contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

TBB - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache

Rose's Alpha Bakers

TBB - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache

Patricia Reitz

Chocolate Pavarotti - ButterYum

Chocolate Pavarotti - ButterYum

Welcome to week 12 of the Alpha Bakers bake-a-long, an online project where a group of food bloggers bake our way through The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  Most of the recipes made during this project will not be shared, but this particular recipe has been published here.  Check it out and come back for my commentary followed by a full photo tutorial.

This week's selection - Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache - a single layer chocolate cake covered with ganache that is spiked with cayenne pepper. 

Special ingredients and/or equipment needed - 9x2-inch round cake pan, Rose's silicone cake strips or these insulated cake strips, parchment paperBaker's Joy baking spray.  

Optional ingredients and/or equipment suggested - digital scale, heart shaped aluminum cake pan.

How does it taste - I hate to say it, but we didn't care much for this one.  The cake was very crumbly and it didn't taste very chocolaty, despite containing a lot of cocoa and melted chocolate.  Also, the ground cayenne pepper gave the ganache a gritty texture.  We ate it (it is chocolate cake, after all), but nobody asked for seconds, which is not very typical around here.

How does it look - My ganache topped cake looked very boring so I dressed it up with a ring of ruby red raspberries.       

Level of difficulty - Easy.

Were the directions clear - Yes, but there was one small discrepancy - the 5th paragraph on page 6o calls the cayenne "optional", but the list of ingredients does not refer to the cayenne as optional.  No biggie, but it's something I noticed. 

Also, I didn't follow the directions for making the ganache in a food processor because I don't care for the mess it makes or all the extra dishes it generates.  I'd rather make ganache in the microwave or double boiler.  

What would I do differently next time - I won't be making this cake or the cayenne laced ganache again.    

Next up - Lemon Posset Shortcakes, February 23, 2015.   

Okay, here's my photo tutorial.  

The ganache topping has to be made at least 4 hours ahead so we'll start there.  Can you tell we like dark chocolate in this house? 

The ganache topping has to be made at least 4 hours ahead so we'll start there.  Can you tell we like dark chocolate in this house? 

Instead of following the written instructions for making the ganache which include dirtying a measuring cup, a saucepan, and a food processor, I just put all the ingredients into a measuring cup and melted them together in the microwave. 

Instead of following the written instructions for making the ganache which include dirtying a measuring cup, a saucepan, and a food processor, I just put all the ingredients into a measuring cup and melted them together in the microwave. 

To do this, zap the mix for 15-20 seconds at a time, stir, and repeat the process until the chocolate is completely melted. 

To do this, zap the mix for 15-20 seconds at a time, stir, and repeat the process until the chocolate is completely melted. 

Almost done.

Almost done.

Perfect... and very little clean up to deal with :).

Perfect... and very little clean up to deal with :).

Now we add cayenne pepper - the recipe calls for 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon.  I used 1/4 teaspoon.

Now we add cayenne pepper - the recipe calls for 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon.  I used 1/4 teaspoon.

Whisk the cayenne into the melted chocolate mixture. 

Whisk the cayenne into the melted chocolate mixture. 

Pour the ganache through a sieve and allow it to cool at room for 3-4 hours until it reaches the consistency of frosting. 

Pour the ganache through a sieve and allow it to cool at room for 3-4 hours until it reaches the consistency of frosting. 

Alrightly, now that the ganache is done, we can move on to making the cake.  First we need to melt some white chocolate.  

Alrightly, now that the ganache is done, we can move on to making the cake.  First we need to melt some white chocolate.  

Since my glass measuring cup was dirty, I opted to melt the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. 

Since my glass measuring cup was dirty, I opted to melt the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. 

White chocolate melts quickly so don't walk away.  Just stir continually for a couple minutes.

White chocolate melts quickly so don't walk away.  Just stir continually for a couple minutes.

Almost there.

Almost there.

That was easy.  Set it aside to cool until we need it again. 

That was easy.  Set it aside to cool until we need it again. 

Okay, now we need to "bloom" our cocoa powder.

Okay, now we need to "bloom" our cocoa powder.

This is done by mixing Dutch processed cocoa powder with boiling water until smooth and allow it to cool.  Be sure to cover the container with plastic wrap to prevent too much moisture from evaporating from the mixture.  Set it aside until we need it again.

This is done by mixing Dutch processed cocoa powder with boiling water until smooth and allow it to cool.  Be sure to cover the container with plastic wrap to prevent too much moisture from evaporating from the mixture.  Set it aside until we need it again.

In a bowl, combine eggs, water, and pure vanilla extract. 

In a bowl, combine eggs, water, and pure vanilla extract. 

Whisk them together; set aside.

Whisk them together; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake flour, superfine sugar, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake floursuperfine sugar, and salt.

Add room temperature butter, oil, and the reserved cocoa mixture we made earlier.

Add room temperature butter, oil, and the reserved cocoa mixture we made earlier.

And we're mixing...

And we're mixing...

Next we add the egg mixture in two parts.

Next we add the egg mixture in two parts.

Looks luscious.

Looks luscious.

Last we add the melted white chocolate. 

Last we add the melted white chocolate. 

Batter done.

Batter done.

Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan.  Since it was the week of Valentine's Day, I decided to bake my cake in this heart shaped pan. 

Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan.  Since it was the week of Valentine's Day, I decided to bake my cake in this heart shaped pan

Don't forget to wrap the pan with insulated cake strips - they really eliminate a hump from forming as the cake bakes.

Don't forget to wrap the pan with insulated cake strips - they really eliminate a hump from forming as the cake bakes.

I pulled the cake out of the oven when the edges started getting a little too brown, despite the fact that the center of my cake wasn't fully baked.  Next time I'd use baking cores in the center of the cake batter.   By the way, Rose says cracks in the top of this cake are to be expected.

I pulled the cake out of the oven when the edges started getting a little too brown, despite the fact that the center of my cake wasn't fully baked.  Next time I'd use baking cores in the center of the cake batter.   By the way, Rose says cracks in the top of this cake are to be expected.

Once the cake has cooled completely, decorate it with the ganache we made earlier in the day.  My ganache wouldn't hold any swirl designs so I just spread it out flat - the cake looked really boring so I added fresh raspberries.  Much prettier. 

Once the cake has cooled completely, decorate it with the ganache we made earlier in the day.  My ganache wouldn't hold any swirl designs so I just spread it out flat - the cake looked really boring so I added fresh raspberries.  Much prettier. 

As I mentioned before, the cake was very crumbly.  Since we didn't like it very much, I was left with half a cake that nobody wanted to eat.  Since the cake contained so much expensive chocolate, I couldn't bring myself to just throw it away.

As I mentioned before, the cake was very crumbly.  Since we didn't like it very much, I was left with half a cake that nobody wanted to eat.  Since the cake contained so much expensive chocolate, I couldn't bring myself to just throw it away.

So I placed the leftover ganache covered cake into the bowl of my stand mixer with a splash of heavy cream and mixed it up.  

So I placed the leftover ganache covered cake into the bowl of my stand mixer with a splash of heavy cream and mixed it up.  

Incidentally, this is the same technique used to make cake balls.

Incidentally, this is the same technique used to make cake balls.

I scooped the mixture using a #50 scoop.

I scooped the mixture using a #50 scoop.

Then I melted some callebaut callets to drizzle on top.

Then I melted some callebaut callets to drizzle on top.

Still not great, but I can stick them in the freezer until I find a use for them.   Until next week - thanks for visiting. 

Still not great, but I can stick them in the freezer until I find a use for them.   Until next week - thanks for visiting. 

links to more alpha baker photo tutorials