Friday, October 16, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Ganache Topping and Whipped Ganache Filling

I made the Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake once and it came out so good, but I thought I would try a different recipe this round, so I chose this one from I added the frosting recipe to this entry in case frosting is more your style, but I used ganache instead, which is basically a smooth mixture of cream and chocolate. How can you go wrong there? Ganache was either invented in France or Switzerland, nobody knows for sure. The Swiss have great chocolate and the French have great bakers, so who really knows. Anyway, all of this happened in the year 1850. Anyway, I digress.

The ganache recipe below makes just enough for the top of the cake and the middle layer. If you're putting ganache in the middle layer, you'll want to whip it, so after it comes off the stove, take some out of the bowl and transfer it to another bowl to whip. Do this until it is a fluffy texture. The remaining can be poured over the cake. Smooth it with a metal spatula so it looks nice and smooth. I don't have a metal spatula, so mine did not come out as nice and smooth as I would have liked. Also, the recipe below calls for butter, which is a nice addition because it makes the ganache look super shiny. You can also add light corn syrup instead of the butter. Ganache should be poured over a cooled cake. Maybe even refrigerate the layers for about half an hour.

Anyway, here are the recipes:


Stern, Bonnie. 'Desserts'. Random House of Canada Limited. Toronto: 1988.
Yockelson, Lisa. 'Chocolate'. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New Jersey: 2005

Chocolate Cake:
4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
2 1/4 cups (315 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) milk

5 ounces (140 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
4 cups (1 pound) (454 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

Cake Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, and line with parchment paper, two - 9 x 2 inch deep (23 x 5 cm) round baking pans. Set aside.
In a stainless steel or heatproof bowl place the chopped unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and cocoa powder and stir until they have melted. Set aside to cool while you make the batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk to combine, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy (this will take about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture and beat to combine.
Add the milk and flour mixtures in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until the ingredients are incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Butter or lightly spray a wire rack with Pam before inverting the cakes onto the rack to prevent the cakes from sticking. Cool the cakes completely before frosting.

Ganache Recipe:  
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.  Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur.
Makes enough ganache to cover a 9 inch (23 cm) cake or torte

Frosting Recipe:

Melt the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool. Then place the melted chocolate, milk, confectioners sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer.) Add the pieces of softened butter and beat on low speed for about 2 minutes. When the frosting starts to come together increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the speed to high and beat the frosting for 1 - 2 minutes more or until it is of spreading consistency. If necessary, add more milk or sugar.
To Assemble: Place one layer of cake, top side down, on your serving plate and cover with a layer of frosting. Then place the second layer of cake, top side down, onto the first cake layer and then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Can garnish with fresh fruit or shaved chocolate.
Serves 8 - 10 people. 

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great recipe and It's great that you used ganache instead of frosting!!