This. Cake. Makes. My. Knees. Weak.
I made this little darlin' for my friend Stephenie's surprise baby shower. It was supposed to be this cake minus the ball and chain and with a few baby birds around the picket fence. BUT.... the top cake didn't come out of her pan as planned and when I was trying to put the wings on the birds the lady bird's head fell off and it made me REALLY mad. So I said many unlady like words, wadded up all the fence slates (all 50 of them), threw the painstakingly crafted bluebirds away and just let the cake be ganached. Which honestly I think is quite beautiful. This was the first time I have worked with ganache and I am officially in love. Deep and profound love. I couldn't get enough of it. I just keep pouring on layer after layer after layer of this stuff..... and it never wavered.
The cake is from Kate Sullivan's book.... and I have to say it is giving Colette's Chocolate Bourbon cake a run for it's money. This cake is dense and very moist. It really is fabulous to cut and carve, but most of all it is delicious. I added a bit of orange extract to the batter to give it a little warmth....It has a really great taste. The cake is not at all too chocolately or sweet. It's mellow but not bland. Really good.... and with a thick layer of semi sweet ganache piled on top... it was fabulous. Only half the cake was eaten at the shower (thank god) so I ate the rest one forkful at a time. When things are really good that is the way I like to eat them... just one forkful at a time. It's my way of absolutely savoring every little bite.....
One Delicious Chocolate Cake (Kate Sullivan)
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 Â½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Â¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temp
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temp
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups strong coffee
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour sides and bottoms of pans. Set pans aside.
In large bowl of mixer, stir together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda. Stir in the sugar.
In small bowl, combine the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix into the dry ingredients. Stir in the buttermilk, melted butter and coffee. Divide batter evenly among pans.
Bake at 350 for around 50 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling rack.
Easy Foolproof Ganache
18 ozs semisweet chocolate chips
1 Â½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon liquor or flavoring (optional)
Heat cream until nearly boiling. Pour over chocolate chips, cover and let sit 10 minutes. Whisk chocolate and cream (and flavor if using) until well combined; dark, smooth and glossy.
Let sit at room temp until cooled. To thicken, beat with hand mixer for a few minutes. Also thickens over time as it sits.
Refrigerate in airtight container for up to a week. To restore to spreading or glazing consistency, heat and stir over double boiler for a few minutes until softened.