I was so glad to see that we returned to France this week. You all know that I love anything French and this cake is no exception. I think that French (European) cakes are just so chic and elegant. Nice and small and loaded with flavors. They rely on a few perfect ingredients for their great taste instead of lots of sugar and processed ingredients. At first I wondered why this was called Golden Disk cake but when I checked Rose’s Bernachon book it turns out that this cake is based on Bernachons Palet d’Or pastries which are mini chocolate coins flecked with 24K edible gold. Pretty incredible huh? Of course I could have found that out alot easier if I had just read Rose’s intro to this recipe but you know us old men, we are hard headed and have to do everything our own way so naturally I saw Bernachon and dug out that book to check it. At any rate we all got to the same place which is this incredible cake. It certainly can be called the gold standard for chocolate cakes. And if Rose should be canonized a saint it should be for her incredible chocolate glaze. This is the second time we have used this glaze and it is phenomenal. Bravo Rose for this glaze recipe. At first glance this recipe seems daunting and for all of you who looked at the four and a half page recipe and said ” No Way” let me set your minds at ease. This recipe is simplicity itself. The hardest thing about it is getting the glazed cake off the rack and onto the serving plate without getting my big fat clumsy thumbs into it (and I managed just fine). Go ahead and take the plunge, you won’t regret it. Okay, lets get going and bake this cake.
First the cake. Cocoa, sour cream, eggs and vanilla are whisked together until just combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt are mixed for a few seconds on low speed, then butter and half the cocoa mixture are added and beaten for about a minute and a half on medium speed. The rest of the cocoa mixture is added in two additions, blending to combine each addition. That’s it. The batter is poured into the prepared 9 inch pan and baked. Mine was done after 30 minutes at 325 degrees convection.
Since the ganache has to rest for awhile to come to the proper consistency I made it while the cake was baking. I of course ignored Rose’s instructions for using the food processor and did it by hand. Chop chocolate finely and place in a bowl. Whisk together creme fraiche and heavy cream and scald it in a heavy saucepan. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the butter and vanilla and the casis. Scrape the gananche into a glass bowl and allow to sit for about an hour, then cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to spread as frosting. I found that about an hour was sufficient for mine.
When the cake is cooled, spread a generous crumb coat of the ganache on the cake to seal the crumbs and smooth it, then frost the cake completely with the ganache and smooth it. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours until it is firm. An hour was enough for mine.
While the cake is chilling, make the glaze. In a small bowl add the water and sprinkle with the gelatin and stir to moisten and set aside. In a small heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar and water and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk in corn syrup and cocoa and stir until smooth and glossy. Stir in heavy cream. Return to the heat and bring to the boiling point, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl. Cool about 10 minutes or to about 122 – 140 degrees. Stir in the softened gelatin and strain into a spouted cup. Glaze the cake.
Place the cake on a rack in a larger pan to catch the drippings. Pour the glaze onto the center of the cake and moving in a circular motion toward the outer edge. Continue pouring allowing the glaze to fall over the edge and cover the sides. Allow the glaze to finish dripping and then transfer the cake to a serving plate and garnish.
I have never see a fresh currant outside of France no matter how hard I looked so I opted for strawberries but to be honest, with this incredible glaze, no garnish is necessary. This cake certainly deserves to take center stage so break out the fancy china for this one. Enjoy!!!!!
Next Up: Free Choice..guess you’ll have to wait and see!