Traditions. I did not like them when I was younger, I must tell you that. But I have learned to cherish them over the years – I guess one should get wiser as they get older, right? :)
One of the traditions I hold dearest is baking my sister’s birthday cake - that started several years ago, long before I even knew what a food blog was. And lately I have been sharing these cakes with you, too. But I wasn’t particularly fond of the cake I baked this year – even with Olga’s precious tips the result did not please me; the cake layers were too big, the frosting was too sweet. I got angry and did not photograph it to create a post.
But as I’ve told you in the beginning of this text, I like traditions. And the light of my life deserves a birthday cake post. So I baked another cake – much simpler, but delicious – to have her birthday marked here somehow. And a birthday cake calls for candles, don’t you think?
Happy birthday, Jessica! I wish you all the happiness in the world, since you brought back the happiness I had long lost when you were born.
I love you! xx
Chocolate cake with caramel ganache
cake from here, ganache from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (165g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (157g) brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (186g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons (18g) cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup sour cream – I used yogurt
165g dark chocolate, melted and cooled – I used 70% cocoa solids
150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
1/3 cup (67g) caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
½ tablespoon corn syrup
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
Start by making the cake: preheat oven to 160°C/320°F. Butter a 20cm round cake pan, line the bottom with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt over the butter mixture, add the sour cream and chocolate, and mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack. Carefully unmold onto a place, then invert in onto a serving plate, top side up.
Now, make the ganache: place chocolate in a heatproof small bowl. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, mix the sugar, water and corn syrup, being careful not to splash the mixture on the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat, without stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until golden – keep an eye on the caramel so it doesn’t burn, otherwise it will taste bitter. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. When caramel is golden, remove from heat and set aside for 30 seconds. Carefully – because it will bubble like crazy – add the cream to the caramel, mixing for 1 minute. Add this mixture to the chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes. Then, starting by the center of the mixture, stir until ganache is smooth. Allow the ganache to stand for 5-7 minutes before spreading over the top of the cake.