This cake is the one on the cover of the book; a single layer, richly chocolaty cake enrobed in the shiny lacquer glaze and fancied up with currants and edible gold leaf. The recipe for the Bernachon Palet d'Or takes up several pages and looks daunting, but I assure you there are only three components and all of them are easy. If you love chocolate then you need to make this cake.
November 21, 2011
Name of Cake: Ta-Da!
Constituents: one 9 inch layer sour cream chocolate cake, frosted with creme fraiche ganache, glazed with lacquer glaze and decorated with currants
The cake, made with sour cream and a good amount of butter, is baked in the familiar two-stage method. Instead of blooming the cocoa powder in boiling water, it is mixed in with the sour cream and eggs. Half of that is added to the dry ingredients and butter which are beat for 90 seconds. The rest of the sour cream stuff is added in two parts. The resulting batter is so thick and rich that had I not known better, I would have thought it was a bowlful of chocolate buttercream. This gets baked for about 30 minutes.
The ganache is made with creme fraiche, a little bit of heavy cream, and a couple of tablespoons of butter. There is the option to make the sour cream ganache, but I thought I'd try the creme fraiche version. It is not quite as tangy as the sour cream ganache but just as velvety. I made the ganache the old fashioned way, by chopping up the chocolate very finely and pouring the scalded dairy products over.
After the cake is frosted with the ganache and all surfaces smoothed out, it is time to make and glaze the cake. The glaze is easy to make and it is always fun to pour it over the cake. I decided to do two coats, as I missed a couple of spot on the sides and it was just fun to do. It take several hours for the glaze to set, but since my kitchen is quite cold this time of year it didn't take nearly as long. I had frozen some red currants over the summer in anticipation of this cake so I defrosted some for this photo session.
This is a wonderfully decadent cake. The cake itself melts in your mouth it is so tender, and the rich ganache and bittersweet ganache are excellent components. I think I will need a little vanilla ice cream and a cup of tea to accompany my slice of cake, which is never a bad idea. I like that it is pretty easy to put together and yet is a show-stopper of a dessert.
It is quite dark this time of year in the PNW; not only does the sun set around 4:30 but the skies are laden with dark gray clouds. Check out how dark my living room was by 4:00!
Anyway I brought that up because I had fun photographing this cake, on that glass plate, with my limited light.
I almost forgot! Here's Marie's Bernachon Palet d'Or from the original bakethrough, and the Last Cake, Next Cake roundup of participants.