To ganache... or not to ganache.
I don't very often get requests for chocolate cake but this week i had an 18th birthday cake and a wedding cake tester cake to make. I have made chocolate butterbream before but this was my first encounter with ganache.
It seemed simple... in principle. Take equal parts of high quality dark chocolate and double cream (i.e. 200g choc to 200ml double cream) Chop the chocolate. Heat the cream to just before boiling and pour over the chopped chocolate. Wait a few minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then whisk the chocolate and cream into a lovely runny mixture. Either pour over the cake now to get a thin coating or leave in the fridge overnight then bring out and allow it to come to room temperature and ice the cake like frosting.
As i say, sounds simple. Not in practice.
My ganache was rock hard even at room temperature and resembled solid truffles not ganache! It also tasted so strongly of bitter dark chocolate that it was virtually inedible except in small quantities. I had to rectify this situation so i made another batch of ganache, this time using milk chocolate. I mixed the new warm ganache into the dark chocolate ganache and it immediately loosened up the mixture. It also gave a sweetness to the ganache that was missing from the first batch.
It passed my husband's taste test getting a 10/10 score and it worked really well icing the cakes. Lesson learnt for next time!
Mariata's chocolate caramel cake
Mariata is this website's biggest fan. So when she asked me to make her an indulgent chocolate cake for one i thought it would be fun to include a step by step guide to the cake making process on the blog
These are the ingredients used in the cake. To start i creamed together the unsalted butter and the caster sugar.
I then beat in 2 eggs and a drop of the vanilla essence.
I sifted the flour and baking powder and slowly added to the mixture alternating with milk. When everything was added i beat for a few minutes until smooth.
I set the mixture aside and melted milk and dark chocolate in the microwave on a low heat.
When cool i beat the chocolate into the basic cake mixture slowly.
To finish i added a couple of heaped teaspoons of cocoa powder and thoroughly beat everything together
I lined a 6inch with baking paper and poured in the mixture. I leveled the mixture using a palette knife
The cake was then cooked a pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes on gas mark 6
I removed the cake from the oven and left for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
When the cake was completely cool i transferred onto a cake base and used a cake divider (which has an adjustable wire which cuts the cake at even intervals) to divide the cake in two.
The bottom of the cake becomes the top giving a flat surface for decoration.
To make the icing i melted caramel chocolate and a bar of milk chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool.
I beat unsalted butter until fluffy. Slowly i added icing sugar, beating until a fluffy paste was formed. I slowly added the melted chocolate caramel mixture until the icing became stiff but light.
Using a palette knife i spread the mixture between the two halves of the cake.
The remaining icing was applied to the whole cake covering the top and sides leaving with a rough 'iced' texture.
To decorate the top i grated the remaining dark and milk chocolate and sprinkled over the top of the cake.
Mum. Wife. Artist. Baker.