December 14, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Yesterday was special.. very special, my daughter's birthday! I simply cannot believe how the time has flown since she entered into our lives.. six years ago!

Every year we celebrate her birthday with her friends at school. Usually, we order a "good" cake from cold stone (or) Baskin Robbins (oh! how we love their icecream cakes) and on her birthday, she gets to cut the cake & share the joy with her friends & us (the family). But this year the celebration "rules" in her school are a little different. There can be only one birthday party in a month and all the kids gets to celebrate their birthdays on that particular day! In my daughter's case "that particular day" is a week later than her actual birthday.

So on her "actual" birthday, I decided to give her a little surprise at home with "her most favorite" chocolate cake. She loves chocolate (who doesn't).. she loves chocolate frosting (chocolate on chocolate .. YUMMMM!!).. and she loves color sprinkles. So, without a doubt the cake is all about her .. right, it has to be.. a cake to surprise her and to satisfy her!! Now, it was all on me.. to keep the surprise, bake the cake while she was at school and sneak it until the dad comes back from office to join the celebrations!

Finally, when she got to see the cake, she couldn't believe that it was made at home. She was amazed, she was very happy and not to forget, the cake was super delicious. A job neatly done.. pheww!!

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 30 mins
Cook time - 1.5 hrs (includes decorating)
Serves - 9 inch cake

Chocolate Sponge
All purpose flour - 1.5 cups minus 3 tbsp
Corn starch - 3 tbsp

Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp (I used Hershey's)
Sugar - 1 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Water - 1 cup
Lemon juice
 - 1 tbsp
Baking soda
 - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract
 - 1/2 tbsp

Chocolate Ganache
Heavy cream - 1 cup
Semi-sweet chocolate - 8 ounces (coarsely chopped, I used ghirardelli)
Unsalted butter - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/4 cup

For decorating
Color sprinkles - as needed
Any other decorating supplies that you like / have.

Chocolate sponge
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease a 9 inch baking pan with 1-2 tsp oil, dust with some all-purpose flour and keep it aside.

Sieve thrice all-purpose flour, corn starch, baking soda, cocoa powder to ensure even mixing.

Dissolve sugar & salt in water, and then add the rest of the wet ingredients (oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract) and mix well.

Slowly add the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and mix to combine.

Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for 30-35 mins or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let it cool, de-mould from the baking pan and let it cool completely in the racks before starting to decorate the cake.

Chocolate Ganache
Take heavy cream in a small sauce-pan and bring it to a simmer on medium heat. Pour over the coarsely chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate completely melts.

Add sugar & butter (while the mixture is still warm) and mix until well combined.

Let it cool in the refrigerator before use.

Horizontally cut the cake into two halves. Using a spatula, smooth as much as ganache you would like on the top side of the bottom half. Next place the other half of the cake on top and smooth ganache on the top & the sides. Next, decorate as you would like and enjoy!!

- If you are not sure about cutting equal halves, divide the batter into two portions and bake in 2 different pans (same sized).
- I chose color sprinkles for decoration as my daughter loves it, and as for you .. go crazy with your imagination!!