2/3 cup Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
2 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
14 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62 percent cacao), finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso or 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (no more than 62 percent cacao), finely chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Chocolate pearls, for garnish
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
It is important to mask the top of the cake with whipped ganache to give it a smooth surface so the final glaze is equally smooth. After the cake is chilled and the ring is removed, smooth the sides of the cake. Valrhona chocolate pearls make a very elegant finish to this cake. Or use your imagination to come up with alternatives.
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