Chocolate Truffle Cake

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Chocolate Truffle Cake

Crust:

3 C. graham cracker crumbs (about 25 graham crackers)

2 T. cocoa powder, sifted

2 T. light brown sugar

5 T. unsalted butter, melted

Filling and garnish:

8 oz. semisweet chocolate

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate

2 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream

2 T. milk

2 T. brandy or rum or 1 t. vanilla extract

Cocoa powder

White and semisweet chocolate curves, lattices or chocolate curls

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa, brown sugar and melted butter. Press the mixture in an even layer on the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the side of the pan and put the base, with the crust on it, on a wire rack to cool. When it is cool, reassemble the pan.

To prepare the filling: Melt the semisweet and bittersweet chocolates together in the top of a double boiler over simmering water or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water. When melted, set the chocolate aside to cool to lukewarm. It should still be liquid.

Set the heavy whipping cream in its container in a bowl of hot water until it is cool but no longer refrigerator-cold.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream with the milk and brandy or vanilla until it is thick enough to leave a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted. Be careful not to overwhip the cream.

Blend a heaping spoonful of the cream into the lukewarm chocolate, then quickly fold the chocolate into the remaining cream using large metal spoon. Pour the mixture over the crust in the pan and smooth the top with a narrow spatula.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Remove the cake from the pan and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, sift a fine layer of cocoa powder over the top and garnish with chocolate curves or curls and, if desired, a fanned strawberry.

Makes 12 generous servings.

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