Saturday, 6 February 2010

Love - hate relationship with ganache

Why? Hmm... Well, for starters you can't get away from loving ganache if you are a chocolate lover like me. It comes in soooo many delicious forms, e.g. left molten to pour as glaze, whipped for use as fillings, piped as decorations and my favourite one - truffles in chocolates! BUT, given its basically a rich emulsified mixture of heavy cream and dark chocolate, its super duper loaded with calories (uhoh!) and somewhat temperamental to manage - too warm and it will likely melt whatever you are adding it to; too cooled and you'll have a difficult time spreading or working it nicely... plus the kitchen top does get all messy with chocolate spills... hehehe

This week I decided my cold war with ganache can take a break as I really wanted to try and mix & match 2 recipes for Devil's Chocolate Cake that I came across. One was in a recipe book by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake that I've had for years, and the other is from Martha Stewart's online recipe site, plus a few modifications of my own. For this cake I had to make 2 batches of ganache - one batch was cooled then whipped and spread as filling over 2 layers of moist chocolate cake. Some golden syrup was added to the second batch and it was poured over the entire cake as glaze.

Not surprising (somehow it always happens...) that my ganache for glazing the cake fell a little short and I had to apply the offset spatula to the side of the cake instead of allowing the ganache to spread and fall smoothly on its own. In addition, I could have done with a bit more and thicker layer of whipped ganache for the filling, but in general i was happy with the end result. It is a little easier to make this cake during the winter days as you could just leave it out on the kitchen top for the ganache to set, instead of having to put it in the fridge and worry about the cake and ganache drying out. Its better not to store the finished cake in the fridge at all so it'll keep moist longer.

What I really love about this cake is the contrast between the semi-bitter chocolate cake and the rich ganache filling and glaze. In addition, its a simple recipe so long as you manage the ganache process well. The next time I do this I'll spray some sparkling gold powder over the top- I did attempt to this time with some loose edible gold powder I happen to have in the kitchen but somehow it didn't spread out well (see pictures below), so i stopped after 2 slices... =P

Recipe below makes one 7 inch round cake

Moist chocolate cake:
85g dark chocolate
110g unsalted butter
85g brown sugar
1 tbls golden syrup
170g cake flour
30g cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
2 eggs
6 tbls milk
Put chocolate, butter, sugar and golden syrup in saucepan set over low heat and melt, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda together.  Make a well in the centre and pour in cooled melted chocolate mixture.  Stir until well mixed then add eggs, milk and beat gently until the batter is thoroughly combined.  Distribute batter between 2 9-inch cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (careful not to overbake as it’ll be dry instead of moist).  Let  cool completely in pans.  Cut out two 7 inch rounds and set aside.  You could also make 8-inch or 9-inch round cakes, just increase the ganache and glaze portions as well so there is enough.

Chocolate ganache:
125g heavy cream
120g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
Heat cream in a saucepan until it is just about simmering.  Do not boil.  Pour over chocolate.  Leave until completely melted then stir to combine.  Cool to room temperature.  Whisk chocolate mixture until it has lightened slightly, fluffy and spreadable.  Use immediately by spreading evenly over one layer of the chocolate sponge and topping with the other piece of sponge.

Chocolate glaze:
110g heavy cream
105g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6g Golden syrup
Pinch of salt
Heat cream in a saucepan until it is just about simmering.  Do not boil.  Pour over chocolate.  Leave until completely melted then stir in golden syrup and salt until combined.  Cool to room temperature and use immediately by pouring over top of cake, allowing it to overflow to fully cover the sides.


  1. Hi Gracie
    I'm really surprised I didn't see more comments at the end of each blog entry as I think your patisserie skill surpasses excellence! Your works are just amazing! Please keep blogging for I'll surely keep visiting your blog.
    I had a look at your chocolate cake and the first thing that sprang to mind was, how did she slice the cake so beautifully? This is one area I fail miserably so would appreciate any tips you can share. My questions are rather specific, I'm afraid .. e.g., did you use a smooth or serrated knife to slice this cake, did you dip the knife in hot water between slicing or merely wipe the knife with kitchen towels, how did you achieve the very sharp V of the sliced cake, did you have to chill this cake before slicing, was it the chilling that helped, etc., etc. I sincerely hope I'll hear from you. Thanks a lot!

  2. Hi Hayley,
    Sorry i didn't reply earlier. Didn't realize there was a new comment on an old post. Thanks for your kind comments!
    I used a smooth knife dipped into a tall glass of hot water in between cuts, then wiping dry with a kitchen towel before each new cut. The ganache has to be chilled set before cutting. Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks very much, Grace, for your helpful tips, some of which I have actually used, but somehow my cake's never sliced as beautifully as yours. One tip does stand out: the chilled ganache. Perhaps this is it. I shall bear this in mind when I next cut a cake! Thanks again!

  4. I blog hop and chanced upon your blog. This cake looked lovely. Do you mind sharing the recipe? Thanks.

    1. Hi Edith, sure, i've added the recipe to the post above!



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