Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ganache-Covered Chocolate Cake with Rum Frosting

Today my husband tried his hand at making beer. There was home-brew paraphernalia all over the kitchen vying for space with my cake-making paraphernalia. I guess I had the advantage though, because he doesn't like chocolate. Even the smell of chocolate will give him a headache after a while.

Isn't that odd?

I mean, I can accept having defective taste buds. Happens to the best of us, and it means he'll never make sneak attacks on my Godiva truffles. But the headache...? Weird, right?

I hope his beer turns out okay. My kitchen is covered in tubing and what appears to be several gallons of oatmeal, but I like to see a man with a hobby. Well, a normal hobby of the non-shrunken-head-collecting variety.

Ever meet someone and you're like.... dang, you need a hobby. Go play some golf, or decoupage coffee tables, or build birdhouses, or or or scrapbooking, everybody likes scrapbooking, right? Go do that.

Me, I bake cakes when I'm bored. Then I find out that there's only like 3/4 of a cup of powdered sugar in the cupboard, so I teach you how to make chocolate ganache to cover a cake.
Like this.

To start, I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I made the full recipe, but baked it in 6" cake pans. I just wanted a little cake. Little things are so cute.  I then made a small batch of chocolate rum frosting that had way too much milk & not enough sugar (because I was out of sugar; see above) so I added more butter, frosted each layer of cake separately, and stuck the layers in the fridge for about an hour to get the rum frosting to stiffen up enough to carry a cake.  Finally, late at night, I poured on a coating of chocolate ganache, and then swirls of caramel on top because it's my birthday cake and I ♥ caramel.

Cake: My Favorite Chocolate Cake
FrostingMy Favorite Chocolate Rum Frosting 
Caramel: Easy Microwave Caramels, microwaved for 30 seconds and dribbled on with a fork
Ganache: That's this stuff down there ↓


2/3 cup of half-and-half
7 ounces of bittersweet baking chocolate, rough-chopped

1) Put your roughly-chopped baking chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Get out your whisk.
2) Place the half & half in a small saucepan & heat it on the stove on low-medium. Bring it to a rolling boil. Be careful! This will happen quickly! Don't leave it unattended because it's guaranteed to boil over as soon as your back is turned!
3) Slowly pour the milk over the chocolate, carefully whisking all the way.
4) Keep whisking slow-to-medium until sauce is no longer grainy. It will suddenly come together and be shiny and perfect like Hershey's Syrup.

Now walk away! Put your un-chocolate'd cake in the fridge, leave the chocolate sitting out on the counter, and walk away for a half hour or so. Go watch an episode of Adventure Time or something.

Once the sauce has thickened (20 to 30 minutes) you can pour it over your cake. Slowly pour it onto the middle of the top, and guide it down to the edges & sides with a spatula.  You can then put the whole thing in the fridge for a little bit just to make sure it hardens nicely into candy-bar-coating consistency.

This would also be really nice poured on top of a cheesecake. Or shortbread cookies. Or bacon (it's the latest craze).

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