Sometimes I'll take a moment between appointments to stand in the teeny bathroom and inhale the deep roasty aroma of coffee, for it smells better than it tastes in my opinion. I know to say such things out loud in the land of Stumptown is close to blasphemy, but there you have it. I don't really like to drink coffee. I love the smell of it, and the promise it holds of long Sunday brunches or warming up after a cold wet day, but I don't like to drink it. I do, however, love coffee in my dessert so when it came time to bake this cake I was really excited.
January 24, 2011
Name of Cake: No need for my morning black tea thanks
Constituents: one 9 in golden genoise with espresso powder, syruped with espresso syrup, frosted with mocha whipped ganache
The genoise is easy enough to make: beurre noisette and vanilla extract are kept warm while the eggs and sugar are first warmed in a double boiler then beat like crazy for about 6 minutes. I like to set the timer for those 6 minutes and then see how much I can get done in that amount of time, and let me tell you a lot can get done in a mere 6 minutes while those eggs are beating away.
|the obligatory photo of beaten eggs for a genoise|
After the six minutes are up, the espresso powder is mixed into the eggs and one cup is whisked into the butter/vanilla mix and set aside. The Wondra flour is folded into the eggs in two parts, after which the butter/vanilla/eggs are folded in. And then the genoise batter is scraped into a pan and off it goes to bake.
Like all genoise, after baking it needs to be unmolded right away. Here is my genoise, cooling prettily on the counter.
In the meantime a simple syrup with the addition of espresso powder is made. I was supposed to add Kahlua to the syrup, which would have been nice as I love Kahlua, but I didn't have any and was too lazy to go get some. This syrup is brushed all over the cake once both have cooled and you've peeled the top crust off.
Now for the ganache. It seems many had trouble with the ganache going all curdled and yucky and as that has been my fate several times with the whipped ganache, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and do a combination of Rose's instructions for whipped ganache by hand and Hanaa's quick whipped ganache.
While the cream heated on medium low heat I finely chopped my chocolate. I skipped Hanaa's suggestion to first nuke the chocolate a tad as I don't have a nuker. I added the chocolate to a metal bowl and poured the scalded cream, vanilla, and espresso powder in. After letting it sit for a minute I used a silicone spatula to stir the mix until the chocolate was melted and smooth. I filled a glass bowl with icy water and set the metal bowl inside, stirring with the spatula until the mixture was cool to the touch. Then I busted out the hand mixer and mixed on med-low just until traces of the beater could be seen. I stopped the hand mixer, pulled the bowl out of the ice water, and finished whipping the ganache by hand with a balloon whisk. When the ganache was almost set enough to frost I left it alone for a minute or two to set up on its own, then I frosted.
Phew! That sounded complicated, but it ended up in a curdle-free whipped ganache, for the first time in my life. Thanks Hanaa!
Frosting the cake was easy and fun, and even though I knew this cake would taste much better a day later when the syrup is evenly distributed, I cut a slice and had a taste. I really liked the contrast in the texture of the cake (moist, light) with the flavors of the cake (bold, bitter). I love how the coffee takes the edge off the sweetness and enhances the chocolate in the ganache. I don't think this would have worked half as well if the cake was a butter cake, so coffee genoise, you are my new friend.
Want more? Coffee, delicious coffee cakes