I am so predictable. I am, really.
As I told you last week, I put the mobsters and gangs aside for a while and started watching Downton Abbey – I thought a break from bad guys would be a nice change. Apparently, I was wrong: after spending some time in 1912 I went back to Tony’s arms and I did it in a hurry. :)
At first I thought the rhythm was the problem for me with Downton Abbey, but then I remembered that Rectify, for instance, has a very singular rhythm, and that never bothered me – much to the opposite, it’s part of what makes that show so sensational. So I’m still trying to figure out the reason why DA is not my cup of tea – and while I do that, I have some serious Hannibal catching up to do. :D
See, I told you I was predictable – I’m back in my criminal TV mood. But at least something has to be sweet, right? So there’s cake, and it’s just not any cake: it is a delicious chocolate cake – tender beyond words – with ganache made of something I’d never tried before: caramelized white chocolate. That scores big points with me not only for being scrumptious but also for being made in a very curious way: the chocolate gets caramelized in the oven – when I read the recipe I wasn’t very sure it would work, but decided to give it a go because I’d read about it in another cookbook. It does work – luckily – and I guarantee that you’ll be more than happy to lick the bowl after you assemble the cake. :D
Sour cream-chocolate cake with caramelized white chocolate frosting
cake adapted from the amazing Sky High, filling/frosting from the most beautiful cookbook I own
185g all-purpose flour
300g granulated sugar
45g unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup (160ml) canola oil
2/3 cup sour cream*
1 cup (240ml) water
1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 small eggs
450g white chocolate, finely chopped
¾ cup (180ml) heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Cake: sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the prepared cake pans.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool completely in the pans over a wire rack.
Frosting: preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spread the chocolate over it. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden. In the meantime, heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until very hot (but not boiling). Add the caramelized chocolate and stir until melted (reheat the mixture over low heat for a few seconds if necessary). Strain through a fine sieve, pushing down on solids, then discard solids. Let the ganache cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until spreadable.
Assembling the cake: I followed Deb’s precious tip and froze the cake layers for 30 minutes before assembling it (they are indeed very soft, so this step makes it easier to put the layers together).
Place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread about half the ganache, then top with the other cake layer. Spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cake – just the top, not the sides.
* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)
Friday, July 4, 2014
I am so predictable. I am, really.