September 7th Cake

September 7th Cake


  • 6 extra-large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Adjust rack one-third up from bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 375. Butter two 9" round cake pans. Line the bottoms with rounds of waxed paper or parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust insides of pans with flour. Beat yolks in mixer at high speed for about 5 min until light. Add half (6 tablespoons) of the sugar and beat another 5 minutes until very thick and mixture forms a wide ribbon when the beaters are lifted. Add cocoa and beat until completely mixed in. Add salt to egg whites and beat until whites hold a soft shape, then reduce speed to moderate and gradually add sugar (about a Tb. at a time). Increase speed to high again and beat until whites hold a definite shape but not until still or dry. In small additions, fold about half of the whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining whites. Turn into pans and smooth each layer. (An offset spatula works great for this.) Bake 30-35 min. until layers spring back when lightly pressed with fingertip and begin to come away from sides of pan. Cut around sides of pan with small sharp knife, then remove layers from pan, remove paper, and invert again to let layers cool right side up. They will buckle and sink and be uneven, but that's to be expected. Place 4 narrow strips of waxed paper around edges of cake plate. Place first layer upside down on plate and see that paper touches it all around. Sprinkle gelatin over water in small cup and let stand for 5 min, then dissolve over hot water. Remove from heat. Reserve 2 or 3 Tb. of cream, then add sugar and vanilla to the remainder and whip only until it holds a soft shape. Quickly stir remaining cream into dissolved gelatin and pour into softly whipped cream, then continue whipping until cream hold a firm shape. Cover bottom layer with cream. Cover with top layer, right side up. Refrigerate while preparing icing. Cut up chocolate, then place it with butter and coffee (which has been dissolved in boiling water) in saucepan over very low heat or in double boiler. Stir occasionally until melted and remove from heat. Cool just to room temperature. Beat cream, powdered sugar and vanilla together to form soft peaks. Beat ONLY to soft peaks--if you overdo it here, the icing will be too stiff and will have a slightly curdled appearance. Fold half the cream gradually into the chocolate mixture, then fold that into the remaining cream. Use as much of the icing as you need to fill in any hollows on the sides of the cake and then smooth icing around sides. Now the cake can be finished in one of two ways. Either use all of the icing to cover the top very thickly or spread it very thinly and reserve about 3 c. for decorating the top, using a pastry bag and a star-shaped tube. To decorate top, use a #6 star tube. To form the icing lines, begin at the edge of the cake furthest from you, at the middle of the edge. Squeeze an inch or two of icing out of the tube in a line coming towards you. Continuing to squeeze and without stopping the flow of the icing, move the tube back away from you over about half the line you have just formed, making another layer of icing on the first. Still without stopping the flow of the icing, bring the tube towards you again and make another 1- to 2- inch line, then double back over half of this distance again. Continue across the whole diameter of the cake. The finished line will be along the middle of the cake. Make another, similar line to one side of the first, touching it. Work from the middle--one side all the way and then the other side all the way to entirely cover the top of the cake with these wavy lines. Remove strips of waxed paper by pulling each one out towards a narrow end. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight and serve cold. To slice without squashing cake, insert the point of a sharp knife in the center of the cake, then cut with an up-and-down sawing motion.

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