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Chocolate cake with bay laurel

Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Chocolate cake with bay laurel

Chocolate-laurel ganache

1

In a small saucepan, heat one-half cup of the cream with the chopped laurel to a simmer. Turn off the heat and steep for 30 minutes. Return the mixture to the heat. Add the remaining one-half cup cream and bring to a light boil, then remove from heat. Strain out the leaves and discard.

2

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Whisk to melt the chocolate, then whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until smooth.

3

Pour into an 8-inch springform pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Allow to cool slightly at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4

When the ganache is firm, release it from the springform pan and cut it into small triangles. Place in the refrigerator. (You will have some of this ganache remaining after making the cake; it makes a good snack.)

Cake

1

Line the same springform pan that you used to make the ganache with parchment. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Keep warm.

2

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.

3

Whisk the pastry flour into the warm chocolate-butter mixture.

4

Fold the chocolate-flour mixture into the eggs.

5

Pour half the cake batter into the prepared pan. Place as many of the ganache triangles on top of the cake batter as are needed to cover. Slowly pour the remaining cake batter on top. Smooth the top of the batter with an offset spatula.

6

Bake the cake in a 350-degree oven until the center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

7

Release the cake from the springform pan and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. Right before serving, sprinkle with the cocoa powder followed by the powdered sugar.

From Julie Hewitt of Restaurant Halie.

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