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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Curls and Raspberries

August 29, 2011

Photo by Pat

I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate. A piece of anything chocolate puts a smile on my face but a day filled working with chocolate … eh… you get the picture!

Years ago Elaine Gonzales wrote a book about the art of chocolate. I read her book cover to cover and dogeared the pages throughout. I was hooked and when I saw in the paper that she was coming to Omaha to do an afternoon demo class at Metro College, I signed up.

Tempering chocolate, pouring chocolate boxes, making chocolate clay roses, string work, and pouring chocolate glazes was practiced over and over. I think pouring the chocolate boxes was the most exhilarating as well the most discouraging task. If the tempering process isn’t perfect, the chocolate box just doesn’t happen. Several hours of work and product down the drain is the result. Her tips and instruction does a nice job of explaining the process but practice is what perfects the technique.

Today I made a decadent chocolate cake for the Pastor Sam’s birthday party. The recipe I used was from a web site  (also available below) and in my estimation the recipe needs no additions to improve it but I did use a reader’s suggestion of using half oil and half butter for the amount of oil listed. It is simply wonderful! After I baked all of my cakes, I assembled them with a standard chocolate frosting and gave it an all over coat of frosting to make a smooth surface before pouring a chocolate glaze to cover the whole thing.

I made the Chocolate curls by melting semi-sweet chocolate and spreading it thin on the back of a cookie sheet. I usually refrigerate it a bit before bringing the sheet out to warm up. To check when it has warmed enough after being in the refrigerator, I press my finger quickly on the chocolate and if I can see a ghost of a fingerprint in the chocolate then it’s time to make the curls. The warmer the chocolate gets, the larger the curls. Check out the YouTube video for technique.

The chocolate curls need to dry after you make them, usually overnight in the refrigerator for use the next day and if they are for future use, store them in a dress box on a shelf but only after they have spent drying time in the refrigerator. The chocolate needs to harden up and lose a little moisture in order for the curls to stay pretty on the cake.

Photo by Pat

One more tip. What the video doesn’t show you is that you can scrape diagonally (do not score the chocolate first) to get a corkscrew affect which I like better. I like a more rustic look to my chocolate curls.

And then for a more decadent look, nestle in fresh raspberries or chocolate dipped strawberries among the curls. Now that’s a party!!

The BEST Chocolate Cake

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix (small pkg)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil (1/2 oil + ½ cup butter)
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a very large bowl (4 qt), mix together everything except chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into cake pan(s) of choice. For cooking time, I use the cooking times on the back of the cake mix box and then add 10 mins to whatever it says. Then I do the toothpick check. It usually takes around 45 mins for two, 9-inch cake pans.

Use the frosting of your choice. I used a purchased chocolate frosting before pouring the chocolate glaze.

Photo by Pat

Chocolate Glaze

2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups whip cream

Gently melt the chocolate chips with the whip cream while stirring (med. heat). Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool the pan with chocolate glaze until it thickens enough to make a nice covering of a spoon or finger (yes, lick and lick again before washing your hands!!) Pour over cake starting from the top making sure that it’s totally covered. Allow the cake to sit until the glaze cools completely. Add the chocolate curls and if the curls need a little glue, use a small amount of melted chocolate chips as the glue. Cake may be refrigerated or not. If refrigerated, warm the cake a couple of hours before serving. Don’t forget to tuck in the berries before guests arrive. Enjoy!

Photo by Pat

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2011 8:02 pm

    This cake is absolutely stunning. I hope one day I can make a cake as nice as this.

    Also, I’m passing the Versatile Blogger Award on to you. View the details at

  2. August 29, 2011 8:10 pm

    This is just stunning!

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