I’ve prepared countless cakes in my life, but the one I’m most asked to prepare – for a birthday or for my family – is without a doubt chocolate cake.Below I’ve picked three of my favorite recipes for making chocolate cakes. Although they’re all chocolate, each one has a unique twist to it, and is especially fitting for a specific celebration. For example, one is most suitable for children’s birthday parties, another for family gatherings, and the last for anniversaries.RICH CHOCOLATE CAKEThis is the recipe most loved by my own family and close circle of friends. It’s easy to make and fills the home with a wonderful aroma. It calls for butter, but can also easily be prepared with a parve substitute.200 gr. bittersweet chocolate 200 gr. butter or parve substitute 1½ cups sugar 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder 1 Tbsp. instant coffee 6 eggs, separated 1¾ cups flour, sifted 1 packet baking powder 4 Tbsp. brandy Icing: 100 gr. butter or parve substitute ½ cup sugar 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder 1 Tbsp. instant coffee ½ cup water 100 gr. bittersweet chocolate Toppings: ½ cup nuts, chopped ½ cup bittersweet chocolate pieces, chopped Place chocolate and butter in a microwavable bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar, the cocoa powder, and instant coffee. Melt over a bain-marie or in the microwave. Mix until smooth.Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gradually add half a cup of sugar and continue mixing until well blended.Beat the egg yolks and then fold them into egg whites. Add the melted chocolate and gently stir. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and then fold into mixture. Add the brandy.Pour the mixture into a greased pan and spread. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 180° for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake and let cool.To prepare the icing, place the butter in a pot with the sugar, cocoa powder and instant coffee. Heat over medium flame until butter melts. Add the water and chocolate and cook over a low flame until smooth.Ice the top and sides of the cake and then garnish with chopped nuts and chocolate pieces.CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH A TOUCH OF ORANGE I find that chocolate and orange go great together. This cake is perfect for hosting family and friends on weekends.
300 gr. bittersweet chocolate, broken up into squares 200 gr. butter, cut into pieces 8 eggs, separated 1 cup sugar 1 cup orange juice 1 Tbsp. orange or chocolate liqueur 100 gr. almonds, finely ground 200 gr. walnuts or pecans, finely ground Zest of one orange Icing: 100 gr. milk chocolate, broken into squares 50 gr. bittersweet chocolate, broken into squares 50 gr. butter, cut into pieces 3 Tbsp. sweet whipping cream 3 Tbsp. orange juice 1 Tbsp. orange liqueur Toppings: Pieces of candied orange peel Halved walnuts 2-3 Tbsp. small candies or chocolate shavings In a microwavable bowl, put chocolate and butter. Melt in microwave and mix until smooth.Mix egg yolks with an electric mixer and gradually add sugar. Mix well.While mixing, add melted chocolate, orange juice and liqueur. Transfer mixture to a different bowl and clean mixer bowl well. In the mixer bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Then, add the almonds, walnuts and orange zest, and the rest of the egg whites.Pour batter into a greased pan and spread out. Bake in an oven that was preheated to 170° for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.To prepare icing, in the microwave or in a small pot melt the two kinds of chocolate and the butter. Mix until smooth. Gradually add the cream one spoonful at a time while mixing vigorously. Add orange juice and liqueur and mix.Pour icing onto cake and garnish with orange peels and nuts. Store in fridge until serving.CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH HAZELNUT CREAM This is one of the tastiest cakes I’ve ever made. I would make this cake every week, if it weren’t for the high calorie count.Bottom layer of cake: 300 gr. bittersweet chocolate 150 gr. butter, cut into pieces 1 cup demerara sugar 5 large eggs, separated 3 egg yolks, from large eggs 1 Tbsp. instant coffee 1 Tbsp. chocolate liqueur ¼ tsp. salt Hazelnut cream: 3 egg whites (from large eggs) ¹⁄3 cup sugar 2 drops lemon juice Pinch of salt 100 gr. bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarsely 100 gr. roasted hazelnuts, peeled and chopped coarsely 2 tsp. corn flour Toppings: 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted 2 Tbsp. chocolate shavings Chopped hazelnuts To make the bottom layer, melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a bain-marie.Whip the egg whites (from five eggs) with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl.Whip the butter with the electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar and the 8 egg yolks. Lower the speed and gradually add the melted chocolate, instant coffee, liqueur and salt. Mix until smooth.Fold ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then add the rest of the egg whites and mix gently.Line a pan with baking paper and grease well. Pour in batter and spread out. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 170° for 20 minutes. Raise the temperature to 180° and bake another 10 or 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out moist but not dry. (When the outside of the cake begins cracking, it’s time to take the cake out of the oven, even though it seems like the inside is not ready. Otherwise, it will be too dry.) To make the hazelnut cream, put 3 egg whites in a clean bowl and whip on high speed. When stiff peaks have formed, gradually add the sugar, lemon juice and salt and continue mixing.Fold in the shaved chocolate, chopped nuts and corn flour and mix until smooth. Spread cream on cake and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until cream hardens and expands. Let cool.Mix cocoa powder and chocolate and sprinkle on cake. Decorate with chopped hazelnuts.Translated by Hannah Hochner.