Saturday, March 6, 2010
Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache
On Wednesday, it was my boss's birthday, so in time-honoured fashion, I made him a cake. I have no idea what his favourite type of cake is, but I know he likes chocolate, so I chose to make him one of the chocolatiest cakes I could find - Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache from pp99-103 of Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
This cake is possibly the most chocolatey chocolate cake around - it relies mainly on cocoa in the cake and ganache for its strong chocolate flavour and dark appearance, although there are 200g of chocolate in the ganache to help things along.
I hadn't realised it when I made the cake, but Rose had posted some minor amendments to the method for making the cake on her blog, because in her words, I found it a bit too tender". If this means it breaks easily, I'd have to agree. one of my layers had deep crack on top, and when I turned it out of the pan, threatened to split in half. The other layer was not as problematic, but I'd wish that I had read Rose's instructions prior to making the cake, because I was using the ganache as a glue for the cracked layer.
The ganache is made with a caramel syrup - it is a little time consuming, but the end result is worth it and oh so good.
Someone at work complained that they found this cake too rich - I guess it all depends on what you like and how big a slice you have. I had a small piece, and enjoyed it very much, but I include the comment in case you aren't a fan of very rich cakes.
To make the cake, you will need:
30g chopped dark chocolate
3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Line, grease and flour 2 x 9" cake tins.
Put the chocolate, cocoa and boiling water into a bowl, and whisk together until smooth. Leave this mixture to cool to room temperature after covering the top of the bowl with cling wrap (~ 1 hour).
Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla and half the cooled chocolate mixture together in a bowl until just combined.
Put the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat together on low speed for ~ 30 seconds. Add the butter and the rest of the chocolate mixture, and mix together on low speed until the ingredients are moistened, then increase the speed and beat for 30 seconds.
On medium-low speed, add the egg mixture to the batter in two parts, beating between each addition and scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Pour half of the batter into each of the prepared cake tins, and bake the cakes for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove the baked cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their tins for 10 minutes, before unmoulding them onto wire racks to cool completely. (Te tin cooling time is important - my first layer almost split in two when I unmoulded it after just a few minutes.)
For the ganache, you will need:
1 1/2 cups less 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Whisk the cocoa and boiling water together until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature in a covered bowl (~1 hour).
Chop the chocolate very finely in a food processor.
In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water until the sugar is moistened, then place the saucepan n the stove over medium high heat an stir it continuously until the sugar has melted and the mixture has started to bubble, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush as necessary. Once the mixture starts to bubble, stop sirring, and allow it to continue to boil until it reaches 188 degrees Celsius on a candy thermometer and has turned a deep amber colour. At this stage, remove the mixture from the heat, and slowly and carefully, add the cream. Be careful, as the mixture bubbles up when the cream is added.
Return the pan to the heat, and stir the mixture until the caramel is fully dissolved, then remove it from the heat and stir in the butter in small pieces until it is fully incorporated into the mixture. Pour the syrup into a jug or container with a pouring lip.
Turn on the food processor, with the chocolate still inside, and pour the hot caramel syrup onto the chocolate while the motor is running. Add the cocoa mixture and process until smooth. the bowl with cling film and allow the ganache to continue to cool and thicken for a further 5 hours, by which time it should be buttery and smooth. (I didn't have 5 hours to wait, so I refrigerated the ganache for a while to speed things up.)
Once the ganache is ready, put one of the cakes onto a cake disc or plate, and spread one cup of ganache on top of that layer. Put the other cake layer on top of the ganache, then coat the entire cake with the remaining ganache.
Allow the cake to firm up, then slice and enjoy: