Palet d’Or (Rich Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Pastry Cream)

In some ways, this cake might seem familiar. I made two parts of it before, here. This is why I didn’t include pictures for those parts below. If you want pictures, check out that post. This time, I made the cake closer to how it is in the Bouchon cookbook. One reason it isn’t identical? Gelatin. The recipe for the chocolate glaze is a bit elaborate, considering it is just…chocolate glaze….And, it called for sheets of gelatin, which I don’t have easy access to. I freaked a bit, because, well, let me back up a bit here.

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A good friend just had her second kid. We had a small baby shower for her, and initially I was just a regular guest. Then, I offered to bring a dessert, which is why I made these cookies. This was all supposed to be a surprise, but then that got spoiled by someone. So, I had the idea to make it a partial surprise birthday party since her birthday was the following week. This led to me volunteering to get a small cake for her. Which led to me deciding to make this cake for her. Because backing up about 6 months or more prior to that, I offered to make her a double chocolate cake for her birthday.

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So, this was a bit last-minute, which meant that I hadn’t checked the recipe fully. I figured that since I had made the other two parts before, the glaze would be a cinch. Except for the sheets of gelatin. No worries…they mentioned there was a note for the gelatin. I looked it up. Yeah, the note was that there are different kinds of gelatin sheets, and they specified the type. Um, not helpful for me. So, I scrapped their glaze and made my own which works just fine. Two parts chocolate to one part butter. Mmm.

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Stay tuned for what I did with the extra pastry cream. Oh, and those other things on top? That will be in the next post, too.

Directions for Palet d’Or

Adapted from Bouchon Bakery

Devil’s Food Cake

  • 101 g flour
  • 31 g Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 126 g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 86 g (about 1/4 cup) mayonnaise
  • 105 g (about 1/2 cup) room temperature water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a half sheet rimmed baking pan with parchment paper, sprayed with baking spray. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat in a mixer with the whisk attachment the egg, sugar, and vanilla on medium-low speed for one minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat it for 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and a pale yellow color. Scrape down the sides and bottom with a spatula, then turn it up one notch to medium-high speed and beat for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. If you take a spatula and dip it in the mixture, it should fall back into the bowl in a slowly dissolving ribbon.

Add the mayonnaise and beat to combine. Fold in the dry ingredients and water in two batches, each. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake springs back when you press down on it lightly. Let it cool completely. Run a knife along the edges of the pan, place a sheet of parchment on top, then invert the cake. Remove the layer of parchment that was on the bottom of the cake (now the top). Cover the cake in plastic wrap and freeze it.

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Chocolate Cream

  • 333 g (about 1.5 cups) heavy cream
  • 8.2 ounces of 60-70% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 83 g granulated sugar

Beat the cream to soft peaks and refrigerate it while you continue. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, place it in a large bowl, and then let it cool to between 100-120 degrees F. This will take awhile, so in the meantime, you can skip ahead to the first steps of the cake assembly.

Then, in a double boiler, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and sugar. The eggs will increase in volume, and then thicken. When the temperature of the eggs reaches 183 degrees F (about about 5-7 minutes), place them in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for about 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. It should form a ribbon that dissolves slowly when you lift up the whisk.

Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Then fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate. Finally fold in the rest of the whipped cream, and then place the chocolate cream mixture into a pastry bag.

Assembly (heavily changed from Bouchon)

  • Chocolate candy coating, melted
  • 8 ounces 60-70% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, cut into 8 pieces

I only have a 6-inch cake ring. If you have nesting ones, you could do this more easily.

Take the cake from the freezer and use the cake ring as a guide. Cut out (with a knife) a circle that is about 1/2 inch smaller (all around) than the 6-inch cake ring. Do this three times total to make 3 layers. If the cake crumbles, don’t worry, simply press the pieces together to form as good of a circle as you can. Line a baking sheet with fresh parchment. Place the cake layers (spread out) on top, then brush some of the melted candy coating on top of each. Freeze for about 30 minutes-1 hour. (For my pictures below, if you’re wondering….the third layer was on a different pan.)

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On top of the lined baking sheet, take one layer of cake and place in the middle of the cake ring. Then, take the chocolate cream from above and pipe out a ring to fill in the gap.

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Then, pipe a spiral over the layer, starting in the middle and going out to the edges.

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Center the second cake layer on top, and again pipe a spiral over top, out to the edges. Repeat with the third cake layer. The cream should go to the top of the cake ring.

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Take an offset spatula and smooth it across the top of the cake.

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Refrigerate any remaining chocolate cream.

Freeze the entire pan/cake. After a few hours, check the cake to make sure the center has not dipped. If it has, then you can fill in the gap with some of the extra chocolate cream (otherwise you don’t need the remaining cream). Freeze overnight.

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When ready, melt together the chocolate and butter until smooth.

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Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes. While it cools, remove the cake from the freezer and remove the cake ring.

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Set the cake on a cooling rack and pour the glaze on top of the cake making sure to angle the cake a bit to get the sides as well.

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Let the glaze set for a few minutes, then lift the cake up and wipe the bottom as necessary to keep it from getting stuck to the rack.

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Place it on your desired serving platter. Refrigerate the cake uncovered to keep the glaze shiny.

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Directions for Palet d’Or (without pictures)

Adapted from Bouchon Bakery

Devil’s Food Cake

  • 101 g flour
  • 31 g Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 126 g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 86 g (about 1/4 cup) mayonnaise
  • 105 g (about 1/2 cup) room temperature water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a half sheet rimmed baking pan with parchment paper, sprayed with baking spray. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat in a mixer with the whisk attachment the egg, sugar, and vanilla on medium-low speed for one minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat it for 5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and a pale yellow color. Scrape down the sides and bottom with a spatula, then turn it up one notch to medium-high speed and beat for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. If you take a spatula and dip it in the mixture, it should fall back into the bowl in a slowly dissolving ribbon.

Add the mayonnaise and beat to combine. Fold in the dry ingredients and water in two batches, each. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake springs back when you press down on it lightly. Let it cool completely. Run a knife along the edges of the pan, place a sheet of parchment on top, then invert the cake. Remove the layer of parchment that was on the bottom of the cake (now the top). Cover the cake in plastic wrap and freeze it.

Chocolate Cream

  • 333 g (about 1.5 cups) heavy cream
  • 8.2 ounces of 60-70% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 83 g granulated sugar

Beat the cream to soft peaks and refrigerate it while you continue. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, place it in a large bowl, and then let it cool to between 100-120 degrees F. This will take awhile, so in the meantime, you can skip ahead to the first steps of the cake assembly.

Then, in a double boiler, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and sugar. The eggs will increase in volume, and then thicken. When the temperature of the eggs reaches 183 degrees F (about about 5-7 minutes), place them in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for about 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. It should form a ribbon that dissolves slowly when you lift up the whisk.

Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate. Then fold the egg mixture into the melted chocolate. Finally fold in the rest of the whipped cream, and then place the chocolate cream mixture into a pastry bag.

Assembly (heavily changed from Bouchon)

  • Chocolate candy coating, melted
  • 8 ounces 60-70% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, cut into 8 pieces

I only have a 6-inch cake ring. If you have nesting ones, you could do this more easily.

Take the cake from the freezer and use the cake ring as a guide. Cut out (with a knife) a circle that is about 1/2 inch smaller (all around) than the 6-inch cake ring. Do this three times total to make 3 layers. If the cake crumbles, don’t worry, simply press the pieces together to form as good of a circle as you can. Line a baking sheet with fresh parchment. Place the cake layers (spread out) on top, then brush some of the melted candy coating on top of each. Freeze for about 30 minutes-1 hour.

On top of the lined baking sheet, take one layer of cake and place in the middle of the cake ring. Then, take the chocolate cream from above and pipe out a ring to fill in the gap. Then, pipe a spiral over the layer, starting in the middle and going out to the edges. Center the second cake layer on top, and again pipe a spiral over top, out to the edges. Repeat with the third cake layer. The cream should go to the top of the cake ring. Take an offset spatula and smooth it across the top of the cake. Refrigerate any remaining chocolate cream.

Freeze the entire pan/cake. After a few hours, check the cake to make sure the center has not dipped. If it has, then you can fill in the gap with some of the extra chocolate cream (otherwise you don’t need the remaining cream). Freeze overnight.

When ready, melt together the chocolate and butter until smooth. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes. While it cools, remove the cake from the freezer and remove the cake ring. Set the cake on a cooling rack and pour the glaze on top of the cake making sure to angle the cake a bit to get the sides as well. Let the glaze set for a few minutes, then lift the cake up and wipe the bottom as necessary to keep it from getting stuck to the rack. Place it on your desired serving platter. Refrigerate the cake uncovered to keep the glaze shiny.

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