• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 16 Servings

La Peche Chocolate Velvet

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Desserts

 Ingredients List

  • ------------------------------------CAKE------------------------------------
  • 1 lb Sara Lee pound cake
  • 2 tb Amaretto


1/3 c Amaretto
1/4 c Myers dark rum
4 Heath bars; coarsely chopped
6 tb Melted butter
3 Eggs; separated
1 1/2 ts Instant coffee powder
1 1/2 lb Callebaut semisweet
chocolate (from Belgium)
1 1/2 c Whipping cream
1 tb Powdered sugar

1/2 lb Semisweet chocolate
1/2 tb Powdered sugar
1/3 c Coffee; or as needed

Chocolate leaves
Creme fraiche or
Whipped cream; if desired

This is one of Louisville's most celebrated chocolate desserts. Chocolate
velvet earned its reputation at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York
City, under the hands of pastry chef Albert Kumin, who later became the
White House pastry chef. Fritschner writes: "It's based on the bombe
concept - lining a container with cake, filling it with creamy filling (in
this case mousse) and finishing the turned-out dessert with a glossy
chocolate glaze."

When Kathy and Will Cary opened La Peche gourmet carry-out in 1979, she
added her adaptation of Kumin's recipe to the deli's offerings. Chocolate
velvet has never left the dessert case since then, as it's so popular. As
many as 50 chocolate velvets are sold there a week, made by pastry chef
Scott Bieber.

Line a 2 1/2 qt. souffle dish with plastic wrap. Cut the pound cake into
thin slices. Line the bottom and sides of the souffle dish with
overlapping pieces of pound cake, so there are no openings. Put 2 layers of
pound cake on the bottom, to prevent leaks. Sprinkle 2 tb. of the amaretto
around the pound cake. Set aside.

To prepare mousse: In a bowl, combine 1/3 c. amaretto, the rum, chopped
candy bars, melted butter, egg yolks and coffee. Stir well.

In a double boiler, melt 1 1/2 lbs. of chocolate. Remove from heat and
allow it to cool a little. Whip the cream until stiff; set aside. With
clean beaters, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Slowly
add 1 tb. powdered sugar and beat 1 minute. Slowly add the chocolate to the
liquor mixture, stirring well to combine evenly. Fold in the whipped cream
and egg whites. Pour into prepared souffle dish.

Use the rest of the pound cake to cover the top of the mousse, overlapping
pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 hours.

To make the icing: Melt 1/2 lb. of chocolate. Use an electric mixer to
beat in the powdered sugar. Add the coffee as needed to make a smooth
icing. (It resembles a buttercream. It is very smooth and thick enough to
spread.) Let the icing cool a bit before spreading on the cake.

To ice the cake: Invert the chocolate velvet on a serving plate. Remove
plastic wrap. Spread with icing. Refrigerate. To serve, cut like cake.
Serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream, if desired.

Make chocolate leaves by running a spatula under a thin layer of tempered
chocolate before it is set. Garnish velvet.

Keeps well up to 10 days refrigerated and freezes beautifully for up to six

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