CHOCOLATE PAVAROTTI CAKE WITH WICKED GOOD GANACHE

 

March 10, 2015

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For some odd reason, I never understood the chocolate craze. What made everyone go on and on about chocolate? I just didn’t get it. When I started baking cakes for a few restaurants in my neighborhood, I stumbled upon a restaurant supply store, and it was there that I came to know chocolate. They had so many different brands from all over the world. Say good-bye to Bakers Chocolate; say hello to French chocolate. French chocolate, compared to the others, has the acid I like. It tastes brighter and more chocolaty and doesn't leave me with the sweet, waxy aftertaste that I was so familiar with. Yes! I found my chocolate groove. I’ve made countless chocolate cakes since, some of them were blow-me-down good, and some of them missing something--literally. There was a period of time where I continually forget to add the sugar to everything. I would make the same mistake over and over, and not until I poured it into the pan(s) would I realize my mistake. That period is over (sigh), and in spite of how I adore cake, it’s been a while that I’ve baked a chocolate cake like this. I was on tempo with this recipe, as it came together with little anguish. The timing in the oven was perfect and when I unmolded it, the cake had a bounce that told me it was tender and moist. I used only ½ teaspoon of cayenne in the ganache because the cake was going to a family with children. The cayenne was present, but didn’t overwhelm the chocolate, and left a gentle heat in the finish. I thought these kids were game, and luckily they gave me three thumbs-up. For me though, I could have handled more spice, but just as well. In the end, I loved this cake, like almost everyone else who made it. Here’s my experience: - Rose’s technique is very familiar to me, so I felt very comfortable making the batter. Keeping the ingredients at room temperature is key to the success of a cake like this.

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Instructions

  • Rose’s technique is very familiar to me, so I felt very comfortable making the batter. Keeping the ingredients at room temperature is key to the success of a cake like this.

The white chocolate before it’s melted.
The white chocolate before it’s melted.

Melted white chocolate is beautifully smooth and creamy.
Melted white chocolate is beautifully smooth and creamy.Mixing the very dark cocoa powder with hot water.
Mixing the very dark cocoa powder with hot water.

Before baking. I think this looks as delicious as the ganache.
Before baking. I think this looks as delicious as the ganache.

After baking with a few cracks like Rose said.
After baking with a few cracks like Rose said.The cake unmolded. Touching it, you could feel the cake was soft and tender. I resisted the urge to crack in half and eat it just like this.
The cake unmolded. Touching it, you could feel the cake was soft and tender. I resisted the urge to crack in half and eat it just like this.

WICKED GOOD GANACHE

  • I once tried to make ganache with my food processor and I didn’t enjoy the experience much. The chocolate didn’t melt well, and it was hard to scrape all the ganache off the sides of the bowl and blade. And then I had to strain it. Since I still have the same FP (damn), I wasn’t going to go that route again. I’m fortunate to have a stove that has a very low setting on which I can melt chocolate without burning it or separating.
  • I also have no success with scalding cream or heating corn syrup in the microwave because everything gets too hot and I have to wait for it to cool anyway, otherwise the heat separates the chocolate. It just isn’t worth the trouble of pressing all those buttons, turning the microwave on and off a few seconds at a time, etc. So the stovetop method is better for me.

I adore this chocolate. It’s not French chocolate, but it’s fruity and nicely acidic and very rich in flavour..
I adore this chocolate. It’s not French chocolate, but it’s fruity and nicely acidic and very rich in flavour..

  • I heated the corn syrup in a small saucepan and added the unsweetened chocolate. Then I added the bittersweet chocolate to the corn syrup mixture and it melted very gently with the heat remaining. Then I scalded the cream on the stovetop and added it to the chocolate mixture. I stirred it together and the ganache came out perfectly smooth.

Adding the cayenne 1/4 tsp at a time.
Adding the cayenne 1/4 tsp at a time.

  • It just needed to cool.

The consistency is just right here.
The consistency is just right here.

  • Because of the arctic cold outside, and because I prefer keeping my house cool, and because my countertops are granite, the ganache cooled very quickly. Just when it was a perfect temperature and consistency, it was just as suddenly too stiff. It seized quicker than normal. At that point I could have put it back on the fire to loosen it up, but it was almost all on the cake, and I really had no choice but to keep going.

Applying the first layer. The ganache is still fluid at this point.
Applying the first layer. The ganache is still fluid at this point.Another shot.
Another shot.

  • It’s also important to note that piping buttercream and ganache is something that I know how to do, and have done successfully, but it’s not something I gravitate towards. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s that it doesn't spark my imagination, and I never practice. When it’s time to get out my tips and bags, I am thinking of other ways to decorate the cake. So there you have it.

Chocolate Pavarotti Cake with Wicked Good Ganache, The Finer Cookie.
Chocolate Pavarotti Cake with Wicked Good Ganache, The Finer Cookie.

TAGS:  BAKING BIBLE   chocolate       LABELS: Alpha Bakers 

Comments

11 Comments

inthekitchen   2017-01-08

Your cake is gorgeous! I agree that the unfrosted cake would be lovely, perhaps with some chantilly cream. Yum!

Oana   2017-01-08

What a decadent cake. I've just finished my chocolate cake, but in all honesty now, who can resist this delicacy?!

Catherine   2017-01-08

You got a very good height on your cake. And the chilli is a great touch, just what it needs.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Catherine.

Patricia Reitz   2017-01-08

Like I said on the fb page, I absolutely love the way you decorated this cake. Chocolate cake can be so hard to photograph, but you nailed it! :) Patricia @ ButterYum http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2015/1/29/tbb-chocolate-pavarotti-with-wicked-good-ganache

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Hi Patricia, thank you for your nice words. I thought your heart-shaped cake with the raspberries was beautiful.

orins goodies   2017-01-08

I love your story about the chocolate, and your kitchen and everything els..

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Orin!

Monica Caretto   2017-01-08

Love your take on the chili on top! I can totally related to the good quality chocolate. I come from a country that have one of the best chocolates around (http://www.chocolates-elrey.com/), I started early on the chocolate snob train. When I moved to the states I would always tell my friends that use to love eating the crappy candy bars - you are eating crap chocolate! Those poor souls. I have since curved most of them to a better chocolate state of mind by having them eat high quality baking goods.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Chocolate is a state of mind. Nothing can replace gorgeous chocolate. I found this video about chocolate pickers from the Ivory Coast. You should watch it. Incredible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEN4hcZutO0&feature=share&fb_ref=share.

faithy   2017-01-08

I like how you decorated with the chilli! We eat this chilli like this on it's own with soya sauce. :) And such beautiful picture! I'm surprised to see your cake batter so thick. Mine was more liquid. Maybe it has got to do with the room temperature. Mine is definitely warmer..since it's always summer here..lol!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

What I wouldn't give for a little warm sunshine and warm wind. Thanks Faithy for your comment!

Mendy   2017-01-08

Love your picture with the peppers. This was a great cake. I also used french white chocolate. It was rich and creamy.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Mendy. Lucky for us that the white chocolate melted nicely.

evilcakelady   2017-01-08

beautiful cake! i can't pipe to save my life, which may be why i gravitate towards simply decorated cakes myself. i love it when raw cake batter looks like frosting--you know the resulting cake will be rich and delicious!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Piping isn't my favourite thing either, but I'll do it under under pressure. When I was a kid, I poured only some of the cake batter in the pan and left the rest in the bowl to eat with my fingers.

Glori   2017-01-08

Your cake looks really good and the ganache is so shiny. I had a terrible time trying to spread the ganache and had to heat it up to do it. Great pictures too!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

My ganache seized too. It's so cold here inside and out. I like your pictures too.

Michele   2017-01-08

Kim: inspired photos, as always! I love the ganache, but found the cake a little bit dry. Believe it or not, my family doesn't like chocolate cake (crazy, I know!) so I don't bake them often and am having trouble comparing this one to others in Rose's repertoire. Anyway, happy to be baking with you!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Now I love chocolate, but I didn't always love it. Thank goodness I'm over that! thanks for your comment Michele.

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CHOCOLATE PAVAROTTI CAKE WITH WICKED GOOD GANACHE

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Instructions

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