Monday, November 11, 2013

Anniversary Cake

 Happy Monday and for those of us in America, Happy Veteran's Day! This past week brought our own wedding anniversary so I got to decide upon what cake we would like to have for the day. But there are only 3 of us in our home right now...2 adults and 1 twelve year old boy. So a huge cake wouldn't work for just the three of us! So a mini cake would be perfect!

I hardly ever get to work with "perishable" icings and fillings so I decided that this cake would be eaten almost as quickly as it the moment it was done (and I barely had time to take photos before the boys were all over me to cut it!) so I knew the filling and icing wouldn't be around long enough to spoil! My husband and I both love chocolate and adore ganache. So that part was a no brainer. The filling, however, left me going "hmmmm" trying to figure it out. I finally decided upon a dark chocolate mousse filling and a semi-sweet ganache for the frosting. The cake was a 4 inch sweet vanilla cake. I really like Martha Stewart's recipe but you can you a box mix if you like but remember to cut the recipe in half for a mini cake.

Vanilla Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
Mix till there is no lumps and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

I leveled them, cooled them and wrapped them into plastic wrap and set them aside while I made the chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Mousse

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups cold, heavy cream, plus an additional 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the confectioners' sugar and 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Stir over low heat.  

Add the semisweet chocolate chips, stirring frequently as they melt and the mixture becomes well blended.

Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and set this mixture aside.

In a separate, large bowl, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cup heavy cream on medium speed and gradually add the granulated sugar.  When all the sugar has been incorporated, beat the mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, taking care not to overmix.  Refrigerate for at least one hour before using on your cake.

And then, while that was setting up I started the ganache. I use Alton Brown's recipe:

Ganache

Ingredients
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
16 ounces (2 cups) heavy cream
Directions
Place the chopped chocolate into a glass bowl.

Heat the heavy cream in a small sauce pan for five minutes or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally until it is the consistency that you would like to use. For glazing let it cool for 30 minutes and then pour over a cake that has been placed on a wire rack with a pan underneath to catch the dripping ganache.  If you wish to make a lighter frosting, allow it to come to room temperature, approximately 2 hours. Once at room temperature, place in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high for 2 to 3 minutes.


I allowed it to cool for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, till it was thick enough to swirl on like frosting but still soft enough to use for the piping. 


I pulled out the mousse and let it come up to room temperature for a few moments while I unwrapped the cake. Then I just filled it with a thick layer of the mousse and topped it with the ganache. The final touches were added with a fine round tip and some of the ganache in a piping bag.


Now...what to do with all of the extra mousse and ganache??? I mixed them together and put them back into the refrigerator. The next night I whipped up the rest of the heavy whipping cream I had in the fridge with powdered sugar, granular sugar and vanilla (I don't have a recipe for this..it's all a few tablespoons of this and a few tablespoons of that and a cap full of vanilla so you can cheat and buy the canned type or tub type if you want) and then layered the mousse-ganache with the whipped cream for a second desserts!






YUMMY!



As you can see, it looked totally yummy too! I have to admit that these glasses (from a previous anniversary celebration) ended up being way too much dessert for all of us so you may want to make smaller servings!

November is the month of the Pumpkin in our house so I'll be using this space the rest of the month to share with you my several baking projects and recipes.

See you next week!

Cat

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