Today I’m excited to share a special black-and-white edit from the Spring/Summer 2015 “Night Garden” collection by Evgenia Lingerie. Each piece is handmade in San Francisco using fine silk and delicate lace. Designer Stephanie Bodnar specializes in using an inset lace technique, a particular challenge when working with bias-cut silk, which gives her signature pieces a delicate, subtle transparency. Her creations are beautiful to look at and feel exquisite to wear, truly “fine lingerie for the modern heartbreaker.” I hope you enjoy our collaboration! P.S. There’s cake at the end.
Photos: Lydia Hudgens
Stockings: Victoria’s Secret
Suspender belt: Fantasie ‘Samantha’
Bra: Ewa Michalak ‘BM Bibi czarny Tulipan’
Shoes: Enzo Angiolini ‘Dixy’
Nails: Nails Inc. Nail Kale ‘Victoria’
Lips: Bésame Cosmetics ‘Red Velvet’
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CELESTIAL TRUFFLE CAKE
from Bon Appétit, December 2002
For the Chocolate Stars:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp. solid vegetable shortening
For the Black Cocoa Cake:
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened black cocoa powder*
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick, 4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 c. whole milk, room temperature
For the White Truffle Filling and Frosting:
3 c. chilled whipping cream, divided
1/4 c. (1/2 stick, 2 oz.) unsalted butter
1 lb. good-quality white chocolate**
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
4 tbsp. amaretto (almond liqueur)
*Black cocoa is sometimes called ultra-Dutched. Dutch process refers to a way of processing cocoa powder that deepens the color, reduces the acidity, and changes the flavor. Oreos, for example, use Dutch process cocoa powder. You can use your usual cocoa powder for this recipe, but I went for black cocoa to play up the black/white contrasts.
**Such as Lindt, Callebaut, or Valrhona. When in doubt, check the ingredients list: cocoa butter, not vegetable solids, should be the main fat. Avoid white chocolate chips or “white coating” or “white chocolate flavored” products.
To make the Chocolate Stars:
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1 tbsp. vegetable shortening in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Stir gently until the chocolate and shortening are just melted, then remove from heat. Spread the chocolate mixture over the foil on the baking sheet, using an offset spatula to spread the chocolate out evenly to roughly 9×14″ inches. Chill the chocolate until just set, about 12 minutes.
Spray star-shaped cookie cutters with nonstick cooking spray and cut out stars, leaving them on the baking sheet (I used three different sizes; next time I might go with just the largest and smallest sizes, for contrast). Refrigerate the chocolate for 30 minutes until fully set and firm. Using a small offset spatula, carefully transfer the stars to another foil-lined baking sheet. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
To make the Black Cocoa Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9″ inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or in the microwave), stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly at room temperature. Sift the flour, black cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over a large piece of waxed paper and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium speed until softened and well combined, about 4 minutes, stopping every once in a while to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Beat in the vanilla extract and the slightly-cooled melted chocolate, mixing on medium speed for about 2 minutes and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the sifted dry ingredients a third at a time, alternating with the milk, mixing until all ingredients are just incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans and bake for about 35 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and invert the cakes onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
To make the White Truffle Filling and Frosting:
Heat the butter and 1 c. of the cream (reserving the rest) in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add the chopped white chocolate, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Transfer 1 1/2 c. of the white chocolate mixture (this is your white chocolate truffle filling) to a small bowl, cover, and freeze for 2 hours.
Beat the remaining two cups cream and the almond extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk until peaks form. Gently fold in the remaining white chocolate mixture in three batches. Refrigerate the whipped cream frosting for three hours, folding the mixture occasionally with a spatula.
Assemble the Celestial Truffle Cake:
Place one cake layer on a serving plate and brush with 2 tbsp. amaretto. Carefully spoon the white chocolate truffle filling over the cake and spread to about 1/2″ away from the edge of the cake. Top with the second cake layer and brush with 2 tbsp. amaretto. Spread the white chocolate whipped cream frosting over the top and sides of the cake, using an offset spatula to smooth. Chill the assembled cake for at least 1 hour (can be made the day before and chilled overnight).
Decorate the cake with chocolate stars just before serving. Enjoy!
Serves about 12-15, depending on portion size.