Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fudge Cake with Chocolate Ganache

You can tell a lot about a recipe by the ingredients, and I'm becoming better and better at deciphering how good a recipe will be by looking at the list of ingredients.  Well, folks, take a look at this ingredient list and prepare to know the truth.  One pound of chocolate is used in the icing alone.  One.  Pound.  Of.  Chocolate.  How could the ganache be anything but heavenly with one pound of chocolate?

The cake itself is no slouch either and used an entire container of unsweetened cocoa powder as well as another three ounces of chocolate.  Yes, people, this is a chocolatey dessert in the best of all possible ways.  I made this light little cake as a way to belatedly celebrate John's birthday when we got together with Natalie and Mitch.

The cake itself comes together almost like a brownie mix does (though it is slightly more complex).  All the wet ingredients are mixed together into one big muddy pool and then all the dry ingredients are added in at once.  The prevalence of wet ingredients means that the final mixing step comes together in a flash and the batter pours easily into your cake pans.  I had a bit of trouble with one of my pans sticking, so make sure you use lots of butter, or better yet lots of butter and a spring-form pan.  With some wiggling of a knife and some banging on the counter the cake finally released itself from stuck-pan-hell and the tasters were none-the-wiser.  Harper, however, was a bit perplexed by my banging.

Because I don't have any cake decorating supplies to spell out a happy birthday message, I topped this rich chocolate treat with peanut butter chips.  It created the illusion that I actually did some work in decorating, when really I only did work in the making.  Baking a cake from scratch requires serious effort, but the results are incomparable.  Better yet, I suppose, is marrying someone who makes such a cake for you, but I guess at least one of us lucked out in that regard.

Fudge Cake with Chocolate Ganache
From Gourmet via Epicurious

For the cake:

3 oz. good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups hot coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (well shaken)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For the ganache:
1 pound good-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, cut into pieces

For the cake layers:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease two 10-inch pans with butter.  Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper with more butter.

Finely chop 3 oz. chocolate and mix with 1 1/2 cups hot chocolate.  Let the mixture sit and stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.  The mixture should be smooth.

In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl beat eggs using an electric mixer until lemon-colored (3 minutes using a stand mixer and 5 minutes using a hand mixer).  Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and chocolate-coffee mixture to eggs, beating until well-combined.  This will be very soupy.  Add entire sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.  Divide evenly between the two pans (if you have a scale, you can compare the weight of the pans to see if you have the same amount of batter) and bake on the middle rack for an hour and ten minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Cool the cake layers complete in pans on racks.  Run a knife around the edge of the pans and invert pans onto racks.  Carefully remove the cake and the wax paper and cool the cake completely.

For the ganache:
Finely chop chocolate.  In a saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves.  Remove pan from heat and add in the finely chopped chocolate.  Whisk until chocolate is completely melted.  Add in butter and mix until smooth.

Place ganache in bowl to cool, stirring occasionally until spreadable (you might need to put it in the fridge for a bit).  Spread ganache in between layers and on sides and top.  Cake keeps, covered and chilled, for up to three days.  Tastes best if brought to room temperature before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails