sure it fits.
Set a metal bowl over a saucepan that is holding  2 inch of simmering water.
Melt the chocolate and butter in the metal bowl stirring until smooth. 
Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together.
Whisk the sugar and eggs into the chocolate mixture until well combined. 
Stir in the vanilla and mix well.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the cake pan. 
In the roasting pan, fill the pan with hot water to come about two-thirds of the way up the side of the cake pan. Be careful no water enters the cake pan but just surrounds the cake pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Let the cake cool completely in the pan and the cake will settle back down after rising. Do not remove the cake from the pan.
On the cooled cake, spread the mousse filling the pan to the top.
Wrap the cake with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours or up to 3 weeks.

To make the glaze:
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a sauce pan, combine the corn syrup, whipping cream, and vanilla. 
After the mixture boils, pour it over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Allow the glaze to cool at room temperature.
To assemble:
Remove the cake from the freezer and dip the bottom of the pan in hot water. 
Invert the cake onto a plate and then invert the cake onto another plate so the mousse part is on top.
Pour the glaze over the mousse making sure the glaze needs to cover the sides of the cake.
Allow the glaze to set at least one hour.
After the glaze sets, cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook.
Don't you love his million dollar smile with the missing tooth? He looks like a hockey player.
Did you already know......
-In 1921, a beauty contest was sponsored in Atlantic City to increase newspaper circulation.
-In 1923, Miss Mary Katherine Campbell wins the title Miss America two years in a row. Since her winning, a new rule was instated that no woman can hold the title for more than once.
-From 1929 to 1932, the contest is discontinued due to the Great Depression and bad publicity.
-Miss Maine has never won Miss America.
-The 2012 Miss America winner is Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler.

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