Chocolate, Walnut, & Strawberry Layer Cake (GF)

This is the kind of gluten-free that I like. Naturally born this way without pretending. I’ve never understood gluten-free brownies that use substitute flours and strangely tasting things; brownies are better without flour anyways.  Talking about gluten-free, I just had a thought while looking at Apocalypse-looking pictures of the North Bay fires: What if this IS the apocalypse? Everything seems to suggest that. And yet we’re still dieting. I would be so pissed if the end of the world came and I had passed up every chocolate opportunity presented to me. Seriously tho, we need to start eating more chocolate. This recipe is an adaptation from SWEET, but I decided to skip the rose-petal water for the cream and add fresh strawberries, which I believe is pretty genius. I also avoided dissolving the coffee in water because chocolate always seizes when coming into contact with water, and I’m not such a risker.  This cake will look good even if it all breaks down, you have the ingredients and colors to make it work no matter what. If it does break down, just place it in a glass container and pretend it was intended to be a trifle. IMG_3307

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar (215g)
  • 215g dark chocolate or chips
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder (i take it from a Nespresso capsule)
  • 380ml heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a standard mixer with the hook attachment, whisk the egg yolks and slowly start adding the sugar. Beat on medium-high until pale yellow and doubled in volume. Change it to a different bowl and clean the mixer. Place the chocolate in pieces in a small pot and place it over a larger pot of water over the stove. Let it melt. Remove from heat. Mix in the chocolate into the yolks in three batches. Whisk the whites until soft peaks form. In batches, and carefully, fold in the whites into the yolk mixture. Prepare a baking sheet with a rim with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray or oil it. Spread the batter over the pan and make it into a rectangle as even as possible. Bake for 20 minutes. When ready, take it out and let it cool completely. Meanwhile, place the nuts in a skillet with the sugar over med-low heat and stir until the sugar melts and the nuts get coated. Don’t let them burn. Place them on a sheet of parchment, well spread out. Now beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar on high speed until it looks like whipped cream. Do not overbeat. Slice the strawberries in half. Now try to lift the cake from the parchment and cut the edges. Divide into three equal parts and place the first (if they’re not equal, the biggest) piece on a serving platter. Cover with a fat layer of whipped cream, sprinkle some caramelized walnuts and place the strawberries. Place the second cake piece on top and repeat. If you see parts that are sinking and need more support, place strawberry pieces underneath. Finish with a nice layer of cream, walnuts, and strawberries. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. IMG_3317IMG_3314IMG_3315

Español

Este pastel me hace pensar en los edificios recién caidos de la CDMX. No quiero traer recientes malos recuerdos en lo absoluto, solo recordar que el chocolate ayuda a sanar. Por otro lado, viendo fotos bastante apocalípticas de los incendios en California me puse a pensar que, quizás, este sí sea el Apocalipsis. Y nosotros aquí haciendo dietas. No es momento de bromas, pero sí de darnos cuenta y apreciar y disfrutar más que nunca, y nada mejor que con un pedazo de pastel de tres pisos. Recuerda, si no puedes expresar tus sentimientos, ¡siempre te los puedes comer!

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Pastel de Chocolate, Nuez de Castilla y Fresas:

  • 6 huevos, separados
  • 1 T + 2 Cda azúcar
  • 350g chocolate amargo en pedazos
  • 1 Cda espresso en polvo (o de una cápsula de Nespresso)
  • 1 T nuez de castilla en pedazos grandes
  • 6 Cda azúcar
  • 350ml crema para batir
  • 2 1/2 Cda azúcar glass
  • 1 1/2 T fresas, rebanadas a la mitad

Precalentar el horno a 180º. Batir las yemas con el azúcar hasta tener un color amarillo pálido y mucho volumen. Pasar a otro tazón y lavar la batidora para las claras. Derretir el chocolate a baño maría. Poner a batir las claras a velocidad alta a punto de turrón. Agregar poco a poco el chocolate a las yemas, en tres tandas. Agregar el café. En tres tandas, envolver las claras en la mezcla de chocolate, con cuidado de no quitarles el aire. Preparar una charola con orillas de 1cm con un papel para hornear y engrasarlo con spray o aceite/mantequilla. Vertir la mezcla y con una espátula crear un rectángulo parejo. Hornear por 20 minutos. Dejar enfriar. Poner a batir la crema con el azúcar glass cernida, a velocodad alta hasta que se esponje como crema batida. Poner las nueces y el azúcar en una olla a fuego bajo y dejar que se derrita el azúcar, moviendo para que cubra todas las nueces. Ten cuidado de no quemarlas. Pasarlas a un papel encerado para que se enfríen. Sacar el pastel de la charola y pasar un chuchillo por debajo para liberar. recortar las orillas más cortas y dividir el pastel en tres porciones iguales. Pasar la primera porción con cuidado a un plato en donde se va a servir. Cubrir con crema batida, nueces y fresas. Poner el segundo pedazo de pastel y repetir. Terminar con una buena capa de crema, nueces y fresas. Servir de inmediato o refrigerar hasta servir.

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