INGREDIENTS (serves 12)
for the batter:
8 eggs whites room temperature (save the egg yolks, divide them between two bowls, 4 egg yolks in each bowl)
3/4 cup white granulated sugar, divided
4 of the saved egg yolks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup ground pecans
for the cream:
4 eggs yolks (the remaining 4)
1 whole egg
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark cocoa
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons orange liquor
for the glaze:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
for the decor:
3/4 cup chopped pecans lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, convection feature.
Place the egg whites and 2/4 cup sugar in the standing mixer bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl combine 4 of the eggs yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. By the help of a mixer beat until lighter in color and silky.
Incorporate the egg yolks into the egg whites by the help of a spatula. Do not over mix.
Sift the flour together with the baking powder and the ground pecans. Fold into the egg mixture.
Coat a 13x17 inch sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the cake batter evenly. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until slightly golden on the surface. Allow to cool at room temperature, cut the ends off, then slice the remaining sheet cake into 3 equal parts vertically. Peel the parchment paper off and set the cake parts aside.
While the cake bakes, make the cream. Using a whisk combine the 4 remaining eggs yolks, whole egg, sugar and cocoa in a medium sized bowl. Cook over double broiler until the mixture thickens and becomes pudding consistency. Mix at all times. Allow it to cool at room temperature, then incorporate the butter and the orange liquor. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours (the cream can be made a night before).
To build place a layer of cake then spread a layer of cream, top with a layer of cake, then spread another layer of cream. Top with a third layer of cake. Do not add cream to the third layer of cake top. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
For the glaze combine the chocolate chips, butter, and whipping cream in a medium sized bowl. Place the bowl over double broiler and mix constantly until the chocolate is all melted and the mixture becomes shiny. Spread the glaze evenly over the top and all cake sides. Coat with the chopped pecans throughout. Refrigerate for another 2 hours.
To serve, slice the cake into 12 equal slices and top each slice with a scoop or two of vanilla ice-cream.