Sunday, 23 March 2008

Chocolate layer cake with bitter-sweet ganache filling

If you’re going to have chocolate cake then it has to be no-holds barred chocolate cake. And this is just the job! Layers of white and dark chocolate sponge are sandwiched together with a rich chocolate and cream ganache, topped with mini chocolate eggs – well, it is easter!

Here’s the finished cake:

Admittedly, any cake containing four and a half bars of chocolate could not be called a low fat, healthy cake. Every forkful probably contains a day’s allowance of calories. But let’s be honest for a minute – who cares? And dieticians are always on about how top quality dark chocolate has antioxidants in it so that’s good – you might not get those antioxidants if you didn’t eat a slice of this!

It was quite difficult to cut a perfect clean slice but here’s the best we managed:

My one warning with this cake is that it probably isn’t for children. It’s a grown up’s chocolate cake and is very rich with a slight bitterness to the ganache that contrasts with the sweet sponge.

It all starts with two sponges:

The process for making the ganache is interesting. The chocolate is broken into squares and placed in a bowl that you then pour the boiling cream over. And then leave it for five minutes. I looked into the bowl in trepidation:

Wondering if this was really going to work I was very pleased when the five minutes was up and I could stir it. Lo and behold – this is what I ended up with:

For the cakes:
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
100ml milk (whole or semi skimmed)
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa, I used Green and Blacks)
100g white chocolate (I used Green and Blacks as it has vanilla in it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the ganache:
284ml double cream
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa, I used Green and Blacks)
50g white chocolate
Mini chocolate eggs or maltesers to decorate

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Grease and line 2 x 20cm springform sandwich tins.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until they are pale and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage – give the mixture a good beating.
- Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and milk to the bowl and beat until thoroughly combined. The mix will look deliciously creamy.
- Melt the dark and the white chocolate separately either in the microwave (each will require approximately a minute) or in a bowl above a pan of simmering water on the hob.
- Divide the cake mix into two bowls. Into one stir in the melted dark chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Into the other mix in the white chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Pour each into a sandwich tin and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Mine took a little longer – roughly 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing and leaving to cool totally on a wire rack. Once cool, the cakes can be stored in an airtight container for a day or so before assembling the cake.
- Now make the ganache – only make this on the day you wish to serve the cake. Heat the cream in a saucepan, while it comes to the boil, break the dark chocolate into pieces in a bowl.
- Once the cream is just boiling pour it onto the chocolate and leave for five minutes.
- Stir it until smooth then leave it to cool as you need it to thicken.
- Cut each cake in half horizontally.
- Take a piece of cake and place on a plate. Spread ganache over it then place a piece of the opposite cake on top i.e. you want alternate colour layers. Layer up the cake and ganache until you have the top of the cake covered in ganache. You will have four layers each of cake and ganache.
- Melt the remaining white chocolate and either drizzle or pipe across the top of the cake. Finish with some mini eggs or maltersers.
- Serve on its own or with cream.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


glamah16 said...

Happy Easter.All of your pastries look great. I wish I was at your house for a slice.

Ling's Passion said...

What a cool looking cake. Happy Easter to you.

jen said...

Happy Easter :-)

What a fabulous cake - love the little chicks on top, along with the icing, the eggs and ooooh, the rest of the cake too!

Carolyn said...

Wow - this is some cake. AND includes chocolate too.....

Pixie said...

Back away from the cake kids....the cake is for us only! lol Love it!

Cakespy said...

Delicious cake!!! Oh my, I could lose myself in all those layers of goodness. It looks like the Easter chicks are like gargoyles protecting it--it might be necessary! It looks sinfully delightful--and no way would I share with the kids. :-)

Big Boys Oven said...

looks so grand! wonderful!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I still get a kick out of the blog name, lol.

The cake looks great and I really like the Easter decorations. Also, another important argument about the lowfat/healthy thing: this is cake! Eating cake reminded me of the Cheers theme song:
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
...and then some sort of rhyme about eating this delicious cake :o

This is why I don't have a career in music. But anyways, looks excellent! :-)

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

MMMm..addictive !! The whole presentation of the cake is very nice ..Love the chicks n the eggs..Hope you had a great easter !!

Jen said...

That reminds me of the first time I made chocolate ganache with the hot cream over chocolate method. I though this isn't going to work, this isn't working, oh my god what I have I done to all that chocolate, and then it all came together and became ganache...

I think ganache is so much better than chocolate buttercream frosting and I'm sure it was delicious on your cake.

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Rosie said...

Ooooh what a devine looking choccy cake - yummy!! I just wish I could have tried a slice drool drool :P

Rosie x

Fiona said...

Oh my goodness!!!!