Its my besties birthday and I was frantic to make this one special for her. Perfect cake, perfect crumb, perfect ganache and lots of love to make it über special for my love.
Maybe this time , I’d make one using all (some) of the recipes I have loved and surprise myself. And did I? I was pleasantly surprised (well not pleasantly I was kinda dancing, but hey that’s between us ok? Good. ) This is the cake I’d make on a birthday. Simple yet exquisite. A moist crumbly interior with a subtle hint of caramelization, the surprise crunch of toasted walnuts and the warmth of a dark chocolate ganache. To me, a hell lot of happy eaters and one friend who couldn’t stop beaming with pride (Not me, my bestie duh!)
You can either make this cake in advance, or rush it through . Like me. Either way, you’re going to be one happy(proud) baker!
For the cake:
50 gms margarine
50 gms butter(skip salt if using a brand that uses salt, like Amul)
30 gms cocoa powder
100 gms dark chocolate
100 gms white sugar
50 gms brown sugar
3 tbsp oil (neutral)
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence/ 1 vanilla pod
130 gms all-purpose flour
30 gms chopped walnuts (lightly toasted)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
For the ganache:
200 ml heavy cream
100 gms chopped dark chocolate
3 tbsp sugar (optional)
For the cake:
Grease one 8″ pan with butter and line with parchment paper.
Melt margarine until the water is evaporated, and add the butter. Caramelize this butter until you get subtle whiffs of a nutty aroma. Around 3-4 minutes. Do not overdo this, as you may end up with burnt butter and have to repeat this step. If the butter has burnt, you’ll know (By the smell).
On low heat, add in the cocoa, sugars and dark chocolate. Mix until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Once cooled,add the oil, egg and vanilla one by one, beating well after each addition. Fold in the walnuts.
Mix the flour, salt and soda in another bowl and slowly add this to the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix!
Bake at a preheated oven at 170℃ for 20-25 minutes or until done. Make sure you don’t overbake.
Once done, invert on a rack and let it cool.
For the ganache:
Pour cream into a pot and bring to heat until small bubbles are formed at the corner of the pot, but the cream isn’t bubbling. Once you can see tiny bubbles indicating that its done, pour this onto the chopped dark chocolate pieces. Let it rest for around 2 minutes and stir until smooth. Add in the sugar if you find this to be too bitter. You can adjust the sugar according to your own preference. Refrigerate until needed. (Make sure at least 30 minutes)
Though the consistency will seem off, once in the refrigerator it will thicken up as it cools.
To assemble the cake:
Split cake into halves. Place one half on a cake board and leaving at least half-inch at the sides and spread half of the ganache over it. Take the other half and gently press onto it Some ganache may ooze out if you didn’t leave the half-inch as indicated.