OOOOOOH MYYYYYYYY this was a HIT. A super duper uber hit. People wanted to lick their plates, that is the kind of hit this cake was.
I got the recipe for this cake out of the Christmas edition of Bon Appétit. It's a Sherry Yard recipe, and it looked phenomenal on the page. I was a bit nervous about it, it seems to incorporate a bunch of tricky steps, but it wasn't tricky at all. In fact, it was rather fool proof.
The cake presented so beautifully. People were wowed just looking at it. But then the taste is spot-on too. Very chocolatey but not too rich or heavy. I'll definitely make this one again for Christmas dinner.
A couple things about the recipe: it calls for two springform pans. Don't worry. I used one 9 inch springform pan and one regular 9 inch round cake pan. That cake fit perfectly well on top of the one in the springform pan.
Another change I will make next time: for the chocolate band, it says to make it 3 inches high. I found this only "just" came over the top of the cake. For a prettier visual, I will make it 5 inches high next time.
Do try the cake, it is really just fantastic.