This was a very busy week for me. I had several after work appointments and seemed to be popular with friends wanting to get together so I didn’t have a lot of baking time this week. I also wasn’t really all that excited about making yet another chocolate cake. After I read through the recipe I decided that this was simple enough that I could squeeze it into the weekend chores and errands and get it finished. It is a bit of a misnomer as well. It is more of a European tort type cake than an American layer cake which is sort of what I was expecting. I also was surprised to see unsweetened chocolate in the caramel ganache. Again not what I was expecting, although I should have figured it out right away since it is called ganache and not frosting but to me it is more of a frosting. I have to admit that I found the cake to be rather ordinary. It does indeed taste like American chocolate layer cake even though it doesn’t look like one. I think the next time I would make a double recipe and actually do it as an American style layer cake with 7 minute frosting like my mom used to make. At any rate, nothing too terrible here so let’s bake….
This is yet another of those recipes Rose seems to excel in, where the mis en place takes longer than actually making the cake. I have to admit, I really like that kind of recipe. To begin, combine the cocoa and boiling water, whisk to fully blend and set aside to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, water and vanilla and set this aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and blend to combine. Then add the butter, oil and cocoa mixture and blend until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Raise the speed to medium and beat for about a minute and a half. Then add the egg mixture in two additions beating about 30 seconds between each addition. That’s it. What could be simpler.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold.
I have to admit that I totally just chucked Rose’s instructions for this ganache and did it my own way. As you know, I hate when she used the food processor for simple tasks and I get really impatient with her detailed instructions for all the different temperatures for things. I have also discovered that my instant read thermometer doesn’t go to the temperatures that she recommends so I guess I need a new one. At any rate, mine came out fine. I also must apologize for my lack of photos here. Once I started boiling the sugar the battery in my camera died. I grabbed my spare only to find that it too was in need of a charge. I couldn’t stop there so hence, no photos.
Combine the sugar and water and stir to dissolve. Bring the mixture to a boil and once the sugar is dissolved stop stirring it.
Allow it to boil and watch it closely until it reaches a deep amber. Remove it from the heat and add the heated cream. Stir this mixture until fully combined. Pour this hot caramel over the chopped chocolate and whisk to combine fully. Whisk in the butter and vanilla and set aside to thicken to spreading consistency. Not all that much of a departure from the recipe but I have to admit that at least to me, I made the ganache faster than I could read and comprehend the instructions for making it Rose’s way. It’s up to you how you want to do it.
When you are ready to assemble the cake. Slice the layer in two using whichever method you are comfortable with. If I want to be really precise I use the thread method. If I am in a hurry or it really doesn’t matter I just use the spin and slice method. I find that as the years go by I can be just as precise with this method and that is what I did this time.
Spread a layer of ganache on the bottom cake layer and place the top layer on this. Frost the top and sides as you normally would and decorate as you like. While this was not a knock out cake for me it does have a nice moist texture, firm crumb which I like and the ganache while most definitely chocolate, has a very pleasing caramel aftertaste.
Next Up: Gold Ingots