Is chocolate cake for Valentine's Day cliche or expected? I maintain it's necessary.
I am a big fan of chocolate cake, the super rich, ultra chocolatey kind. In fact, when visiting Cheesecake factory, where dessert is pretty much mandatory for everyone, I always take home a slice of their gazillion layer chocolate cake. What I especially love about their cake is that the layers are filled with a rich chocolate ganache type filling. I think ganache may be an unrecognized relation of crack. Just saying is all.
My favorite at home chocolate cake starts with a cake mix. No excuse really. Although the cake mix is doctored up, it's not really about the cake in the end, it's about the ganache oozing from inside the cake that makes this wonderful. Just don't think too hard about the ingredient list and the amounts of cream. While there is coffee in the cake, I don't think this tastes like coffee. It just makes the chocolate taste richer.
See, first you poke these holes all over the cake--kind of like the days of pudding cake. But instead of pudding, we are going to poor the
crack ganache, straight into those holes, while the ganache is super warm and oozy so that it soaks into the cake as well.
Then, when it seems the cake can't hold anymore ganache, we'll pour some more--into the remaining holes and over the top and sides. And then just to be sure that we meet our chocolate recommended daily allowance, we'll shave an entire chocolate bar and sprinkle that over the top. It is Valentine's Day after all. And whatever your feelings may be on whether it's a valid or commercial holiday, any day that encourages chocolate eating can't be all bad.
The beauty of this cake is that it actually gets better as it ages and the ganache continues to moisten the entire cake, so it's day after Valentine's cake as well.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Chocolate Ganache Cake
Ingredients for cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix
4 eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cold strong coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Ingredients for ganache:
12 oz dark or semisweet chocolate
2 cups cream
1 pint strawberries or raspberries
2 tbsp agave nectar or sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all cake ingredients and whisk for 2-3 minutes.
- Line bottom of 10 inch springform with parchment. Grease bottom and sides of pan.
- Bake cake for 40-50 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
- Remove from pan and set on plate. Poke holes in cake.
- Heat cream to almost boiling and add in chocolate. Whisk until all of chocolate melts
- Pour half of the ganache onto cake, gently tapping cake on counter to fill holes. Spread remaining ganache over cake letting ganache run down sides.
- Let cool for 1 hour on counter.
- Shave chocolate bar and pour shavings over top of cake.
- Refrigerate cake for 3-4 hours or until ganache fully cools.
- If desired, place berries and agave in food processor and process until smooth. Whip cream.
- To serve, spread berries on bottom of serving plate, add a slice of cake and a dallop of whipped cream.