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May 6, 2010

Black Chocolate Zinger Cake

Black Chocolate Zinger Cake


3/4 cup water

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarse chopped

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut 1" pieces, softened

1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

2 cups superfine sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup ice water


6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

6 ounces heavy cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or dark rum

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon hot water, if needed

MAKE THE CAKE: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and

preheat to 350F. Butter a 12 cup fluted tube pan. Dust with flour

and tap out the excess. In a small saucepan, bring the 3/4 cup water

to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the coffee

until dissolved. Add the chocolate and honey and whisk until the

chocolate is melted and the mixture thickens. Let cool for 10 to 15

minutes, until tepid.

In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together the flour, baking

soda, salt and pepper, until thoroughly blended. In a 4 1/2 quart

bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat

the butter at medium speed for 30 to 45 seconds, until creamy and

smooth. Add the vegetable shortening. Increase the speed to medium-

high and beat for 30 seconds longer. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a

time, taking 8 to 10 minutes to blend well. If using a hand mixer,

take at least 15 minutes to blend well. Scrape the sides of the bowl


Add the eggs, one at a time at 1 minute intervals. Reduce the speed

to medium. Stir the chocolate/honey mixture once or twice, then add

to the batter along with the vanilla, scraping the side of the bowl

as necessary. Beat 30 seconds longer. At low speed, one-third at a

time, beat in the flour mixture alternately with the ice water. Mix

briefly just until each addition is barely incorporated into the

batter. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix the batter 10 more


Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with

the back of a spoon. Center the pan on the rack and bake for 65 to 75

minutes, until the cake begins to come away from the side of the pan

and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set

the cake onto a wire rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Invert the

cake onto the rack and remove the pan. Cool completely.

MAKE THE GANACHE GLAZE: Break the chocolate bars into 1-inch pieces

and place them in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping

blade. Process for 15 to 25 seconds, until finely chopped. Empty the

chocolate into a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and

corn syrup on low heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Immediately

pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30

seconds to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the

liqueur or rum and vanilla. If the surface is oily, stir in 1/2 to 1

teaspoon of hot water.

Put the wire rack with the cake over a baking sheet. Pour the

chocolate glaze over the top of the cake. Let the glaze drip down the

sides of the cake without coating it completely. Lift up the rack

with the cake and transfer it to another baking sheet. Put the baking

sheet with the cake in the refrigerator to chill for 5 to 10 minutes

to set the glaze. Store the cake at room temperature under a glass

cover or in an airtight container for up to 5 days.