Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberry Filling... and Some Strawberries on Top.

This here is a rich chocolate cake with raspberry filling covered in a dark chocolate whipped ganache and topped with fresh strawberries.

My friend, Marci, wanted me to replicate her wedding cake for her anniversary. She and her husband never got to eat their wedding cake due to a fun family tradition.... actually it's probably closer to a bitter family rivalry. ;D
He continues to speak of it to this day so she decided it was finally time to give him a taste of his own wedding cake.
So I did my best.

Here she be.

It looked so tasty...
These pictures don't do it justice.
I impressed myself.
I was tempted to sneak a piece. I doubt they would have noticed.

This cake was simple to make. Make your chocolate cake in 8 or 9 inch round pans. Tort your 2 layers so that you now have 4 layers. Place a layer on your cake board (using a bit of ganache to glue it down) and pipe a chocolate ganache dam around the whole edge. I whipped my ganache after cooling it down in the refrigerator to make it more of a buttercream frosting consistency but you can leave the ganache smooth and silky too (it makes the dam a bit more difficult though). For the raspberry filling, you can make your own or you can use a store bought jam of your favorite kind. I was going to attempt a home made raspberry filling (never done it before) but just ran out of time so I used Smuckers Simply Fruit Red Raspberry. It's the only kind of jam my husband will eat so I figure it must be pretty good. Spread the amount of raspberry filling you would like inside the dam. This amount is a personal decision. Add what feels right and not a bit more. :)
Place another layer on top and repeat until you have placed your last layer on top. Cover the whole cake in the ganache. While the ganache is still wet, place your curls on the cake (see below how to make the curls). If your ganache is dried already, no problem, just dab a little fresh ganache on the curl before sticking it to the cake. Use a skewer to transfer the chocolate curls around instead of touching them directly. The heat from your fingers will melt the chocolate and make a gooey mess.

See those cute little chocolate curls? They were almost the death of me. Either I am just not at all skilled in this area or these are actually really hard to make. These aren't even the chocolate curls I was going for! I wanted some big curls and this is the best I could muster.
{At least they were pretty cute too}
Here is what I did to get these curls. {I will work on getting the bigger curls another day}.
You take 3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips and add a tablespoon of shortening. Microwave just enough to melt the chips. Stir until smooth. Spread the melt onto the back of a flat cookie sheet and, using an offset spatula, spread as thin as possible. {You can spread an entire side of a cookie sheet with the 3 oz.}
Allow the chocolate to harden a bit. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you may need to put it in the fridge (I did). Once the chocolate is kind of dry to the touch but not super hard, try scraping off a curl using a flat utensil. I used a brownie cutter/server and it seemed to be a good size.
Press down hard and push forward while providing continuous pressure. If it curls... awesome! Stop when you have the size of curl you want. If it breaks in small pieces then your chocolate is too hard and needs to warm up a tiny bit. You can do this on the counter if it is warm or in a low temp oven. If it scrapes off but isn't curling, it is too soft. Cool it down a bit somehow (fridge for me).
Be careful, these curls are fragile. As you make your curls you may want to keep them refrigerated so they don't melt. Use toothpicks/skewers to move them around.
I struggled a bit with just getting these so I will be looking into this and practicing different methods in the future. I definitely hope there is a better one out there.

Last step:
Pile some strawberries on top. Voila!
It turned out pretty dang irresistible looking and the recipients gave their approval.
This would also make an absolutely fabulous Valentine's treat.... how romaaantic. Awww... <3

Chocolate Cake and Ganache Recipe HERE