This is my relationship to Rebar, introduced by a friend years ago, received as a gift, fell in love with it, worked in a bookstore for a year and sold several of them while I was there. My copy is tattered and worn and at the moment and on loan (for a little too long). It is the best cookbook I have ever owned (I know you know that by now), and it’s vegetarian (I am not).
When I use it I feel like I should honour it by using only the very best ingredients, fresh, organic and local. When we eat from it, it feels good. Wholesome, delicious food. I have never been to rebar modernfood in Victoria, but it is on my list. This is where the recipes come from and when I create a meal from this wonderful book and someone says it’s just like eating at Rebar, I love it!!!
I wanted to make something special for someone’s birthday recently and I knew exactly what it should be. Rebar’s Chocolate Cake (death by chocolate in its own right), it would give me an opportunity to try some new organic, fair trade milk chocolate I had. A chance to make ganache, which doesn’t happen too often.
Rebar Chocolate Cake
•1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
•1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
•1/2 cup cocoa
•1 1/2 tsp baking soda
•3/4 tsp baking powder
•1/4 tsp salt
•3/4 cup strong coffee (in place of coffee increase the buttermilk by 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup of water)
•3/4 cup buttermilk
•1/3 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
•2 eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk)
•1 tsp vanilla
•5 oz milk chocolate
•5 oz dark chocolate
•1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
•1/4 lb cream cheese, spreadable
•1 tsp vanilla
•1/2 cup heavy cream
•1 tbsp unsalted butter
•5 oz semi-sweet chocolate
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Prepare three 8″ cake pans with oiled parchment cut to fit the bottoms of the pans. Set aside. (I used a springform and only did two layers)
Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt in the bowl of a mixer and whisk on low to combine, making sure it is lump-free. Add the coffee, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla and mix on medium-low for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides. The batter will be easy to pour.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (longer of course if only using two pans). Let the cakes cool before removing them from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Remove parchment papers before assembling.
Prepare the cake filling. Melt the milk and dark chocolates in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Mix the cooled chocolate into the creamed mixture. Next, prepare the ganache by heating the cream and butter to just before the scalding point. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let rest for 3 minutes, then whisk gently (to avoid incorporating air as much as possible) until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a cooling rack with a large baking sheet underneath to catch drips. Evenly spread half of the filling over the layer, then position a second layer on top. Repeat with remaining filling, saving a small amount to thinly spread over the top. Chill 10 minutes. Next, slowly pour the warm chocolate ganache over the entire cake while carefully spreading it with a large metal icing spatula to make a smooth surface. Carefully transfer the cake onto a plate and into the fridge to set.
If it seems like a lot of work it is, and with good quality product it is not inexpensive, but it is sooooo worth it. Every loving mouthful is divine.
Copies of this great book are sometimes hard to find. My suggestion, if you see one buy it, it will be one of the best purchases you have ever made!