This weeks Alpha Bakers recipe, Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache, was inspired by Luciano Pavarotti, the infamous tenor. Rose notes that as he is the ONLY tenor she knows that creates sounds not of this earth; hitting [the E above high C]. Now that, my friends, is rich. Much like the cake, Rose gives us a wonderful rendition combining both white, dark bittersweet, dark unsweetened….she had me at Chocolate.
I love opera personally but I prefer my sopranos and my favorite is Cecilia Bartoli. I’ve always loved Mozart since I was inspired by his work very early in my life.
Cecilia interprets every measure, every note, every silence with masterful perfection. Her CD, this cake and a glass of Aberdeen Angus, a rich, bold wine from Argentina, my Birthday today will be perfect as well……dinner and friends..great conversation…. but I digress
So the mise en place begins for this recipe as…..
There was a bit of discussion about different types of white chocolate used, but Rose stated that the main concern was that the white chocolate contain coca butter, per her recipe instructions.
Great rule of thumb,
“always buy the best chocolate you can afford”
…Life is to short without it
I can’t help myself, I have to small dice chocolate that I’m going to melt…
Works beautifully every time
Bleached cake flour, sifted, then measured and leveled off
Mix together the sifted flour, sugar ( superfine ), baking powder and salt
Added the egg mixture in two parts to fully incorporate
Add the melted white chocolate
Pour batter into prepared 9 x 2 pan ( I used light aluminum by Wilton) with a secure, moistened cake strip
- I checked my cake at 30 minutes, still too jiggly in the center
- then again at 40, still not there yet
- then again at 45, paring knife inserted in the center still had a wet center
- then finally at 47 minutes, my paring knife came out clean.
Allowed the cake to cool, then invert and remove parchment bottom
WICKED GANACHE TIME, my favorite…..
Again, I chopped both the unsweetened ( 99 % chocolate ) and the bittersweet chocolate with 60 % Cacao with suggested range of 60 to 62 %
Allowed the corn syrup to boil by microwave heat:
then boiling at 8 more seconds
Then I added the bittersweet chocolate and stirred with a silicon spatula to fully incorporate
In my Black and Decker food processor, I processed the bittersweet chocolate until very fine
Watched the cream on medium heat until it began to create small bubbles around the peripheral of the sauce pan but not allowed to boil beyond this stage
Added heated cream to bittersweet chocolate, then pulsed in the corn syrup and unsweetened chocolate mixture, scraping down the sides of the food processor
As previously established, I like spice and heat so I choose to add the full value of the cayenne pepper….. What a surprise!
I strained the contents to catch any chocolate that did not melt fully
There was a glass bowl under the strainer
We discussed an ice bath, but Maggie Rosa stated that it can become too cold very quickly and you must keep your eyes on it. Patricia pointed out also that water is not chocolate’s best friend and can cause it to seize.
I would have HATED to have to call Willie Wanka’s Hospital for Chocolate because mine just had a seizure…. HE HE
So I went with Patricia’s recommendation to use a sheet pan which makes SO much sense….
as you are distributing the mass into a single, thin layer which will allow the mass to cool at a much quicker rate as there is mass distribution vs. a bowl just sitting there waiting to cool a non-distributed mass
Distributed Chocolaty Ganache Mass then covered in plastic wrap
Before the first crumb frosting of ganache, I cut the cake in half and placed the cake in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour so that the crumbs are less likely to be distributed during the frosting process
I really liked the heavy heat ganache and will be using this frosting with other cake recipes. Upon cutting the cake and serving, I did find the cake to be crumbly and dry.
In retrospect, a simple syrup brushed onto the cake, [ of course, Rose taught us to prick the cake to allow full absorption ] prior to freezing, would have created a cake with more moisture content and the dryness POSSIBLY may have been avoided all together.
However, the crumbly texture might need further research after this variation is resolved …..
Using this technique, you would be locking in the moisture as the moist cake will be covered by frosting.
I had a pretty good bit of orange simple syrup left over from the candied orange peel I made for the Panettone and that would have been a lovely compliment to this cake.
Think about it….
White and Dark Chocolate Cake
Orange Simple Syrup for moisture
Cayenne Spiced Chocolate Ganache
AND a bold glass of red wine
It’s a WIN WIN WIN WIN
I might try this addition / variation in a make up session.
Until next time,
HAPPY BAKING Y’ALL!
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Disclaimer: Complete recipes can not be shared in our Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher, but please support Rose Levy Beranbaum by purchasing The Baking Bible.
You can check out the work of the other Alpha Bakers at Rose’s Alpha Bakers
© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014