Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Devil's Food Cake with Midnight Ganache

This is a catch-up cake for me as the Heavenly Cake Bakers took care of this one a week and a half ago. I was up to my eyes in visiting Grant brothers, and although that would seem a perfect time to have a homemade cake handy, them boys are not the biggest chocolate fans. Plus I would rather play with the Grant boys than hole up in the kitchen for a day in order to feed them. So, the cake passed us on by.

the boys at the voodoo
maybe I didn't bake because we were too busy eating the voodoo doughnuts

As any regular reader would know, I am a little obsessed with keeping up with the group so missing two cakes in a row left me a little twitchy. So after baking the vanilla cupcakes (which would have been a hit with the Grant boys but...oh well), I decided I needed to get on it and bust out another cake.

Seeing as my internet moniker is the Evil Cake Lady, and I use a Devil's Food Cake as a descriptor of who I am, it just seemed right that I bake this freakin cake. I mean, if I were to have a signature cake, wouldn't a Devil's Food Cake be it?

devils food cake with midnight ganache

March 21, 2011
Name of Cake: ECL's Cake!
Occasion: HCB catchup
Constituents: two 9 in layers decadent sour cream chocolate cake filled and frosted with midnight ganache (a caramel-dark chocolate ganache). Optional cognac cherries omitted.

This cake is the ideal chocolate-chocolate bomb. For anybody in your life who loves death by chocolate, for anybody who lives a rich fudgy frosting, this is your cake.

devils food cake with midnight ganache

Just look at that ganache! It does take at least six hours to firm up to frosting consistency, but look at how voluptuously it swirled. It was a dream to work with; smooth, thick, luxuriant, and forgiving. I added more frosting, I took away frosting, and at no time did the ganache throw up its hands and start pulling crumbs off the cake, hardening up to chocolate bar stiffness, or curdling into an ugly mess. I keep thinking I have found my favorite frosting in the book but yet again, I think I have found my favorite frosting in the book.

The ganache starts with making a caramel with cream (add it to the caramel in the sink!) and a bit of butter. This looks lovely all on its own and I could have stopped there, but why would I when I can pour the hot caramel over a bowl of chopped 99% chocolate? The caramel ganache also looked lovely and I could have stopped there, but why would I do that when I can add a cocoa powder paste and intensify the chocolate even more? That is the genius of the Midnight Ganache.

devils food cake with midnight ganache

The cake is a creme fraiche or sour cream cake, with both chopped 60% chocolate AND cocoa powder paste, also intensifying the chocolate flavor. I used Felchlin cocoa powder, which is 22-24% cocoa butter and non-alkalized. I think that is why my cake came out so red. The recipe calls for alkalized chocolate. I also subbed full-fat yogurt for the sour cream option because that is what I have. Full-fat yogurt has less fat than sour cream, which has less fat than creme fraiche. I wondered if the decrease in fat would make the cake less tender, which would actually be desirable since Rose found the cake to be a bit too tender. She gives an optional mixing technique on her blog to combat the tenderness, but I didn't do it. I figured with the combination of non-alkalized chocolate (which is more acidic) and full-fat yogurt (which is less fatty) I'd better stick with the usual mixing technique. I didn't find the cake too tender.
devils food cake with midnight ganache

Did I mention yet this cake is made with light muscovado instead of white sugar? That is lovely.

I have no complaints about this cake, except that it is so rich and decadent it needs a dairy accompaniment (hence more calories). Those who like to drink milk, I say pour yourself a tall glass. I chose a couple of scoops of Coconut Bliss and that is a good choice too. If this should be my signature cake, I would embrace it wholeheartedly.

devils food cake with midnight ganache

12 comments:

  1. Oh man... Now I want a piece!

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  2. That looks delicious...So moist and chocolaty and cute frosting swirls!

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  3. What a beauty! I'm remembering how good it was and wishing--again--that I hadn't given all mine away.

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  4. Oh man I'm so glad I don't know where you live.
    OK that reads far creepier than I meant it.
    It's just that cake looks damn good.

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  5. Lvely photo! And so yummy. Now I want to make it again..

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  6. I'm interested in the sour cream/yogurt swap. Do you think you'll try that in other sour cream cakes or was this a one-time thing? I agree with you about the ganache--a pleasure to work with.
    Beautiful!

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  7. The ganache was indeed wonderful to work with. It's probably the least fussy frosting I've ever worked with. Love your use of yogurt. I had sour cream on hand, so I used that. Have you noticed we tend to swirl the top of our cakes the same way? :o)

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  8. ECL, I love your subbing sour cream with yogurt. Also, coconut bliss rocks! Just tried the cherry amaretto flavor and love it.

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  9. Marie, I have been using full fat yogurt anytime a cake calls for sour cream this whole time (I guess I don't mention it). Somewhere in the ingredients section Rose mentions this is an ok sub, and I've been going for it. No problems at all!

    Hannaa, it is a good and fun swirl! So easy to do and it always looks so grand.

    Jenn, I keep hearing good things about the Cherry Amaretto! I will have to try it.

    Allison, you are funny, but I wish you lived nearer so I can give you some of this cake!

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  10. It looks picture perfect!

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