Tuesday, January 11, 2011

White Velvet Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache

This week's cake was on the Quick and Easy list, and that's no exaggeration. The cake itself can be cooling on your counter in 30 minutes, and the ganache took even less time. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of the recipe; this cake would be at home on a birthday table as well as a lunch counter.

white velvet cake with milk chocolate ganache

January 09, 2011
Name of Cake: white cake, chocolate frosting
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: one 9 inch layer white velvet cake, filled and frosted with milk chocolate ganache

The white velvet cake in The Cake Bible is my go-to white cake for all occasions. This is Cookie's birthday cake, and Joelf's engraduation cake.  I'm not sure if or how the recipe changed as it moved into Roses's Heavenly Cakes, but here it is.

Most of us have noticed Rose's method for mixing a butter cake, be it in a tube pan, a cake round, or cupcakes, is basically the same:

All dry ingredients (anything powdery) go into the mixing bowl.
Eggs, plus any extracts (such as vanilla) and most of any other liquids (like milk, water, cocoa paste, or sour cream) go into another bowl and lightly blended.
Butter and a little bit of liquid are set aside.

Dry ingredients are whirred on low for 30 sec to mix and aerate.
All the butter and the reserved liquid are added and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, 30 seconds.
The egg mixture is added in two parts, beating for 20 seconds between.

Scrape into whatever pan you are baking in, and bake!

See? I did that from memory. Easy.

In this case, only egg whites are used, which creates the velvety white cake so many people love. I used to dislike white cakes as I found them flavorless, but not so with Rose's recipe. This one tastes like vanilla and has the flowery perfume of milk.

white velvet cake with milk chocolate ganache

The ganache is made from milk chocolate, and I love milk chocolate. So creamy! I like to let a square of milk chocolate melt on my tongue; it melts so nicely and is so delicious! Dark chocolate, although better for you and more aligned with foodies everywhere, just doesn't satisfy me. I guess I will always be lower class ;)

As per my love of milk chocolate, I decided to only use a few grams of dark chocolate to balance out the flavor. Which was fine by me.

I was happy not to need the food processor for this ganache, as I hate my food processor. Hot milk is stirred into melted chocolate, and butter and vanilla are gently whisked in by the tablespoon. And there you have it.

white velvet cake with milk chocolate ganache

Filling and frosting the cake was fun, and simple to do. The ganache was nice and fluid, and I opted for my regular swirl as decoration.

Somehow, ganache always hardens to candy bar consistency with me. It never stays soft, so the only disappointing part of this cake was the hard frosting. The combination of milk chocolate and white cake was amazing--it reminded me of the elusive May West cakes my Uncle used to ship us from Canada--all delicate and vanilla and milk chocolaty goodness.

Cookie, although this is her favorite cake component, wasn't too excited by the completed cake because of the ganache. Truthfully, even if the ganache were soft and velvety she wouldn't like it because it wouldn't be her favorite white sugar bomb frosting.

white velvet cake with milk chocolate ganache
the hard ganache can be lifted off and eaten separately

However, thanks to this recipe, I see May West experiments in my future.


  1. Your swirling is getting better and better. Didn't think it was possible!
    I had never heard of May West cakes so had a look at your link. Seems odd they never crossed over to USA.
    Nice cake, even though you swear you didn't slave over it fer' hours and hours!

  2. funny, I just came across another recipe just like this a few days ago. But yours has a special appeal due to that beautiful swirl!

  3. Jennifer,
    You sure do make pretty cakes and that decorating!

  4. Love your swirl! Guess I will have to start copying since it is so great looking. The cake texture looks great too.

  5. I love your swirl on the cake! I also prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate.

  6. I love the White Velvet Cake! It was a revelation to me; I never liked white cake before. Your cake looks beautiful; like the others, I love the way you do the swirl.

    A happy, happy New Year to you!!!


  7. Melinda, thanks! We would always wonder why May Wests never made it to the US. Probably for the best, really.

    Kendall, thank you!

    Oriana, aw thanks! I have to hide my lack of piping skills somehow.

    BSA, thanks! I learned the swirl from another blogger, Julien.

    Andrea, I was excited to read on your blog that you prefer milk chocolate! We seem to be in the minority.

    Raiuchka, yes, this was the cake you used for the Salted Caramel Cupcakes! Happy New Year dear friend! Hope you are well :)

  8. milk chocolate is my favorite too. I always nuke cake slices for 5-10 seconds if they have a ganache frosting. I don't like a hard ganache either with a cake, I want it to be soft and fluffy. If it melts a little, that's OK too.

  9. Amanda, hi! Hard ganache is one of the few times that I regret getting rid of my nuker. You know, the light whipped ganache has been staying nice and soft, even after a day or so in my cold kitchen!