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Chocolate cake with bay laurel

Chocolate cake with bay laurel
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Is there any dessert more beloved than chocolate cake? It's the bestseller on sophisticated menus, and the staple of children's birthday parties. It's the decadent treat worth breaking your diet for, and the comfort food that you never tire of. ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, plus chilling time | Serves 8 to 10

Chocolate-laurel ganache

  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh bay laurel leaves (about 10)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 64% cacao) finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces

Step 1In a small saucepan, heat one-half cup of the cream with the chopped laurel to a simmer. Turn off the heat and steep for 30 minutes. Return the mixture to the heat. Add the remaining one-half cup cream and bring to a light boil, then remove from heat. Strain out the leaves and discard.

Step 2Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Whisk to melt the chocolate, then whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until smooth.

Step 3Pour into an 8-inch springform pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Allow to cool slightly at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Step 4When the ganache is firm, release it from the springform pan and cut it into small triangles. Place in the refrigerator. (You will have some of this ganache remaining after making the cake; it makes a good snack.)


  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (62% cacao) finely chopped
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for garnish

Step 1Line the same springform pan that you used to make the ganache with parchment. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Keep warm.

Step 2Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.

Step 3Whisk the pastry flour into the warm chocolate-butter mixture.

Step 4Fold the chocolate-flour mixture into the eggs.

Step 5Pour half the cake batter into the prepared pan. Place as many of the ganache triangles on top of the cake batter as are needed to cover. Slowly pour the remaining cake batter on top. Smooth the top of the batter with an offset spatula.

Step 6Bake the cake in a 350-degree oven until the center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Step 7Release the cake from the springform pan and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle with the cocoa powder followed by the powdered sugar.

Note: From Julie Hewitt of Restaurant Halie.



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