Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Martha's Easy Light Cheesecake


heavy holidays are on the way...

you might want to lighten things up a bit.


start with this absolutely delicious light cheesecake.
so easy to prepare.
ALL DONE IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR
and baked with NO WATER BATH
no one will suspect the ingredients.  friends and family had no idea the main ingredient was cottage cheese.  don't say anything...

LET THE TASTE AND TEXTURE WIN THEM OVER.


the original recipe is for a 9" cake, but i made mine in an 8" then made 2  individuals in small mason jars with cookie crumbs at the bottom.
THESE WERE BAKED FOR 30 MINUTES.


CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

28 Nabisco Chocolate Wafers
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter

put wafers in possessor and pulse until crumb texture.  add sugar and butter and process again.  pour crumb mixture into springform pan and tamp down with something flat.  gently press mixture up the sides.  it's a bit crumbly, but as you can see...it's do-able.
this Martha original recipe does not require going up the sides, but i found it to look more attractive.  (you shall see an example in my Lightened Up Pumpkin Pie recipe soon)

MOST OF THE CALORIES ARE IN THE CRUST SO YOU BE THE JUDGE...

bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes.  remove to cool.

NOTE...i did not use all the crust mixture and as you can see i had a nice thick crust all the way up the sides of an 8 inch pan.  better to have too much than not enough.

simply wipe out processor and begin to prepare mixture  for cake.


MARTHA'S  LIGHT CHEESECAKE 

3 cups low fat cottage cheese
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temp.
3/4 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extract (Martha called for 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 325 degrees.
have prepared crust as noted above, or crust from original found in link.
as noted i used an 8" springform pan and had leftover.

blend cottage cheese and cream cheese until very very smooth and glossy, scraping down sides as necessary, about 4-5 minutes.  add 3/4 cup sugar, sour cream, eggs, flour, vanilla, salt and blend until filling is completely smooth.
pour filling into prepared crust.  bake until barely set in the middle, ABOUT 1 HOUR.  there should be some "jiggle".  TURN OFF THE OVEN and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 more hour.  i left the oven door slightly open...very slightly!  transfer to wire rack and let cool to room temp for 2 hours, then refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting with White Vanilla Bean Cake



actually this is a ....

double layer...
WHITE VANILLA BEAN CAKE
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE filling
with CANDIED MACADAMIA
and...QUICK WHITE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

whew...that was too much for the heading.


a lovely cake for any occasion. small crumb, similar to a pound cake, but not too heavy.  holds up well and has a nice vanilla bean flavor.  the frosting is key...THIS BUTTERCREAM RECIPE IS FABULOUS.  the first one i ever made and it came together perfectly.   REALLY...this is delicious and EASY.
the dark chocolate ganache counterbalanced the plain whiteness of the over all flavor and appearance.  it slices well and it's fairly easy to put together.  i will add that the chocolate shavings were supposed to be lovely chocolate curls...this is not an easy task.  i think i tried 3 or 4 times before i finally just went with the pile of shavings...i think i'll need a little more practice on the curls. 


WHITE VANILLA BEAN CAKE

100g butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla paste

preheat oven to 360F.  butter a 9 inch cake pan and dust evenly with flour.
in a separate bowl mix the flour baking powder, baking soda, set aside.

in a big bowl place butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.  beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.  when the buttery mixture is creamy, add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix.  then add the buttermilk, mix again.  finally add the other 1/2 flour mixture and beat until creamy.  beat in vanilla until Incorporated.   this sounds like A LOT of mixing, but try not to over mix.

pour mixture into prepared pan.  bake for approx. 35-40 minutes.  mine took 30 minutes because i used a Fat Daddio's light cake pan.  check with skewer inserted in the middle of cake...should come out "just" clean.  remove from oven, let cool for about 10-15 minutes and remove from pan.  cool completely before frosting.


NOTE...if dividing into 2 layers you might want to refrigerate for just a bit before slicing in half.
ALSO...if you do not have a cake stand...IMPROVISE.  it is much easier to slice a cake in half when it is elevated off the board.  i used an upside down tupperware.  the taped napkin helps the cake stay in place and less likely to slip off.   use a long thin blade and score the outside, then slowly move your knife in towards the middle and around, watching that you are hitting your marks where you scored the cake.
PS...i also frost the cake on this lovely improvised cake stand.


QUICK VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
found at foodnetwork.com by Gale Gand

3 cups powdered sugar...sifted, 306 grams total
1 cup butter, cubed, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 to 2 Tbsp whipping cream

in a stand mixer fitted with whisk, mix together sugar and butter.  mix on low speed until well blended, then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes
add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium for 1 minute more, adding a little more cream if necessary for a spreading consistency.  i think i added about 1 Tbsp total.


DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING
with candied macadamia
NOTE...  there IS enough frosting to fill the center as well as cover the cake, but i didn't want a plain white on white cake.  this was something i added in at the time of building the cake.  i had some left-over ganache from plain truffles.  i crushed some candied macadamia nuts and added it to the left over ganache to make the filling.

this is approx. what i had.  you will probably not use all of it...get a spoon and finish it off, make a few truffles or use it for "drizzle sauce"
6 oz dark chocolate
6 oz heavy whipping cream

prepare your ganache...put chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set aside.  heat cream to a boil.  remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate.  let sit for a minute.  begin stirring gently from the center.  you will see the ganache come together.  when it is fully incorporated, refrigerate until good spreadable consistency.  add nuts or whatever.  hmmm, maybe crunchy toffee chips?  you could use just ganache.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Candied Bacon



MY NEW FAVORITE FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE

i now believe i found the perfect flourless chocolate cake.  as stated before in previous posts...most all flourless chocolate cakes are going to be delicious...that's a given, BUT most are very difficult to serve.  i usually end up with little chocolate crumbles on me, the table, the floor.  chocolate mess is not a bad thing, but i like the presentation to look as good as the cake will taste.

THIS IS A SPECTACULAR CAKE

smooth, rich dark chocolate
fudgy, yet light
not overly sweet
a perfect canvas for extras
serves like a charm
gluten free
a definite crowd pleaser


the original recipe comes from Gourmet Magazine, Nov. '97.
i decided in my usual fashion that it needed a little something extra.  i can't help myself.
Guittard dark chocolate
vanilla bean paste
a little espresso
a sprinkle of cinnamon
and, of coarse...a pinch of chipotle

oh...and don't forget
THE CANDIED BACON !


CLASSIC FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
with a spicy Mexican twist
original from Gourmet Magazine Nov. '97

for the cake...

4 oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped small and evenly
(i used Guittard 61% coverture discs)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar.   i used super fine sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup good cocoa powder, again...i used Guittard
1/2 tsp(slightly rounded) cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder
1 tsp powdered espresso

preheat oven to 375F.  line an 8 inch cake pan OR i used an 8 inch spring form pan.  line the bottom and sides with parchment and lightly butter or grease the parchment.  the sides might not be necessary, but that's what i did.
in a small bowl add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, espresso and chipotle. whisk to combine and set aside.
in another small bowl add the chocolate and butter.  use either the microwave or a double boiler to slowly melt the chocolate/butter until smooth and shiny.
pour warm chocolate mixture into medium mixing bowl with the sugar.  whisk to combine well.  now whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next.  add the vanilla.
sift cocoa powder mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk until WELL combined.
pour into prepared pan.  bake for approximately 25 minutes.  i turned the cake after 15 minutes.  start watching after 20 minutes.  mine took about 23 minutes.  toothpick should come out clean with moist crumbs attached.
allow cake to cool for 5 minutes.  if necessary, run a knife around the edges and invert onto serving platter.
NOTE...since i was going to ganache the cake i inverted onto a piece of parchment on a cooling rack.
let cake cool completely.


for the ganache...

6 oz good dark chocolate, again Guittard 61% coverture discs
6 oz heavy cream
1 tsp clear corn syrup

prepare your cake for ganaching...choose your "nice side", either the top or the bottom.  put cake on an 8 inch round that you will serve off of.  use cardboard or i used the removable 8" bottom from a tart pan.  set cake on a rack over a sheet pan to catch the ganache "fall-off".  you will want to save this for truffles or just a big spoon-to-mouth.
chop chocolate into even small pieces and set aside in a glass bowl.  (i like to wrap a kitchen towel around the bottom to keep the working ganche cozy).  warm cream and syrup in a small sauce pan until just a boil.  pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.  begin to gently stir from the middle.  take your time, you will see the ganAche magically come together.  now stir to fully incorporate and there are no lumps and it is nice a shiny.
pour warm liquidy ganache over cake...starting with a pool in the middle and spiral out wards.  work fairly quickly so it does not set.  pick up the cake and jiggle the ganAche so that it covers the whole top.  it is a messy job, but you will get the hang of it.
DO NOT go back and try to fix the top, but you can gently add to the sides where the chocolate might have missed while dripping off.
add chopped CANDIED BACON in the middle for appearance or all over for pure indulgence.   NOTE that the bacon does not make for a clean slice, but i'm sure you can work around it.  LOL !
let cake sit  to set undisturbed until serving.  you may refrigerate, but you must take it out of the fridge at least an hour or two ahead so that the condensation from temperature change slowly disappears.


for the CANDIED BACON....

preheat oven to 390F convection.
this can be done the day ahead, but you will need to re-crisp the bacon in the oven before using.  line a cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.  lay out as many pieces of bacon you can...extra will disappear before you can get it on the cake.  set timer for 15 minutes, but don't go far the first time trying until you get it down.  remove from oven and pour off excess fat into a heat safe glass dish...you might want to save the bacon fat as I DO to use for "bacon-butter".  flip the bacon.  sprinkle the slices with brown sugar, cinnamon and chipotle powder or chili powder or cayenne if you want some heat.  put back in the oven until good and crispy.  remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.  if it is not crispy enough when cooled...put them in the oven on the wire rack and watch carefully...do not let them burn.  save in air tight container with parchment.  if using them later you might want to re-crisp them a bit.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting with Four Layer WHITE Cake


i am proud to say...
i have now conquered the four layer cake.
and, yes...I WILL TOOT MY OWN HORN ON THIS ONE
TOOT !!!

i absolutely shocked myself...that I could make something this good!
this beautiful...this LARGE...4 layers high...even layers at that.
i would consider this to be my greatest masterpiece...EVER

okay...i'm done tootin', but i'm still shocked when i look back at the pictures.

HEY...if i can do it...you can do it.


the recipe for this delicious super fabulous WHITE CAKE comes from a fellow blogger named Jodi at Garlic Girl.com.  great stuff...go check her out.

this particular white cake is easier than others i have seen...no folding in whipped egg whites, cuts into 4 layers with no trouble AND holds up in the fridge for a few days if necessary.  it is moist with a small crumb, but not heavy like a pound cake.  it is a fabulous canvas for any frosting you feel like showing off.

IT'S THE PERFECT WHITE CAKE.


as for the salted caramel frosting?...

DELICIOUS, SMOOTH SURPRISINGLY NOT TOO SWEET

this recipe comes from my fabulous next door neighbor Wendy.  she is a master at "winging it".  everything comes out perfect and delicious  i asked if she sifted, then measured her powdered sugar and she replied..."i never sift anything...i don't own a sifter."
i asked, well then how much did you put in?  she replied..."oh, i think i put in about 3 cups".
mind you, the copy she gave me called for 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar...
hmmm...i think i'll wing it.
i ended up putting in about 3 cups...


FLUFFY WHITE VANILLA BEAN CAKE
found at Garlic Girl.com...thanks to Jodi

5 large egg whites...150g, room temperature(see note)
1 cup whole milk...237g, room temp.
2 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste...can use extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted...345g
1 3/4 cups sugar...350g
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder...19.5g
3/4 tsp salt...5g
12 Tbsp unsalted butter...170g, at room temp., cubed

preheat oven to 350F
grease, line bottom with parchment circle and flour two 8 inch round cake pans.
in a medium bowl combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 milk and the vanilla.  set aside.
in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
NOTE...be sure to weigh your egg whites.  i did not use 5 full whites
add butter and remaining milk...mix on low speed until just moistened.  increase speed and mix for about a minute.  scape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches, beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.
bake for 25-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  be careful not to over-bake.  check cake at 20 minutes, but don't peek before that.  when you think the cake is almost there...check it every 2 minutes.  let cakes cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes then invert onto greased wire racks...then gently turn cakes  "top side" up to completely cool.
NOTE...you can store cakes at room temperature for lightly wrapped for 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.


SALTED BUTTER CREAM FROSTING
recipe adapted from my fabulous neighbor Wendy
this will probably only be enough to frost an eight inch "2 layer cake"

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup heavy cream, at room temp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp kosher salt, might need a pinch more
3 cups sifted powdered sugar...add more if necessary for correct frosting consistency

to make the caramel sauce..
NOTE...i double the caramel sauce to insure that i had enough for flavor and in case i needed to make more frosting.  recipe was just enough to fill the layers.  i ended up making another 1/2 batch to finish the 4 layer cake off with a very thin coat.  i knew i would finish with a ganache pour.
first...stir together the granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan.  bring to a boil over medium high heat.  cook without stirring until the mixture turns deep amber color.
NOTE...you can swirl the pan to distribute the hot spots.  AND go for a deep amber, but watch that you don't burn it.

remove caramel from heat and stir in the cream and the vanilla, stirring until smooth.  careful, it will bubble up.
let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is barely warm, but still pourable.

in a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt until lightened and fluffy.  reduce the speed to low and add powdered sugar.  mix until smooth, thoroughly combined.
NOTE...i sifted the powdered sugar for easier mixing.
i used about 3 cups powdered sugar, but start with 2 1/2 cups and add to your liking.
add the caramel and beat on medium high speed until light and airy and completely mixed... about 3 minutes.
play with the texture and thickness to your liking.  add a little more caramel or powdered sugar if necessary.
like i mentioned...the recipe was written kind of "bare bones".



FOR THE GANACHE...

i had some leftover in the fridge from a cake i made a few days ago, BUT...
use equal amounts chocolate grams to equal ml's of heavy cream plus a tsp or 2 of corn syrup.

example...
150 grams good dark chocolate.  i use Guittard 61% coverture discs
150 ml heavy cream
2 tsp light corn syrup corn syrup

#1...have your cake ready for the glazing.  cake should be on a 9 inch cake board for easy lifting.  place cake over wire rack and have something under that in case there is over flow. 

chop chocolate into small pieces.  put in a glass or heat proof bowl.  set aside.
heat cream, and syrup in a small sauce pan to just boiling.
pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for a minute.  start to gently stir from the middle.  take your time.  you will see the ganache come together.  when it is fully incorporated, smooth and glossy, you are almost ready to pour.  it takes a little practice to know when to pour, but you will do fine.  pour in the middle and let it fall/drip off the edges.  if it is not moving fast enough or evenly...carefully pick up the cake and give it a jiggle to help it over the sides.  DO NOT go back and try to fix the pour unless you intend to go for a double coating.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Delicious Peanut Buttercream Frosting with Easy Chocolate Cake


all i can say is...

if you love PEANUT BUTTER

you'll love this cake.


 this "cake"post is all about the frosting.
the cake is good and super easy to throw together, but it definitely takes a back seat to this sweet savory smooth peanut butter buttercream frosting.
my friends were absolutely head over heals about this cake.  the aroma of peanut butter wafted though the air.  they were rolling there eyes before the first bite...  i even got called into the manager's office because of this cake.  my friend Jennifer said, "ah jules...i need to see you in the office for a moment..."   i thought i might have done something wrong or misplaced something important...
nope, she called me in because of this darn cake!
peanut butter frosting is a winner
i think i will try this frosting on the "Black Magic Cake" i made a few weeks ago...now that's a chocolate cake.  that would be a heavenly match.


ONE BOWL CHOCOLATE CAKE

FOR THE CAKE...
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp slat
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted about half way
3 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, room temp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

preheat the oven to 325F.  grease a 9 inch round cake pan.  line with parchment.
sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  add the butter, sour cream, milk, egg, vanilla and mini chips.  mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  it's okay if the batter is a bit lumpy, but make sure there are no clumps of undissolved dry goods.  scrap into prepared pan.
bake for 30-35 minutes.  check after 25 minutes.  cake should be firm to the touch, skewer comes out clean and cake is just pulling away from the sides.  MINE WAS DONE IN 25 MINUTES with oven at 320F
cool on rack for a few minutes then unmold and cool completely.
i like to stick it in the fridge for a bit before cutting it in half for layering.



PEANUT BUTTER-CREAM FROSTING
aka Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

place powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  mix on medium-low speed until good and creamy, scraping down the sides as you work.  add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

NOTES...i have not worked with frosting a lot, but i found this one very forgiving.  as in...it was easy to work with and did not get stiff as i was playing around.  i could go back and fix the top, practice my swirls and work on the sides.  i'm learning as i go.
also...i baked the cake on a Tuesday, frosted the cake on Wednesday and took the full cake shot.  Thursday i shot the slice and served it Thursday afternoon.  my point IS...this can be made the day before and sit covered on the kitchen counter.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chocolate Chipotle Almond Cake


YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH CHOCOLATE CAKE

flourless chocolate cake
and, of course, in my usual fashion...
espresso to deepen the flavors with
a smoky chipotle kick...even better

everyone loves chocolate cake and i seem to be obsessed at the moment so there will be quite a few coming your way.


RICH, DENSE, MOIST,

DEEP DARK CHOCOLATE

A TOUCH OF SMOKY SPICE

full fat, full sugar...INDULGE!

 GLUTEN FREE for the whole crowd to enjoy.


this cake is an easy one to make and there's no need for icing or frosting...the cake speaks for itself.   a great choice for a party.  i bet you could get at least 10-12 maybe even 14 good slices because it's a lot easier to slice and serve than the classic flourless cake.
i've made quite a few flourless cakes (a great recipe coming soon).  i love them, but i have always been disappointed with the presentation on the plate.  serving them is a mess.  chocolate all over the the knife, me, the table.  this one slices like a dream.  it's the almond meal that makes this cake very stable.  i was worried that it might make the texture a bit grainy or less "truffle-like", but it turned out smooth as silk.  i will definitely make this cake again.   
to the true chocolate aficionado, this would not be considered the "classic flourless chocolate cake" like "the Chocolate Valentino"...example shown HERE.  the aforementioned aficionado would not compare the two... 
BUT i guarantee....

THIS IS A GOOD CAKE !


CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE ALMOND CAKE
recipe found at No Special Effects...original from River Cafe
i adapted in a few flavors and changed the temp and time.

180g (6.3z) 70% chocolate
180g (13 Tbsp) unsalted butter
200g (2 cups almond meal)
2 whole eggs, room temp.
6 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
200g (1 cup) caster sugar
15g (1 Tbsp) caster sugar
60g (11 Tbsp) dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1/4 rounded tsp of ground chipotle powder...i could have used a little more
pinch of salt

preheat oven to 300F?...says all posts using River Cafe recipe...SEE MY NOTES AT BOTTOM
spray a 9" cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.  spray the parchment again.
break the chocolate into small pieces and cut the butter into cubes.  heat both in a double boiler just until melted and combined.  remove from heat and set aside to cool.

in a large bowl, beat the 2 whole eggs, 6 yolks and the 200g caster sugar until combined.  add the almond meal and the cocoa powder until combined.  scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the mixture....now add the melted chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.

in a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy.  add pinch of salt and beat until soft peaks...add 15g caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.

fold egg whites into chocolate/almond mixture doing this 1/3 whites at a time.  the chocolate mixture is stiff so just do this carefully and gently while keeping volume in the mixture as well as possible.

pour the combined batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes...???
WAIT...here are my notes...
IMPORTANT NOTE  about temperatures and time...the originals (this recipe is on a few sites) did not state convection so i used regular oven setting.....i knew in my mind there is no way a chocolate cake with 6 eggs is going to cook at 300 degrees in 25 minutes.
i found this out the hard way.
i started at 300F...at 25 minutes the cake was still batter.  i turned the oven up to 330F and baked it for an additional 22 minutes.
THAT'S 47 MINUTES TOTAL!
my cake came out perfect, so if you would like to follow what i did i would suggest doing the same and watching the cake.
OR...might i suggest using your own "baker knowledge" and again keep an eye on the cake.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chipotle Chocolate Ganache


YES...another chocolate cake.

i can't help myself.

the cake is a good cake.  it's super easy,

but the ganache is what really sends this to
the "make again" pile.

this one bowl chocolate cake comes to you from The 5 Second Rule.com.  it truly IS an easy cake to whip up.  the first time i made it for this post i might have over baked it for about 3-5 minutes.  i followed the recipe for 30-35 minutes.  the second time i baked it for 25 minutes...much better...delicious and moist.  so i suggest you be an "oven-watcher".  make sure you do not over bake...this cake can not handle it.



THE GANACHE !!!

i have found through trial and error the correct ratio of chocolate to cream.  i've checked so many different sites and blogs with so many different opinions, but i found that matching ML's to GRAMS works best.  example...175 grams chocolate to 175 milliliters heavy cream.  i like to use Guittard coverture dark chocolate discs with a couple tsp of corn syrup to create a nice smooth soft chocolate coating.

DON'T WAIST THE RUN-OFF....
TRUFFLES ARE IN ORDER.

make sure you pour glaze on cake over a clean cookie sheet or parchment to catch the run-off.  scrape this up then put in a bowl in the fridge.  you can whip up some delicious truffles to add along as a bonus treat or enjoy them after the cake is long gone.  they last in the fridge at least a week or maybe two.
just wait until it is solid.  using rubber gloves form the ganache into balls then roll in cocoa powder.  these truffles will be VERY soft at room temperature so store them in the fridge.

this is not like my normal truffle recipes, but
NO CHOCOLATE GOES TO WASTE IN THIS HOUSE
and any truffle is a good truffle.

if truffles are too fussy for you...
rewarm the ganache over double boiler before cake service and pour as sauce over individual servings.


ONE BOWL CHOCOLATE CAKE
with DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE GANACHE

FOR THE CAKE...
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp slat
3 TBsp unsalted butter, melted about half way
3 TBsp sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, room temp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

preheat the oven to 325F.  grease a 9 inch round cake pan.  line with parchment.
sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  add the butter, sour cream, milk, egg, vanilla and mini chips.  mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  it's okay if the batter is a bit lumpy, but make sure there are no clumps of undissolved dry goods.  scrap into prepared pan.
bake for 30-35 minutes.  check after 25 minutes.  cake should be firm to the touch, skewer comes out clean and cake is just pulling away from the sides.  MINE WAS DONE IN 25 MINUTES with oven at 320F
cool on rack for a few minutes then unmold and cool completely.

above photo you can see a little condensation from being in the fridge.  this will disappear when bringing the cake to room temp to serve.

FOR THE GANACHE GLAZE...

200 grams good dark chocolate.  i use Guittard 61% coverture discs
200 ml heavy cream
2 tsp light corn syrup corn syrup
OPTIONAL...1 large chipotle in adobo sauce, slightly chopped

#1...have your cake ready for the glazing.  cake should be on a 9 inch cake board for easy lifting.  place cake over wire rack and have something under that to catch the over-flow of ganache.

chop chocolate into small pieces.  put in a glass or heat proof bowl.  set aside.
heat cream, chipotle(if using) and syrup in a small sauce pan to just boiling.
NOTE...if using chipotle you must strain the cream mixture before adding it into the chocolate pieces.
pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for a minute.  start to gently stir from the middle.  take your time.  you will see the ganache come together.  when it is fully incorporated, smooth and glossy, you are ready to pour.
start pouring onto the middle.  you might want to "over pour"...as in pour a lot on.  you might find it necessary to carefully pick up the cake and gently wiggle the ganache to get it to flow evenly over the cake.  DO NOT go back with a knife or spreader to fix any imperfections.  this might take a little practice, but it is quite easy and makes a stunning presentation.  you can always cover any tiny flaws with some shaved chocolate...or chalk it up to the cake with "character".
NOTE...you can refrigerate the finished cake to set the ganache, but must take out ahead of time so the glaze does not have condensation(as shown in photo).
the second time i made the cake the day before and glazed the cake hours before serving.  i put the cake in the fridge for about 20-25 minutes to just help set the ganache then left the cake out for service in a few hours.
if you do not have a cake cover small enough for the fridge...i like to use an over-sized spring form pan to protect the cake from prying hands and fingers while refrigerating or for traveling.  make sure you secure the bottom if traveling so it won't slide.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Black Magic Cake with Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache


well...i can now cross the important DOUBLE LAYER CAKE off of my "bucket list".

believe it or not...i have never made a double layer cake from scratch.  i HAVE, of course, made a box cake or two back in the high school days, but fear of the ugly dry crumbly lopsided cake syndrome must have kept me from trying again.

THIS ONE IS A SUCCESS
on so many levels...
pardon the poor pun !

i was complimented by many and must agree...
this is the best chocolate cake i have EVER tasted.



BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER!
aka Ina Garten's Aunt Beatty's Chocolate Cake
BUT ... many thanks to FOODESS.COM for the introduction with her delicious photos

with 70% GUITTARD WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING
WITH A LITTLE KICK OF CHIPOTLE

FOR THE CAKE...

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa...i used Guittard
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk.  (i substituted with 1 TBSP white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest of the cup with milk...let stand 5 minutes)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup hot coffee

preheat oven to 350 F.  grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans.  i lined the bottom with a parchment round, buttered the round and floured the sides.
in a large bowl of stand mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth...about 3 minutes.  remove bowl and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula...NOTE...batter will be very runny.
pour batter evenly into the two prepared pans and bake for about 30-35 minutes.  i rotated the pans after 15 minutes.  even cooking is key to an even cake.  start to watch after 25 minutes.  the toothpick should come out clean WITH A FEW MOIST CRUMBS.
allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edges and flip cakes out on to a wire rack.  cool completely before handling and frosting.
NOTE...i made the cake the day ahead and kept it in the fridge.  this makes it A LOT easier to handle...this is one VERY moist cake.


FOR THE WHIPPED GANACHE FROSTING...

14 oz Guittard 70% bittersweet coverture chocolate discs
14 oz heavy cream
4 tsp light corn syrup
1 chipotle pepper with adobo sauce (from the can)... split open
NOTE...this amount was correct for this 2 layer cake.  i had about 1/2 cup of delicious ganache left over.

heat heavy cream, and corn syrup (and chipotle, if using) in a small sauce pan.  bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour directly into and over the chocolate.  if you used chipotle you must pour through a strainer.  allow to sit for 1 minute.  start to gently stir from the middle.  take your time.  you will see it magically come together with a beautiful shine.  stir until you have it all incorporated.  let sit on the counter for at least 45 minutes.  you are looking for a pudding consistency and ABOUT 70 DEGREES.  if you need to speed it up, refrigerate and stir every 10 minutes until pudding consistency.  put this in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment.  start slowly and move the speed up to high.  you will see that it forms soft peaks after one minute.  keep a close eye so you DON'T OVER WHIP.  watch it until it gets just a bit more firm.  ice the cake immediately after making.  it will begin to seize up if you take too long.  i found some great visuals at Joe Pastry.com so please check out his helpful photos for the correct consistency.

i have made this cake twice already with rave reviews.  the second was served last night for my bestest friend Carol's B-Day.  i found that the cake travels well.  don't worry that the frosting seems stiff.  keep it at room temperature and it will slice like a dream with a sharp knife.  clean the blade between slices.  i think i fed 16-18 pieces...


NOTES FROM NOVICE LAYER CAKE BAKER....this is a fabulous cake to start with...dense and super moist.  handle with care.  bake the cake the day before and refrigerate.  work with cold cake so it is much easier to handle.
remove parchment round from bottom of cake and put bare bottom cake on flat coated card board round made for a 9" cake.
elevate the cake off your work surface for easier frosting application.
don't be too skimpy on the middle frosting layer...check thickness by sticking your finger in.  you want a good 1/3 inch.
try to get your top swirl right fairly quickly because the ganache will start to stiffen and you can't go back and fix it.
work on your smooth sides after you have your swirls done.  don't be skimpy on the sides either.  as your knife goes around make sure you do not see "cake" peeking through.
don't worry if your top doesn't look "bakery professional".  
THE TASTE TEXTURE AND CHOCOLATE WOW FACTOR WILL DISGUISE ALL MISTAKES.
besides...you can always hide things with chocolate shavings, fresh berries and such.


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