How long has the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company been in existence? Let's put it this way: condensed sweetened milk is just a few years younger than this San Franciso-based business.
It was founded in 1852 by Domenico Ghirardelli, an Italian immigrant who first made confections in Genoa, Italy. He made his way to the United States in 1849, attracted by the possibility of gold in California. When prospecting didn't pan out, he went back to his sweet, sweet roots: making chocolate candy from imported cocoa beans.
In 1865, The company discovered a breakthrough: By hanging a bag of chocolate in a warm room, the cocoa butter drips out, leaving a residue that can be processed into ground chocolate. This technique, called the Broma process, is now generally used in the manufacturing of chocolate around the world.
In 1998, Lindt and Sprungli Chocolate acquired Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. as a wholly owned subsidiary of their holding company.
What is all this background information leading up to? A tasty delight.
Last year, Ghiradelli created America's Most Intense Chocolate Recipe contest and Gigi Burton of Plainsboro, N.J. was declared the winner for her Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake, a three-chocolate cake featuring a semi-sweet cake, milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate garnish, served chilled. Burton won a family cruise to Hawaii and, of course, a lot of Ghirardelli Baking Chocolate for future use.
Here is Gigi Burton's recipe for her chocolate cake:
Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for pan
- 3 cups Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 8 large eggs, cold
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips
- 2 ounces Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bar, chilled
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Arrange rack in center of oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Melt butter and semisweet chocolate chips over double boiler until smooth; cool slightly. Meanwhile, with a hand mixer or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip eggs and salt on medium speed until doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.
- Gently fold, in thirds, whipped eggs into melted chocolate.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and place pan in water bath. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and is set in the center, about 40 minutes. Remove pan from water bath to a cooling rack and cool cake completely in pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- To remove cake, dip the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan in warm water and run a thin metal spatula around the inside of the pan. Invert onto a plate to unmold, remove parchment paper.
- To prepare ganache, bring heavy cream to a simmer and pour over milk chocolate chips. Stir gently until smooth; cool slightly.
- Pour ganache over top of cake and spread with an offset spatula to evenly cover. (There will be some ganache leftover.)
- Chill cake until ganache sets, about 30 minutes. To garnish, use vegetable peeler or grater to grate white chocolate bar into curls or shavings onto top of cake. Serves 12.
* Note: It's recommended that the cake be refrigerated overnight before frosting.
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