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Chocolate Dome- 4/23/11


Tonight we are celebrating Tuan's birthday so I decided to make something different for the special occasion.  I choose to make a chocolate dome because the un-usual dome shaped cake definitely fit the "special and different description".  The cake is a génoise  cut into 3 layers and soaked with a Grand Marnier and freshly squeezed orange juice, then the layers are filled with a silky chocolate mousse that is finally smothered with a shiny chocolate icing.  Don't let the length of the recipe put you off.    Breaking the steps down over a few days makes it very manageable and the cake can be assembled the day before serving.

The cake in this recipe is not a traditional génoise.  Whole eggs and sugar are beaten together and the flour is then added but it does not contain any melted butter.  A génoise cake is sponge cake  associated with French baking that does not use any chemical leaving.  Air is suspended in the batter during mixing to give volume to the cake.  It is really light and in this recipe is enhanced by adding a grand marnier and orange juice so that the cake is extremely moist.

The top of the cake is decorated with chocolate leaves and topped with a few raspberries and a few sprinkles of cocoa powder.


Close up look at chocolate dome.


Inside the cake.

Serving the cake... Delicious!


Preparation work..

For the cake

1 tablespoon unsalted butter 

Several tablespoon four to coat the mold

4 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup cake four

12 ounces top quality semi-sweet chocolate

(5 ounce for filling, 7 ounces for coating)

1 cups sour chilled heavy cream

1 cup fresh squeeze orange juice

 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

 1 Pint fresh red raspberries

For decoration:

Save a bit of remaining melted chocolate from cake

6 to 8 fresh green leaves such as orange, lemon, bay

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 cup raspberry sauce

Raspberry sauce (recipe below) optional


Raspberries sauce

1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.


Special equipment

1- 4 cup stainless steel bowl about 8" across and 3" deep

Put the eggs and sugar in an electric mixer with the whip attachment. 

Whip for about 5 minutes until fluffy...

The mixture should be triples in volume.

Sift the flour over the batter.

Rapidly fold in the flour with a big spatula.

Generously butter the stainless steel bowl and sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour and rotate the bowl in all directions to coat the entire inner surface.  Pour the batter over the prepared bowl.

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.  Bake the cake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the a the center of the cake comes out clean with a toothpick inserted.

Freshly out of the oven... 

Let the cake cool down.

When the cake is warm invert the cake on a cooling rack.

The cake can be baked several days in advance.  Wrap air tight in plastic and refrigerate

Preparing the Chocolate/Cream mousse.  Bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in a sauce pan, set a bowl over it and add 5 ounces of chocolate to the bowl. 

Keep stirring until the chocolate in melted - set aside and let it cool to room temperature.

Make sure to save about 3 tablespoons of melted chocolate for the chocolate leaves.

Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks.  Fold the whipped cream into the cooled melted chocolate- (make sure the chocolate is a room temperature)

Keep folding until incorporated- set aside.

Assembling the cake: Taste the orange juice and add sugar accordingly.  Add 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and set aside. 

Use a serrated knife to slice the génoise (cake) horizontally into 3 layers of equal thickness. 

Here I am cutting off the first layer.

Cutting another layer of the génoise.

Here you can see the 3 layers of the cake.

Line the same metal bowl with plastic wrap.  Put the smaller layer on the bottom of the bowl.  Using a pastry brush, soak the cake with about 4 tablespoons of orange juice mixture.

Spoon 1/3 of the chocolate cream mixture onto the soaked cake layer. 

Add a few fresh raspberries on top of the chocolate mousse and cover with the 2nd layer of cake,

Repeat the same procedure...

Cover with the last layer of cake.

Brush on the remaining orange juice and bring the hanging edges of the plastic wrap over the top.  Cover another sheet of plastic and refrigerate for several hours before decorating.

The chocolate leaves for decoration.  Dip the leaves into the melted chocolate.

Dip only the inside of the leave.  You can smooth the surface with a spoon.

Let the chocolate leaves dry out and the chocolate will harden

Peel of the leaves and you will get a really nice imprint for the leaves.  Set aside.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and pull the cake out of the bowl by grapping on the plastic wrap.

Set the cake aside. 

Melt the remaining 7 ounces chocolate the same way as above.

Using a rubber spatula, spread a thin 10 to 11 inches disk of the melted chocolate in the center of the plastic wrap.

Spread the melted chocolate into a large circle.

Put the cake on top of the melted chocolate.

Fold the wrapping paper into the cake.

Insert the cake into the mold and put it back in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

After 2 hours remove the cake from the fridge and peel off the plastic wrap and throw it away.

Line some fresh raspberry around the cake.  Sprinkle the top with cocoa and decorate the top of the cake with the chocolate leaves. 


Filed as: Cake/cookies; Chocolate

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