Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Toasted Corn

We’ve all wondered what to do with that extra box of holiday hedgehogs. Try shaving it over this simple cocoa cake dusted with a salty vanilla toasted corn dust. It’s just the right balance of nuttiness with a salty-sweet crunch.


Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Toasted Corn


For the Vanilla Toasted Corn: 
1/2 cup popping corn
1 vanilla bean or vanilla bean husk
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325F. Grind popping corn, vanilla bean and salt in a coffee grinder or Vitamix until fine and powdery. (You can also use a fine polenta if you don’t have a grinder and mix it with vanilla seeds scraped from the husk.) Sift the flour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Discard the larger pieces and toast the fine powder in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.

For the Cocoa Cake:
This cake recipe is by the loveliest and most passionate Rose Levy Barenbaum.
I really believe that most pastry recipes should be measured with a scale for the most consistent and successful results. Therefore this recipe is written in weight and items too light to weigh are indicated in volume measurements. Scales can be purchased at most cookware stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Makes 1 – 9″ round cake

42g unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Valrhona
118g boiling water
2 large eggs
44g water
1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract, I use Neilsen Massey
166g pastry and cake flour
200g sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
170g unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9″ cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Whisk cocoa powder with boiling water and let cool to room temperature. Whisk eggs, water and vanilla and set aside.

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl if using a hand mixer. Add butter and cocoa mixture and mix for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and slowly add the egg mixture until well incorporated.

Fill the pan with the batter and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the centre springs back when pressed lightly or a wooden skewer comes out clean with a few crumbs attached to it.

Cool to room temperature, dust with corn powder and shave hedgehogs over top and serve.

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