This is the last step of making The Chocoholic Cake, the whipped ganache, and it’s pretty easy to make. Much easier than making the cake or the Dark Chocolate Mousse. And, like the other two components, this recipe comes from Gesine Bullock-Prado’s latest book, Let Them Eat Cake.
So, let’s make some ganache and have a slice of cake, shall we? Oh, we did cut this recipe down a bit (to 3/4 the original), and, like the Dark Chocolate Mousse, we were glad we did. As it was, we still had too much ganache for the cake.
It’s all about the chocolate in this recipe. We’re sorry, but Hersey’s will not do. Use a good chocolate; we use Callabaut 70% cacao. For the heavy cream, we prefer organic (but didn’t use it, as a commercial brand was on a sale that we couldn’t pass up).
Procedure in detail:
Combine chocolate and butter. When we read this recipe, we thought, why not just do almost everything is our mixer bowl? So, we placed the chocolate in the bowl along with the butter, and placed the whisk attachment on the mixer.
Heat cream. Heat the cream and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring very often until steaming, and small bubbles just begin to form around the edges of the pan. Do not boil. If you use a thermometer, the temperature should read about 160-170°F.
Pour over chocolate and whisk. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the heat to soak into the chocolate and beginning the melting process. Attach the bowl to the mixer (if you put the chocolate in the mixer bowl to begin with) fitted with the whisk, and beat on low until the chocolate and cream mixture is smooth.
Cool. We didn’t bother with the plastic wrap; instead, we just let the chocolate and cream cool for 45 minutes while sitting on the stand mixer. We didn’t see any reason to move it.
Whip. Once cool, turn the mixer on to medium-high and whip until the ganache becomes lighter in color and the mixture becomes light and airy. It won’t whip like whipped cream, but it will get a bit fluffy after about 5 minutes or so.
Build first layer. Get out your serving plate and place four strips of waxed paper around the edges to keep the plate clean while you work. Place one of the cakes layers in the center and top with half the dark chocolate mousse.
Freeze. Now place that layer in the freezer for 15 minutes to allow the mousse some time to stiffen up. If you skip this step, the mousse will squish out the sides. Still tasty, but not as planned.
Add layer. Remove the cake from the freezer, place the next cake layer on top and spread with the remaining mousse. Yes, all the mousse will be filling for this cake.
Freeze. Back into the freezer for 15 minutes to allow that layer to stiffen. Always remember that your freezer is a great tool for making cakes and other pastries.
Finish and frost. Finally, place the last layer on top, and, using an offset spatula, spread the ganache over the sides and the top of the cake. We suggest that you apply a very light layer of ganache, place the cake in the freezer for another 15 minutes, then finish applying the ganache. The light layer will hold the cake crumbs so your frosting layer will be smooth.
Well, of all the parts of this cake, we have to say that this ganache was the most disappointing. It was too heavy and rich for us, but, then, maybe we only think we’re chocoholics. The ganache was really good, and we’d consider using it in a Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, for example, just not as frosting, because we like the light as air frosting, something like Bittersweet Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But, as far as ganache goes, four stars.