Blog Chocolate Glazed Cakes
Summer's in full swing and this week's recipe idea makes a lovely dessert for a summertime supper, including anything from the grill. It combines moist, tender cake, dark chocolate glaze, and fresh fruit. Baking the cake in a thin sheet and cutting it with your favorite Ann Clark cookie cutter shape adds a personal touch; you can end a seashore supper with the seashell or sailboat shape, cap off a clambake with the crab shape, or celebrate the season with the sun shape. Almost any flavor cake will do—vanilla, chocolate, lemon, orange—as long as it's a fairly firm and fine-grained cake. You can make a cake from scratch, use a mix, or, if pressed for time, you can even cut shapes from a store-bought cake (slice it horizontally to make thin layers, approximately 1/2 inch thick).
Here's what to do:
Mix your favorite layer or sponge cake recipe; it should be provide enough batter to make two 9-inch layers or a 9 by 13-inch sheet cake. Preheat the oven to the temperature specified in the recipe or on the box. Grease a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) and line with parchment paper; scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter once or twice to release any air bubbles. Bake the cake until golden brown on top and the center springs back lightly when pressed with your finger. Let cool completely, then run a knife around the edge. Cover the cake with a sheet of parchment paper and place a baking sheet on top of the parchment. Invert the cake, lift the baking sheet off, and peel the parchment from the surface of the cake. Using your favorite Ann Clark cookie cutter, cut shapes from the cake. As you cut, place each piece of cake on a wire rack set over a clean rimmed baking sheet.
While the cake cools, make the chocolate glaze: Bring 1 cup heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan; then remove from the heat. Add 6 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate and let sit in the cream to melt, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir until smooth. (If necessary, place over very low heat and stir constantly until the chocolate melts.) Stir in 2 tablespoons light corn syrup or agave nectar.
To coat the cakes, spoon the chocolate glaze over each cake with a large serving spoon, using the back of the spoon to push the glaze to the edges, and drizzling extra glaze at the edges to coat the sides of the cake. (Extra glaze will run onto the pan below; this can be scraped up when cool, gently reheated, and re-used to glaze more cakes or saved for other desserts, like ice cream.) Decorate the glaze while still wet with colored sprinkles or let set and decorate with icing. Serve cakes with fresh berries. Makes about 8 cakes, depending on the shape used.