Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Over Chocolate Cake

It has been forever since I've updated, I am aware. Though I do dislike making excuses, I do feel perfectly justified in my absence seeing as I had several exams to study for and I just finished the busiest week of my life!

In any case, to make up for my absence I will present to you with a gem of baking: a chocolate cake topped with chocolate raspberry ganache. If you don't love it then you are crazy.

For the record, I have pulled my inspiration and ideas for this recipe from several different sources, but the final product is uniquely mine (minus the cake, as this recipe calls for boxed cake).

You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:

-1 box chocolate fudge cake mix, plus required ingredients for the mix
-About 18oz bittersweet chocolate - trust me, bittersweet will yield the best results
-2¼ cups heavy whipping cream
-Several tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
-Fresh raspberries
-Powdered sugar

First, bake the cake according to the instructions on the box for a layer cake - not a sheet cake. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool.

Next you'll want to prepare your chocolate. If you're using chocolate chips then you're all ready to go. If you're using chocolate squares, then chop them up. I started doing this with a Santoku knife, but my husband suggested I use a bread knife (he even chipped in on cutting up the chocolate for a few minutes!) and it was actually a lot easier.

Dump all your cut-up chocolate into a mixing bowl as pictured above right.

Now, as you probably know, melting chocolate can be a tricky business. If you burn it, it's basically wrecked and once it starts to burn it burns quickly. So, here's the method I suggest:

Dump the heavy whipping cream into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, pour it over the chocolate and stir it up so the chocolate melts.

The perfecting of the ganache (which, by the way, is what you're in the middle of making) is extremely taste-oriented. As such, you should not make this in the middle of the day during Ramadan, just FYI. I added probably about eight heaping tablespoonfuls of the raspberry jam into mine and I got a subtle but distinct taste of raspberry in it. It turned out perfectly. But I encourage you to not go by what I say, but to go by your taste.

Try as best you can to not eat too much of the ganache. It's really rich and delicious, but if you eat too much there won't be enough of the cake, so exercise self-control if at all possible!!

Once you have acquired your desired taste of ganache, put it in the fridge for a half hour to cool. It needs to be cool so it's more easily controllable but it still needs to be somewhat runny, so don't exceed 1 hour in the fridge.

In the mean time, take one of the cooled cakes and place it upside-down on a cake tray. Spread a generous layer of the raspberry jam.

Once the ganache is cooled... well, this is where the tricky part begins. My advice to you is so spread out lots and lots of paper towels because unless you're an expert, it is going to get messy.

Dump, spoon, or somehow spread ganache over the layer of jam. It will spill all over the place, but don't worry about that too much. The ganache is supposed to get on the sides of the cake anyway, and it's easy to clean up the plate for a clean presentation. The only way you will get through this is to embrace the mess.

Once you're done with that, put the other layer on top, upside-down or right side-up. Doesn't matter. Pour the rest of the ganache over, as evenly as possible. Let it drip down the sides, but also try your best to coat the sides with the ganache.

Once you're finished, use the flat side of the knife to even and smooth out the ganache. Top with raspberries and put in the fridge for the ganache to stiffen.

Before you serve (with coffee, of course), sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar (also called superfine sugar or icing sugar).

Again, seriously, serve it with coffee.




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