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You need to make these chocolate cakes! (and Ganache 101)

May 16, 2011

I spotted this recipe for sour cream chocolate cake over at Marta Writes and I just had to make it.  I used my new bundlet pan from Target, which is awesome – plus it’s turquoise on the bottom – so cute!

After the cakes cooled, I covered them in chocolate ganache.  “What’s ganache?” you ask.  It’s heavy cream and chocolate (high quality chocolate).  I think it’s french for “chocolate-y goodness,” but don’t quote me on that.  To make the ganache I used 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of finely chopped chocolate.  (I actually used Guittard chocolate chips that are 60% cacao and have french vanilla in them.) 

To make ganache:  Chop your chocolate and place in a bowl.  Heat the cream in a saucepan until it boils (it gets all frothy and looks like it’s going to overflow – in fact, if your pan is too small it will overflow.)  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute.  Then stir vigorously for 2 minutes (even if it looks done, keep stirring!  This will ensure that your ganache is smooth)  Let it sit on the counter for about an hour to cool.  Now you can dip your cakes into it and leave them out.  The ganache will harden further so that it’s the consistency of frosting. 

Ganache is very versatile.  You can make it thicker (by using a higher ratio of chocolate to cream) and put it in the refrigerator.  Then scoop it and roll it into little balls to be coated in chocolate – this is your basic truffle.  You can also vary the chocolate component.  Sometimes I make it with mint chips and use it to fill chocolate cupcakes – then cover the cupcakes in regular chocolate ganache.  It’s delicious, plus it’s fun to say, “Ganache, ganach, ganache!”  See?  Try it!

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