Friday, June 29, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Cake Covered with Ganache

I was sitting around the house today, and became bored with the TV and internet.  Most of the time when that happens, I end up in the kitchen.  I know I'm a "big boy", but I didn't go to the kitchen to eat.  I was on a mission.  I was there to cook.  But what was I going to cook?  I like trying to make new things just to see how it turns out, and if I want to change it around or add my own twist to it.  Well, if you made it past the title of this blog, you know I ended up making a Chocolate Cake.  When I got done, I posted this picture online:
Chocolate Cake covered with Ganache and dusted with Powdered Sugar.

I was proud of how it turned out and wanted to share it.  A friend of mine also thought it turned out well, and wanted me to post the recipe on here for her to try out as well. Before I go on, I want to take a moment and give my friend, Kim, a plug for her own blog at:  She requested this, and has been a good friend over the years.  So when you get done drooling here, click on over and drool on her pages for a while and thank her for getting this recipe put up.

Now, on to the good stuff...

Ingredients for cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Ingredients for Ganache:
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

We'll start off with the cake.  Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a large mixing bowl. 

Now add in the wet ingredients except for water..  Milk, extract, eggs, and vegetable oil.

If you are hand whisking you should do this next part VERY slowly, as you do not want to cook the eggs already in your batter. Electric mixer should be okay, but still go slow, don't just pour the water in.

Start mixing your batter, and slowly pour in the hot water.  Allow each portion of water to be completely mixed before adding more.

Once all of the water has been mixed you should have a slightly runny batter.  

You can use 2 9" round cake pans, a regular bundt pan, or if you have another cake pan of equal volume.  Either spray them down with Baker's Joy (or equivalent I'm not picky) or butter your pan(s) with butter and a paper towel and lightly flour them afterwards.

Distribute your batter to your pan(s), and place them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  All ovens were not created equally, so start checking you cake after about 20 minutes.  I test mine with a bamboo skewer but toothpicks, and quite possibly for the older crowd that still uses "the broom whiskers" all will work.  Pull your cake from the oven, and when you put your skewer/toothpick/broom whisker into the cake and pull it out, it shouldn't have any wet batter on it.  If it does, put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes and test it again.  When I get a clean test, I test several areas across the entire cake, just to make sure it done evenly.

Now on to the Ganache.  This is really easy.

Pour you semi-sweet chocolate chips into a medium mixing bowl.

Add the powdered sugar to the chocolate chips.

Add the cocoa powder to the chocolate chips.

Put the butter and cream into a small saucepan and bring it almost to a boil.  Be sure to stir the entire time to prevent burning or scorching.

You can tell it's almost ready when you start to see it let off steam, and it continues to do so as you are stirring.  If you get it to boiling for a few seconds, don't worry, all is not lost.

As soon as it is ready, pour the cream and butter mix in with the other ingredients.

It might be tempting, but let it sit for about a full minute before starting to mix.  This will give the chocolate chips time to soften and allow an easier mix.  Now is also the time if you want to try out some of your extracts.  Maybe a touch of vanilla, or strawberry, maybe even a touch of coconut.  You don't have to, but it may just add another level of complexity to you tastebuds when it's time to eat.

Once it is fully mixed, drizzle it over the top of the cake.

I can see it now.  Someone has done this with a bundt pan and is thinking, "Why do I have all of this Ganache left over!".  You may have some left over with the other pan assortments as well.  It's not a mistake.  Don't flood your cake with the Ganache.  It is already a rich flavored cake.  The remaining Ganache is for plating the slices.  If you serve on small plates or saucers, spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of Ganache onto the plate, and then place a slice of cake on top of it.  As you can see in the picture above, I also dusted mine with a little powdered sugar after adding the Ganache drizzle.  You can add more powdered sugar to the slices, or whipped cream.  Pretty much anything that goes with chocolate.

I admit that I like sweets.  This cake sits pretty much in the middle of the road for me.  It's very rich tasting, but it's also not overly sweet.  Be sure to have an ice cold cup of milk on standby as the perfect drink to go along with this.  

If you think this may be too much chocolate, you can swap out the Ganache for a simple glaze.  In a small mixing bowl add 2-3 tablespoons of milk.  To this you will add powdered sugar a little at a time while whisking until the mixture thickens.  It is a very quick glaze.  You can also add a touch of vanilla to the glaze for a little extra flavor. You would then drizzle it over your cake like the Ganache, but I wouldn't sprinkle the powdered sugar on the glaze.  

If you have anything you would like to add, change, or remove, then share it below.  If you have tried this one out and want to share your opinions below please do so.  You can also request me to write about almost anything.  I read every comment that goes into this blog, and I regularly check my social networks.  Feel free to contact me at any of these places, and the next article I write, might just be on your idea.  I will also give credit like I did at the beginning of this article.

As always, remember to do something good for someone else.  Pay It Forward.


  1. Oh my God it's completely by scratch. I think I'm going to have to try this just because I can.

    1. Do you think I would be cheap and use that boxed cake stuff? I usually do, but like most of my other concoctions, I want to learn how to make stuff from scratch. I think you'll be pleased with this one. The kids demolished the one I made.


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