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New York’s Chef Nick Malgieri Whips Up A Wicked Chocolate Pastry Cake That Will Melt Your Heart

There’s a lot to be thankful for about chocolate. For one, it never disappoints. Its lush taste of sweetness with a dash of bitterness is enough to momentarily mend a broken heart—anyone can attest to that.

And that’s what renowned New York pastry chef Nick Malgieri is here for. He is a master with chocolate. We got to see his magic during the well-attended demo entitled “A Date With Chocolate” at the World Food Expo 2018 in SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.


Click here to read more about Chef Nick


His books—Chocolate, Perfect Pastry, How to Bake, Cookies Unlimited, and a bunch of other mouthwatering titles—have inspired us to be like him when we ‘grow up’. And now that we’re all grown up and old enough to whip up something as close as possible (or maybe not) to what Chef Nick has been doing, I think it’s best to put into practice what we have learned so far.


Chocolate, the book. 1998


Or scratch that excuse. We’re really all just craving for dark and moist chocolate cake every once in a while, and Chef Nick’s recipe for Chocolate Pastry Cake looks like it came straight out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. This was one of the iconic desserts created by Albert Kumin for the 1976 opening of the famous Windows of the World restaurant in New York City.

There are several components to this chocolate cake recipe: a hot cocoa sponge cake, a cocoa pastry dough, an orange liqueur syrup, and chocolate ganache. There may be a lot of steps, but if you follow each one methodically, there’s no reason you won’t be successful. After all, Chef Nick is guiding you along the way, from start to finish.

The following recipe makes one 9-inch cake, good for 12.



Makes two 9-inch round layers, each about 1 1/2 inches deep, or one 10-inch layer

  • 2 ounces (60 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Premium Cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon Black Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Two 9-inch pans or one 10-inch round cake pan, 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep, buttered and the bottoms lined with disks of parchment paper or buttered wax paper

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter is completely melted. Set aside in the pan.
  3. Stir the flour, sifted Premium Cocoa and Black Cocoa, and baking powder together, and sift onto a piece of wax paper.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the eggs by hand to break them up, then whisk in the salt. Whisk in the sugar in a stream, then whisk in the vanilla. Place on the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until very light, about 3 minutes.
  5. Gently whisk in the warm milk mixture by hand. Use the whisk to fold the flour mixture into the liquid in 4 additions, again gently whisking to incorporate between additions. Using the whisk helps to prevent lumps from forming. Handle the whisk exactly as though you were using a rubber spatula for the folding.
  6. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. For the 10-inch pan, use all the batter in one pan.
  7. Bake the layers until they are well risen and golden and feel firm when touched in the center with a fingertip, about 20 minutes for the 9-inch layers and about 30 minutes for the 10-inch one.
  8. Use a sharp paring knife to loosen the layers from the sides of the pans, then invert to racks. Immediately re-invert the layers so that they cool with the paper on the bottom. Cool completely.
  9. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze.



  • 3 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Premium Cocoa, sifted after measuring
  • 3 tablespoons Black Cocoa, sifted after measuring
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces (350 grams) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons cold water
  • 6 half-sheet pans covered with parchment



  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup orange liqueur



  • 20 ounces (570 grams) 58% dark chocolate
  • 12 ounces (350 grams) blended whipping cream
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened


When everything is prepared and measured, it’s time to start baking.


  1. For the cocoa pastry dough, combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on lowest speed for a minute. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Continue mixing on low speed until the butter is finely crumbed into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the cold water while mixing and continue until the dough holds together. Divide into three 300-gram pieces, wrap and chill.
  2. For the orange liqueur syrup, bring the sugar and the water to a boil. Cool and stir in the liqueur.
  3. For the ganache, bring the cream to a simmer and add 58% dark chocolate off heat. Whisk smooth and cool to room temperature. Whisk the butter immediately before using.
  4. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F (177°C).
  5. Roll each piece of dough between 2 pieces of parchment. Sandwich each between 2 half sheets. Bake until dry and crisp, about 30 minutes. Leave between the pans to cool to prevent warping.
  6. To assemble, use a template to cut a 9-inch disk from each piece of dough; make a fourth layer from 2 half disks. Finely crumble the remaining baked pastry.
  7. Assemble the cake. Place a baked pastry layer on a cardboard and spread with ganache; add a hot cocoa sponge cake layer and sprinkle with a third of the syrup. Spread with ganache. Repeat pastry layer, ganache, sponge layer, syrup and ganache twice more and top the cake with the fourth and final pastry layer.
  8. Spread the entire outside of the cake with the remaining ganache and adhere the crumbs all over the cake.


This recipe looks a bit more complicated than the usual classic chocolate cake we’re accustomed to, but trust us when we say that the effort you’ll put into creating this one is worth all the sweat—anything for sweets, right?

So, whether you religiously follow this recipe or adjust it a bit to your liking, we’re sure that you will love it just as much as you love watching sappy romantic movies. That’s what we’re all guilty of anyway—chocolates and silly love stories.



Chef Nick Malgieri used deZaan Premium Cocoa, deZaan Black Cocoa, Vermuyten Topping Royale Duo Gold Unique whipped cream, and Cacao Ivory 58% dark chocolate for all the chocolate recipes he demonstrated, including the one featured here. Chef Nick’s demonstration titled “A Date with Chocolate” was presented by Innobake, Commodity Quest, Inc., Cacao Ivory chocolates and De Zaan cocoa powder. Visit for more information.