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Snake Cake with Venom Glaze

A ganache-covered cheesecake is stenciled with a green design. A coiled serpent augurs a dessert hour full of surprises. Beneath this coating lurks a chocolate cheesecake and chocolate crust.

  • servings: 12

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Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 pounds plus 10 ounces cream cheese, softened (from six 8-ounce blocks)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), melted and cooled slightly
  • Boiling water, for pan

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao)
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

FOR THE DECORATION

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the crust: Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in yolk and vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and mix in flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press dough evenly into bottom of a 10-inch springform pan to form a 1/4-inch-thick crust. Let chill in freezer for 15 minutes. Bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Leave oven on.

  3. Step 3

    Make the filling: Whisk together granulated sugar, flour, and cocoa powder. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, scraping down sides as needed, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the sugar mixture, and mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add eggs and yolk, 1 at a time, mixing just to combine after each addition. Add chocolate, and mix until combined.

  4. Step 4

    Wrap exterior of springform pan with a double layer of foil. Pour filling onto prepared crust, and set springform pan in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake until set but slightly wobbly in the center, about 30 minutes more. Turn oven off; leave cake in oven with door ajar for 1 hour.

  6. Step 6

    Transfer springform pan to a wire rack, remove foil, and let cake cool completely. Run an offset spatula or a knife around edge of cake, and carefully unmold. Set cake on wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.

  7. Step 7

    Make the glaze: Combine chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour cream over chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. (Do not whisk too much or bubbles will form). Let cool for 10 minutes.

  8. Step 8

    Decorate the cake: Pour glaze over cake in a circular motion, starting at the center and slowly moving outward toward the edge, to cover entire surface. Refrigerate, uncovered, until set, at least 4 hours (or overnight). Cake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

  9. Step 9

    Set snake stencil on cake: Print template. Place it under a sheet of calendar vinyl. Use a permanent marker to trace the outline and the snake design onto vinyl. Working on a cutting mat, use a craft knife to cut along the lines. Work slowly and carefully. The vinyl will dull the knife's blade; change the blade as necessary. Sift green powdered food coloring over snake, avoiding the tongue, Carefully sift red powdered food coloring over tongue.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 2009

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Reviews (1)

  • AlixS 26 Oct, 2012

    If I click on the link at the top of the recipe, I go to the site, but can't find the stencil. Down in the recipe, if I click on the "stencil" hyperlink, it says it can't be shown. I'd really like to have the stencil. Can you tell me how to get it?