Let me start by saying that this cake is way easier than it sounds. There’s something about “ganache” that sounds so fancy and unattainable.
This was the birthday cake I picked out this year, something kind of fancy but also quite simple—just good chocolate and good beer. (Although I’m sensing a theme of chocolate + alcohol birthday cakes…). This is a Smitten Kitchen recipe and it’s basically perfect. The cake itself has a dense richness, a little bittersweet from the combination of the stout and the darker Dutch-process cocoa. I also went a little scant on the sugar so the sweetness wasn’t overwhelming. I went ahead and frosted mine right away, which made the inside moist and fudgy, which is how I prefer my cake.
I’d never made a ganache before and thought it was going to be complicated and temperamental, but it was really quite simple and very fast. You want to use good quality chocolate to get the smoothest, creamiest texture and rich flavor. Overall, I would make this cake again in a heartbeat!
And then there was this gloriousness. That’s right, my co-worker wrapped my birthday wine bottles with the one and only James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. They get me. They really get me.
Okay, back to the cake… [Read more...]