I’m in love with this cake. The richness. The textures. The variety of chocolate flavors. The tangy accent of apricot preserves that keeps it from descending into a “Death by Chocolate” debacle. This is decadence with a European sophistication.
According to the sidebar in Kaffeehaus, Rigo Jancsi was a gypsy violinist who charmed the wife of the Belgian Baron Chimay away from him at the end of the nineteenth century with his soulful gaze and mesmerizing good looks. What else for the Hungarian bakers to do but create a sinful chocolate dessert and name it after the country’s most famous scandal-maker?
A silky chocolate mousse is sandwiched between chocolate sponge and topped with apricot glaze and a bittersweet chocolate ganache. Despite the explosive chocolate flavor, it’s not overwhelmingly sweet. That means you can have a slice (and half of another 😉 ) and feel like you’ve indulged without having that sticky feeling at the back of your throat like you would with most American-derived sugar bombs. Take half a day and put this together to discover for yourself how this combination of chocolate textures create a flavor sensation unlike any other. Enjoy!
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbs cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbs milk
- 3 tbs canola oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbs white rum
- 1 packet gelatin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cups hot water
- 3 oz high-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup apricot preserves
- To make the cake: position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Lightly butter a 15″ x 11″ jelly roll pan and line with parchment, slashing the corners to allow it to lie flat. Lightly butter the paper.
- Sift flour, cocoa, and salt together in a small bowl. Mix the milk, oil, and vanilla together in a measuring cup.
- Beat the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl using an electric handheld mixer on high speed until very light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Sift half of the flour mixture over the eggs and fold in. Fold in half of the milk mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk mixtures. Spread evenly in the pan, making sure the batter fills the corners.
- Bake until the cake springs back when pressed,about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then invert onto the rack and remove the parchment. Cool completely.
- To make the filling, sprinkle gelatin over rum in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a pan of gently simmering water and stir to completely dissolve gelatin. Remove the bowl from the water, stir in the vanilla, and set aside to cool slightly.
- Combine confectioners’ sugar and cocoa in a small bowl. In a chilled medium bowl, beat the cream with an electric handheld mixer on high until slightly thickened. Sift the cocoa mixture into the cream and beat until barely stiff. Stir a dollop of the cream mixture into the gelatin mixture, then beat back into the cream, beating until very stiff. Do not overbeat or it will separate.
- Cut the cake into equal 7 1/2″ pieces. Place one piece on a baking sheet and spread all of the filling over it, smoothing the sides. Refrigerate while making the glaze.
- To make the glaze, combine water and chocolate in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly witha rubber spatula, until chocolate is mostly melted, then remove from the heat. Let stand until chocolate is completely melted, then stir in butter until completely combined. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly.
- Place the remaining cake on a wire rack set over a jelly roll pan and spread the apricot glaze over it. Refrigerate to set the glaze for 15 minutes. Pour all of the glaze over the cake, coaxing it over the sides of the cake with a metal spatula. Smooth the glaze on the top of the cake and refrigerate to set for 15 minutes.
- Using a thin,sharp knife rinsed under hot water between slices, cut the glazed cake into 9 rectangles. Following their original positions, arrange rectangles over filling. Refrigerate until the filling is set, about 1 hour. Cut between the rectangles to make individual servings.