If you’re looking for something decadent, either to share or to devour yourself, you may be tempted to browse your local bakeries for options. Sure you can find something special if you go this route and it’ll probably taste anywhere from pretty good to spectacular but it’ll cost you. And if you’re fairly social and looking to bring something special to a dinner party or add something unexpected to your own party menu for use on a regular basis, then it’s a good idea to have a “go to” that you can whip up on your own.
Don’t think this is up your alley? Like to keep things simple? Then this recipe is perfect for you because it’s so super simple you’ll be a little embarrassed at how impressed your friends will be when you present it to them.
Ganache has panache. Period. It sounds fancy. It tastes decadent. It’s a little mysterious. And let’s be serious, anything French connected to food is simply wonderful. Almost better than how delicious it is, is how easy this beauty is to make. The cake pictured above can be coming out of your kitchen faster than you can drive to your local gourmet bakery, pick one out and plunk down at least thirty bucks for it.
You in? Here we go!
1. BUY AN INTERESTING CAKE PAN
The shape of your cake is what’s going to give your ganache a beautiful landscape to stretch out on and show itself off. Look for something with height that’s different and spectacular in a bundt shape. I received this pan as a gift a decade ago and it’s still in perfect condition. For somewhere in the $30-40 dollar range you can go to Michael’s and find something that makes you happy. This little investment will prove more than worth it and the rest of your recipe will be chump change.
2. CAKE MIX AND BAKING SPRAY
Yes. It’s a boxed mix. I know, pick your jaw up. I said SIMPLE. In Spanish that’s “FACIL.” Say it with me. F – A – C -I – L. Listen, if you have a scratch recipe you can’t part with then knock yourself out. The truth is, this little boxed mix comes out absolutely rich and moist every single time and there are no prizes for toiling over a scratch recipe. In the time it takes to measure out 13 ingredients you’ll already have this baby in the oven and be sitting on the couch thumbing through a magazine. You choose.
The baking spray is a MUST. We are using odd shaped cake pans and those definitions in your cake aren’t going to be pretty if you don’t use the spray.
Follow your mix directions and spray your pan well before pouring in your mix. Your new pan is already doing the work for you as that cake begins rising into a beautiful shape.
3. MAKE YOUR GANACHE
I know. You’re worried. You’ve already furrowed your brow when you read “Make your ganache”. Pull yourself together and just measure:
- a half cup of heavy whipping cream
- eight ounces of semi sweet chocolate.
Pour your cream into a pan and begin to warm it on a medium to medium high setting. Add your chips slowly and stir continuously. I think I over mixed on this one because you can see the air bubbles in the picture. It doesn’t matter, ganache is so forgiving. Once I pour it on the cake the bubbles will be gone.
Mix your chocolate until everything is a smooth consistency. You can add a tablespoon of veggie oil at the end for sheen, but that’s optional. Let it sit for about ten minutes and cool down, giving a couple of stirs while you wait. Talk to it. It’ll tell you if it’s ready to meet the cake. You’re looking for smooth and creamy, but not runny. If it’s runny add more chips and stir it back on the burner. Too thick? Add more cream and put it back not the burner.
What you’re looking for is something that will be pourable but thick and not soupy.
4. “CAKE MEETS GANACHE”
This is where you look at your cake’s beautiful curves and cover them up with deliciousness. Very carefully you’re going to gradually pour the ganache at the top of the cake and make your way around the highest ridges. The ganache will fall into place on its own BECAUSE THESE TWO WERE JUST MADE FOR EACH OTHER. They know what they’re doing and you are merely making introductions. You can cover it all evenly on a cooling rack then move it to your cake plate afterwards, or you can drape it over the top and let it do its own thing like the one pictured below.
VOILA! A chocolate ganache cake – that looks like it could’ve come from your nearest bakery and tastes just as good too! Except YOU made it. You didn’t even have to leave the house and let’s face it, getting things done while in your pi’s is better. It just is.
Buen Provecho! Please share some pics of your own creations. I can’t wait to see what comes out of your kitchen.