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chocolate cuddle cake

Chocolate Cuddle Cake

Rose Levy Beranbaum
A Chocolate Chiffon cake with a delicate texture topped with caramel whipped cream.
Prep Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 5 hrs
Course Kitchen
Cuisine American
Servings 15 people
Calories 401 kcal


  • 9x 3 in spring form pan
  • 2 cake strips
  • Parchment paper
  • Stand Mixer with whisk attachment
  • Food processor
  • Oster hand mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Off set and silicon spatula
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • Glass bowl
  • Cake Stand
  • Sauce pan


Chocolate Cake Batter

  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • ½ cup water boiling
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil can use canola or safflower as well
  • ¼ cup egg yolks
  • ½ cup egg whites plus 2 tbsp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted and leveled off
  • cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar plus ⅛

Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate 60% cacoa, chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • tablespoon Kahlua or additional heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup heavy cream hot, plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
  • 2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Whipped Cream (Caramel)

  • 1 cup heavy cream divided
  • ½ teaspoon gelatin powdered
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup caramel made in previous step


Chocolate Cake Batter

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Make sure the oven rack is in the lower third of the oven.
  • In a small measuring bowl, whisk together the cocoa and boiling water. Whisk in the oil and let the mixture cool until no longer warm to touch. Whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on a low speed for 30 seconds. Make a well in the center. Add the chocolate mixture to the well and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until very thick, about 1½ minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • Sift the remaining sugar (½ cup) onto a piece of parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Pour the remaining sugar into the meringue. Continue beating until glossy and stiff peaks form when the beater is raised, about 1 minute.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • Using a large silicon spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter into three parts, folding until partially blended in between and then folding until completely incorporated after the last addition. With the silicon spatula again, scrape the batter back into the pan. Run a small off-set spatula in circles through the batter to prevent air pockets and smooth surface. The batter should fill a 3 in high pan.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes. The cake will dome about 1 inch above the top of the pan and split in the center and a little at the sides. Avoid opening the oven door before the minimum baking time because the fragile cake could fall. Watch carefully. When the cake lowers slightly and a knife inserted near the center into the moist split comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven.
  • Let the cake sit on a heatproof counter or on an uncoated wire rack for about a minute, just until the center is no longer domed. Set coated wire rack on top of the cake and invert the cake and rack onto supports. Let it cool for about 1½ hours, or until the outside of the pan is cool to touch.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • Remove the cake strips and the sides of the springform pan. Slide a thin bladed knife or long metal spatula between the cake and the bottom of the pan, pressing firmly against the bottom of the pan to release the bottom of the cake.

Chocolate Ganache

  • In a food processor, process the chocolate until very fine.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • In in small sauce pan over medium heat and stirring often, scald the heavy cream (heat until boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery).
  • With the food processor motor running, pour the cream in a steady stream into the chocolate. Process for a few seconds until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. Pulse in the extra cream and vanilla (or Kahlua). Press the ganache through a strainer and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Then cover it with plastic wrap and let it cool for about 2-3 hours or until the mixture reaches a soft frosting consistency.
    chocolate cuddle cake

Caramel Whipped Cream

  • For the caramel: In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup and water until the sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and let the syrup boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber (380° F). Remove it immediately from the heat because the temperature will continue to rise, or remove it slightly before it reaches temperature and, as soon as it does, slowly pour in ¼ cup of hot cream. It will bubble up furiously.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • Use a silicon spatula to stir mixture gently; scraping the thicker part that settles on the bottom. Return it to a very low heat, continuing to stir gently for one minute, until the mixture is uniform in color and the caramel is fully dissolved.
  • Remove it from the heat and gently stir in the butter until incorporated. The mixture will be a little streaky, but becomes uniform once cooked and stirred.
  • Pour ½ cup of the caramel into a glass measure. Store any remaining caramel for future use.
  • In a custard cup set in a saucepan surrounded by simmering water (stirring often), scald the remaining cream (as done before with chocolate ganache). Remove it from the heat and whisk in the cocoa. Stir in hot caramel mixture until uniform in color. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool for 40 minutes.
    chocolate cuddle cake
  • For the whipped cream: Into a medium bowl, pour ¾ plus 2 tablespoon of heavy cream and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • In a 1 glass measuring cup, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoon of cream and the gelatin and let it soften for 3 minutes. If it will sit longer, cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation.
  • Place the cup in a pan of simmering water for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin is dissolved. The gelatin will thicken slightly. Remove it from the heat, cover, and let it cool for about 20 minutes until it is 85° to 90°F (if cooler, the gelatin will set and will need to be reheated). Stir in the vanilla.
  • In a chilled bowl, whip the cream with a handheld mixer just until traces of the beater marks begin to show. Scrape the caramel mixture and use a chilled whisk to whip the cream by hand, just until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, While whisking, add the gelatin mixture and continue whisking just until stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    chocolate cuddle cake

Composing the cake

  • Frost the sides of the cake with ganache, bringing it up a little higher than the top to create a border to contain the caramel whipped cream. Alternatively, bring the ganache just to the top, scrape the remaining ganache into a pastry bag, and then pipe half shells around the edges to create a border.
  • Lightly whisk the caramel whipped cream to restore the smooth texture, and spoon dollups on top of the cake. Use a small metal spatula to create swirls. The whipped cream will keep at cool room temperature for up to 6 hours. If desired, decorate with chocolate curls.


Serving: 15peopleCalories: 401kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 5gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 130mgPotassium: 206mgFiber: 2gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 554IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 2mg
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