Showing posts with label ganache. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ganache. Show all posts

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Today is Club Baked day! Twice a month the club bakers are given a recipe to make from the book Baked Exploration by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Everyone makes the same recipe and then we share it, with the hostess posting the actual recipe. This time around the recipe was Chocolate Coffee Cake . So why is my recipe called Chocolate Caramel Cake? I am not a coffee lover. At all. The previous Club Baked recipe was Coffee Ice Cream. I didn't join in because, ya know, the coffee thing.  I didn't want to miss another round of baking, so I made some changes in the recipe, and I was good to go. So was the cake. It was  delicious!
Chocolate Caramel Cake w/ Milk Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup dark unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2/3 cup Sour Cream
2 2/3 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Butter (soft, cut in to 1" cubes)
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla

Caramel Buttercream
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
1 1/2 cup Milk
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cup Butter(soft, cut into small pieces)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 tablespoon Caramel Flavoring Syrup

Chocolate Glaze
8 ounces good quality Milk Chocolate
3/4 cup Butter (soft, cut into small pieces)
1 tablespoon light Corn Syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare your pans.
In a medium bowl, mix your cocoa powder and sour cream
with 1 1/4 cup hot water. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and
salt together and set aside.

With your mixer and a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening
on medium until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes.
Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy,
about 5 more minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Turn mixer to low, and add vanilla.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix again for 5 minutes.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mix and the cocoa mix
to the mixer bowl, alternating each and ending with the dry.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool.

Caramel Buttercream:

In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.
Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally,
until mix comes to a boil.

Transfer mixture to bowl of standing mixer. Beat on high until cool, about
7-9 minutes. Reduce to low and add the butter. Mix until incorporated.
Increase speed to medium high and beat until
frosting is fluffy and light, 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla and caramel flavoring, and continue mixing until combined.
If frosting is soft, place in fridge until it firms up. Then remove and beat again.
If your frosting is too thick, set the bowl over a pot of boiling water,
and beat with a wooden spoon until it is of proper consistency.

 Frost your cake.

Chocolate Glaze:
Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler.
 Stir until mix is completely melted and smooth.
Remove from heat, and stir some more to release heat.
Drizzle glaze over cake.
If you want you can place your cake on a wire rack
with a piece of parchment under it. When you drizzle, the unused
glaze will end up on the parchment. If you don't wish to do it
this way, just drizzle the cake when it is on the plate.
 It piles up a little, but it still looks pretty!!
Garnish cake with chocolate rocks. 

 Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes to set the glaze,
but serve at room temperature.

This cake would be perfect for Father's Day!!

This cake is wonderful. It does have a lot of ingredients, but you
get to make homemade buttercream, and if you love
chocolate, it's perfect! You can also make it in stages.
I made the cake one day, put it in the freezer, the buttercream the next,
and then make the ganache the final day!

Thanks for joining me!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Birthday Cake and The Freshman Cook Gets a Makeover!!

A few weeks ago, a friend of a friend had an impromptu Birthday party. Since no one had given much thought to the Birthday Cake, my husband volunteered me! Now, don't get me wrong, I love to bake. Anything, pretty much anytime. But I only had 2 hours to have it completely ready to go. So, I grabbed a box of Devil's Food cake mix, and made my favorite cake from The Cake Doctor, Anne Byrn. I have posted cakes in the past that I have made from her book. I just love it, because the cakes are so moist. (I think I have said that before! :o)!!) But the question of how to decorate the cake was really driving me crazy.! I thought about peanut butter, reese cups, chocolate chips, all of the usual cast of characters. Time was flying by, and going to the grocery was out of the question. Here is what I finally came up with.

Chocolate Cherry Double Layer Birthday Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 13 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Corn Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Mix all the ingredients together in your mixing bowl
Mix on low for 1 minute, then scrape the sides of your bowl,
and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
Pour into 8" pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool on rack.
After 5 minutes of cooling, take a knife or offset spatula
around the edge of the cake, between the cake and the pan.
Let the cake continue to cool for 15 more minutes.
Release cake from the pan. and let it continue to cool
on the cooling rack.
I made Chocolate Ganache for the frosting. 
Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove.
Add 1/4 cup of heavy duty whipping cream. This is my normal
recipe, but I ended up adding another 
1/4 cup of whipping cream because I wanted this ganache to 
drip down the cake.
Mix the ganache until completely smooth.
Cover the top of the bottom layer with ganache.
Cover the ganache with a thin layer of
cherry pie filling.
Top with top layer.
Cover top layer with ganache. 
Add some additional ganache on top until it drips
down the sides and looks pretty.
Add a circle of cherry pie filling in the middle of the top layer.
Happy Birthday My Friend !!

The Freshman Cook Makeover!!

If you have read The Freshman Cook in the last week, you know that this blog, just received a fabulous makeover. It all started when I won a contest hosted by Ashton of Something Swanky. My prize was a full blown blog makeover designed by the incredibly talented Leah over at Just Call Me Blessed!!! Am I lucky, or what!! I emailed Leah answers to her questions about what I was looking for, and she hit the nail on the head.!!! She designed the gorgeous header that you see now, and I just love it!! I hope you do too! If you are looking to make some changes in the design of your blog, you must contact Leah. She has an etsy shop so you can check out what she does, and she is such a patient person to work with. She gave me detailed instructions on how to install the features she designed. Of course, she will  install them for you, but I was curious and wanted to learn how to do it myself. If you are looking to make any changes in your blog, or your facebook page, maybe a button for your blog, or you just want something different, contact Leah. You will be so glad you did!! Thanks, Leah! You are the best!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine Cheesecake!

  I have been making this cheesecake forever! I like to write in the margins of my cookbooks, and I usually write down the date I made the recipe and what it was for.  I also try to include my thoughts on the recipe, like changes I want to make, or if it was successful or not. From my notes I see that I made this recipe for the first time when my now 22 year old son graduated from kindergarten. I can't count how many other times I have made this. I even made this when I worked as the chef in a gourmet restaurant. This cheesecake is the ultimate cheesecake. It is not dry. It is so creamy and rich. For Valentines Day, I made individual little cakes, topped with chocolate ganache and covered with cherries.          You're gonna fall in love!!
3/4 cup finely crushed Vanilla Wafers
a short 1/4 cup of melted Butter
12 ounces softened Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Whipping Cream
2 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch
2 Eggs
1 Egg Yolk
a short  1/4 cup of Vanilla Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put about 15 or so Vanilla Wafers  in a plastic bag.
Take a rolling pin and crush the wafers until they are
very fine. You can also use a food processor.
Pour crushed wafers into a bowl.
Add melted butter, and mix together thoroughly.
Distribute evenly between the 3 pans.
Using your fingers, smooth the wafers over the bottom
of the pan, making it as evenly as possible.
Set pans aside while you make the filling!
In your bowl, combine together the softened cream cheese
and the sugar.
Add the whipping cream and the cornstarch. 
Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
To get the smoothest possible mix, your cream cheese
should be very soft when you begin.
Add the eggs and the egg yolk, one at a time, beating
after each addition.
Add the vanilla bean paste and the vanilla syrup.
If vanilla bean paste is not available, use vanilla extract.
I like to use this paste because the flavor is so intense.
It especially comes out in this recipe.
You can see the little flecks of bean in the picture!
Pour the cheesecake mix into the pans.
This recipe makes three individual cakes!
Place all three in the oven.
Cook at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Turn down the temperature 
to 200 degrees and bake for approximately 50 minutes.
To check to see if they are done, stick a toothpick in the
center like you would a cake. Also make sure the center
of the cakes do not look wet or shiny.
When you take the cakes out of the oven, let them sit
on a cooling rack. Take a knife or offset spatula around the 
edge to loosen the cake. Don't release the pans right now.
Wait at least 30 minutes, so they have a chance to cool.
Then you can release the pans, but let the bottoms stay on for a while.
When the  cakes are completely cooled,
wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to chill. Still keep the bottoms on,
or transfer them to some other type of base.
Chocolate Ganache
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Whipping Cream
Place the chocolate chips and the whipping cream
into a saucepan and heat on low.
Stir the entire time, to melt the chocolate,
until it is beautiful and smooth.
Place chocolate on top of the cake,
covering the entire top.
Cover the top with the chilled cherries!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

This recipe comes from a cookbook called
Cheesecake Extraordinaire by Mary Crownover.
I have changed the recipe some. If you would like to make
a large(9" springform pan) cheesecake, double all of the ingredients,
except for the egg yolk. Still only use one!
You can also use vanilla liquor in place of the vanilla syrup.