Authentic Compassion

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bad Timing Great Ganache!

Everyone is no doubt well into the New Year's resolution phase of "eating healthier, less sugar and sweets, exercise more, become more like Mother Teresa and less like Mama Cass (God rest her soul)" so I should definitely have put this blog post up while we were in the eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow may not come!
In a spirit of better late than not knowing how delicious chocolate can be - here we go.
Chocolate Ganache (even in Texas we can say it correctly - guh-nahsh) looks wonderful and only recently appeared in my cooking repertoire (can you tell I am working on my vocabulary ?). For Christmas Day supper with beloved neighbors - I made my usual German Chocolate Cake from recipe on the Baker's Sweet Chocolate package with a few adaptations

pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER'S GERMAN'S Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
5 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
HEAT oven to 350°F.

COVER bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round pans with waxed paper; spray sides with cooking spray. Microwave chocolate and coffee in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in small bowl with mixer on high speed - beat until stiff peaks form; set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Blend in melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.

ADD egg whites by dumping all the stiffly beaten egg whites on top of cake batter and fold in gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.

BAKE 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Immediately run small spatula around cakes in pans. Cool cakes in pans 15 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool.
Spread Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting between cake layers and onto top of cake

4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk (I have been known to use heavy cream or half and half)
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
(7 oz.) BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut (about 2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups Chopped Pecans
Whisk egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 min. or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Yes it takes that long and don't stop until thickened and very goldeny color. Remove from heat. Add coconut and pecans; mix well. Cool to room temperature.
Crowning Glory Ganache:
SO simple
Two ingredients: best chocolate you can find (I prefer dark chocolate) and heavy cream. Proportions are 3 parts chocolate to 1 part cream (for example 3/4 cup chocolate to 1/4 cup whipping cream (not whipped!)
Method is always the same:
I used microwave to heat cream to a boil, remove from the heat and pour over a bowl of chopped high quality chocolate or fabulous find of 60% cacao Ghiradelli chocolate chips which are available at WalMart at least in our area.

Chocolate ganache can be poured as a coating or cooled slightly and spread - for me --pouring gave a good sheen and results thin enough to avoid overwhelming cake flavor.

Assemble your German Chocolate cake - one cake layer then thick layer of cooled filling, next cake layer, filling and final cake layer. At this point you have to make a choice between beauty and yummy - I went for yummy and topped the cake with additional layer of filling - would have looked elegant if I'd simply poured ganache over the assembled cake without coconut pecan topping - BUT you make it the way you want. Dark chocolate coating brought a different dimension to a traditionally almost too sweet cake - we loved it. I will try ganache on next cake I make - it'll be a while because we are back on healthy eating plan - much cake is NOT an option for next few months. Rejoicing because I know there will be cake again on Buhlaland and that is VERY good.

About a New Year and making ourselves new (er)

Luke 5:36
He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. "

"Old error in new dress
is ever error nonetheless."C.S. Lewis Screwtape Letters

"It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish."~J. R. R. Tolkien

"We turn not older with years, but newer every day." ~ Emily Dickinson

"The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so." Mark Twain

Amen to Mark Twain's comment - making myself newer this year by believing things which ARE so - and cake is good, God is great and life on Buhlaland is very good.


Lanny said...

Oh your ganache cake looks wonderful. I love making ganache (it is so simple but oh so good) but I never thought of using the typical German chocolate cake topping as a filling instead! Marvelous! Simply Marvelous! Personally the "worse" a chocolate cake looks the better it tastes, thus throwing a monkey wrench in the oft repeated phrase of mama's, "presentation is ninety percent of the meal". Or you just have to wrangle your thoughts of beauty to the floor and come up with a new perspective!

Now I just have to come up with a valid occasion to have this (validity gets me off the guilt train). Valentine's Day seems like the most appropriate, but it is so far off and my valentine thinks he hates coconut. Epiphany - but it isn't far enough east. If I could wait even further to Mardi Gras perhaps then but... Let me get out my holiday book: St Brigid (Feb. 1)even though she is Irish was the patron saint of cattle and dairy work and this would certainly be a celebration of dairy by then Bet should be milking Rory and we should celebrate that! Saint Agnes day works, girls are supposed to make cakes on St. Agnes day Jan 21 in hopes to dream of her husband, maybe I'll pass on that one. But here it is, the perfect day - Jacob Grimm's birthday is on Jan. 4th! Well if I don't get it done then there are back up days.

Thanks for the diversion from thinking about healthy eating!

LindaSue said...

there we have it - Jacob Grimm's b'day! I knew if anyone could find an appropriate day for ganachey cake it would be Lanny -

Wobegon Cottage said...

This looks wonderful, may I post it on my food blog? I will wait for your answer. It looks like it would belong there with the other treats I have posted. I just started it so only a few recipes are there. I will have to make it of course and it might be a few weeks because we have to get rid of the Christmas pounds first. I think it would be good for Valentines day also.

Paula said...

Ooooh- that sounds wonderful Linda Sue!! I don't think I've ever had ganache cake before.
Happy New Year to you and your Hubby, dear!

KathyB. said...

Oh this looks and reads to be divine! I have never been foolish enough to make a resolution to lose weight... and dessert is always a good thing ( in moderation, but who is watching anyway?).

Happy New Year to you both, you know how to bring it in with TASTE by posting a delicious recipe on your blog!

P.S. Cake is healthy isn't it? You remember the Bill Cosby comedy routine about him giving his kids chocolate cake for breakfast?

Lanny said...

Buggers, we had to go grocery shopping on Jacob Grimm's birthday instead, for some reason one of the regional stores here has certain days for senior citizen discount. As I am too young yet for such things we had to wait until Dirt was off work to go shopping with the ol' geezer. He was worth a couple of bucks between him and my coupon clipping we saved forty bucks on our bill. woohoo! But alas no German Chocolate Ganache cake (I did realize that I could pick a Frenchish holiday too) and tonight being Epiphany, Bet is making coconut cake to take into our new tradition of having our Three King's Feast at our favorite Chinese Restaurant. Ganache will have to wait.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I'm too lazy to overeat and didn't gain any weight over the hols. your cake looks wonderful and bet it tastes even better!