Laced with semisweet chocolate chips, this luscious cake is topped with ganache—a rich, smooth mixture of melted chocolate and cream. A sprinkling of toasted almonds adds the finishing touch. The cake will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days; store under a covered cake dome.
This recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.
- For the cake: 3/4 cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 cups boiling water
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- For the ganache: 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a Mary Ann cake pan (available at "Williams Sonoma" stores) and dust with cocoa powder.
- 2 To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- 3 In a large bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cup cocoa, the sugar and boiling water. Set aside.
- 4 In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs and vanilla. Pour into the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in the flour mixture in two additions. Pour the batter through a fine-mesh sieve into the prepared pan and stir in the chocolate chips.
- 5 Bake until the cake springs back when gently touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Tap the pan gently on a work surface, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let cool completely, about 1 hour.
- 6 To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute, then slowly whisk until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes before using.
- 7 Pour the ganache into the well of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread evenly. Sprinkle the almonds in a 1-inch-wide band around the outside edge of the ganache. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes to set the ganache.