Today was a real dreary fall day – one of those days when you feel like experimenting in the kitchen and producing something sweet and comforting to enjoy with your cup of tea. As we thought of simple, yet delicious treats to make, something chocolaty seemed like the obvious choice.
So what we had in mind was a simple moist chocolate cake with some yummy frosting on top. As we went through frosting ideas in our heads, we thought of white chocolate. Well, wouldn’t it be tasty to make a dark chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting? Yes, that seamed like the perfect combination.
After looking through some recipes, we decided to take the general measurements and venture out on our own. We baked the cake, which was a breeze, and it turned out nice and moist . (However we do have some ideas on how to improve it slightly –we will talk about that at the end of the recipe).
Then, we turned our attention towards the frosting. What we had in mind was a whipped white chocolate ganache. So we melted white chocolate in some heavy cream, and then let it cool in the fridge. After the mixture cooled down, we whipped it. However, something was strange.
For the first few minutes, as it was whipping the mixture looked pretty good, however a bit thin. Next it started to break and the liquid began separating from the mass. In an attempt to rescue it, we added some more heavy cream and continued to whisk it. Well, by doing that something started to look really wrong! Our ganache now began resembling cottage cheese! It had separated completely and we began wondering what we were going to do. It didn’t exactly look very appetizing… besides we had used almost all our chocolate as well as our heavy cream by now and couldn’t really start over.
Instead, we decided to strain it! We poured the mass in a strainer and removed all the liquid. What was left, was a wonderfully creamy, rich, white chocolate mix – perfect for frosting. So our poor chocolate ganache was saved by the strainer.
After further thought, the high fat content in the white chocolate might have been the reason for this little mishap – if we would have used dark chocolate instead, this probably wouldn’t have happened. But no harm done. Now if you are planning to try this at home, I wouldn’t really discourage you from using this straining method, because the result was excellent. However, if you rather not, your safest bet would probably be to use dark chocolate instead…
Cost Per Serving:
Now, here comes the recipe:
Ingredients for the Cake:
- 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder *
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of milk
- ½ cup of oil
Ingredients for the Frosting (ganache)
- Heavy cream
- White chocolate
Add all the dry ingredients as well as the vanilla in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, the milk and the oil. Gently fold in the wet mix into the dry bowl. Try not to stir it too much, however try to work out the main lumps.
Spray a 9 inch form (we used a non-stick silicon form) with some oil and pour in the mixture. Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes until done. (Since we were using a silicon form, the cooking time was slightly reduced, if you are using a traditional form, you might need to cook it slightly longer).
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Now to the frosting (you did read about our little problem above, right?).
Heat the heavy cream up in a sauce pan, once it’s hot, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let sit and melt for a few minutes. Stir, until incorporated and then let it cool. Place it in the fridge until it’s cold. Take it out and start whipping until light and fluffy. (If you use white chocolate, you might need to strain it at the end…)
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Make sure your cake has completely cooled down before you start applying the frosting. We decided to not split the cake up, but if you’re up to it, then go ahead.
Place your ganache on top of your cake and try to spread it out evenly. Dust it with cocoa powder and top with some chopped white chocolate. Serve.
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* Possible improvements:
While this cake did come out very nice and moist with good flavor, there are a few things I wouldn’t mind trying next time. First of all, I would double the amount of cocoa powder. I like my chocolate cake VERY chocolaty, and even though this cake had a nice color and hints of chocolate, it wasn’t totally overpowering – and sometimes you’re in the mood for a chocolate overdose. If I wanted to flavor the cake further, then a splash of orange liquor as well as some orange zest would be nice…
Regarding the frosting, I might use dark chocolate instead. Not because we didn’t care for the white chocolate – it was very good. However, dark chocolate does have such a rich flavor and it would turn this mild cake into a chocolate bomb. And if you’re going that route, then why not add some strong coffee or coffee liquor and make it a mocha frosting… Although, if you add more chocolate to the cake itself, then maybe it would be nice to keep the white chocolate frosting. There are so many possibilities!
Otherwise, I also think that a layer of raspberry jam in the middle of the cake would go nicely. As well as some toasted almond slivers on top. You can really experiment and change this cake completely – because the recipe for the cake itself was perfect: light moist and very yummy. What would you try?