Monday, June 9, 2008

Triple Chocolate Cake

Triple Chocolate Cake (pg 201)
Contains: 1 recipe Light Whipped Ganache (pg 268), 1 recipe Moist Chocolate Genoise (pg 132), 1 recipe syrup flavored with Frangelico, 1 recipe chocolate praline sheets (pg 386)

The genoise came together fairly well. We did have a bit of trouble with flour clumping. I think it had something to do with the humidity. Or, it could be that it just wasn't stirred properly. Either way, the cake had white balls of flour along the bottom, not a tremendous amount, but even one is too many, right?

Actually the flavor and crumb of this cake was how I envisioned the previous cake (The Fudgy Genoise Jeffery) was supposed to be. Moist, crumbly, richly flavored. We really liked this cake, overall.

The whipped ganache was lovely. It's just cream, chocolate and vanilla, that you whip up. All around, a nice way to frost the cake. A chocolate frosting that's light. Who knew?

I conquered a fear this time. I made the caramel. I almost burned chocolate too, but we'll get to that. Caramel always seemed to be a scary venture to me. You put sugar on heat and wait for it to almost, but not quite, burn. Then you call it caramel. Well, lo and behold, magic can happen in a kitchen. You drizzle the caramel over the hazelnuts and let it harden. Then blend into a powder. We came as close as we could to fine powder, but the nuts were beginning to become a paste. So, we stopped grinding them. It left the chocolate praline sheets a bit grainy. The taste was exemplary, but the texture was a bit off with the smooth chocolate ganache and the moist chocolate genoise. We wondered if it would better to use a puree of praline rather than a crunchy caramelized sugar.

Yes, I almost burned the chocolate. In a fit of haste, read: in a hurry and clueless, I dropped chocolate into a pan to melt (notice I didn't say double boiler). J was working on the praline powder and she looks up and and says, "That chocolate smells hot". I lifted the pan off the stove and continued to stir, rapidly, just outside the kitchen. Luckily, I hadn't added all the chocolate and J has a superfine olfactory sense so the chocolate never burned!
You must cool the chocolate praline sheets before you put them around the cake. We ended up freezing them. But even that didn't help us on a fairly warm day in the kitchen. As we put the sheets around the cake, J could work with them for a fair amount of time. I, the guy who's usually a bit chilled, generated so much heat in my hands that I almost melted them on contact. I felt a bit like Heat Miser. "Every thing I touch, starts to melt in my clutch, I'm too much."

All in all we liked this one. The layers were moist and gently infused with the Frangelico and the whipped ganache was tremendous, the choclate sheets that wrapped the cake were tasty, and next time we'd use a paste of praline to have a smooth texture.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you think I could make the chocolate sheets 2 days ahead and refrigerate them? It would save me time!