3large eggs plus 3 large egg yolksat room temperature
3/4cup/150 g granulated sugar
1/3cup/40 g cake flour
1/3cup/40 g cornstarch
1/4cup/35 g unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
1cup/240 ml champagne or prosecco
1/2cup/100 g granulated sugar
10ounceschocolate sticksabout 120 pieces
Unsweetened cocoa powderfor dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour a 9-inch round baking pan or a 9 3/4-inch Savarin mold.
In a heat-proof bowl (preferably stainless) beat together whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt, using an electric hand mixer at high speed. Place bowl over pan of simmering water and continue beating with the electric mixer until the mixture is warm. Remove bowl from water. Continue to beat until mixture is cooled and increased in volume; this will take 5-7 minutes, and the batter should be thick and leave a trail when the beaters are lifted from the bowl.
Sift together cake flour, cornstarch and cocoa. Sift dry ingredients over the beaten egg mixture, gently folding with a rubber spatula. Pour batter in prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched with finger. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edge with knife and invert cake onto a rack. Cool completely.
For the syrup, combine the champagne or prosecco and sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm, about 20 minutes.
Place the cake upside down on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Poke holes in the bottom of the cake using a fork. Using a pastry brush, liberally brush half the syrup all over the bottom of the cake. Turn the cake upright and brush with the remaining syrup. Be sure to use all the syrup so the cake is thoroughly saturated. Loosely wrap the cake in the plastic wrap, and then in a layer of aluminum foil and allow the cake to stand at least three hours or preferably overnight.
To decorate the cake, press the chocolate sticks into the cake at a 45 degree angle, beginning at the center. Do this gently, as chocolate sticks are fragile. Avoid holding the sticks in your hands as you decorate because they will become soft. Keep them on the counter top. Continue pressing more sticks into the cake, moving outward, until the entire cake is covered. Dust the cake with unsweet cocoa, if desired. Store the cake in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
This cake is excellent brushed with Kirsch (cherry) syrup. Just replace the champagne with Kirsch liqueur and serve with whipped cream. Add a few Morello cherries and you've got Black Forest Cake.Edit 1/6: Someone asked how this cake is sliced. If you cut between the chocolate pieces at an angle, you'll get a clean slice.