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Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Perfect Light-Crumbed Cake with Ganache Frosting

A perfect slice...

A Perfect Light-Crumbed Cake with Ganache Frosting
by Victoria Challancin

In yesterday's cooking class for Professional Mexican Cooks, we made a perfect cake.  A perfect cake made at over six and a half thousand feet in altitude.  Perfect.  Light-crumbed and lovely.  For the frosting we used a chocolate ganache, added while still warm and pourable.  Beautiful.  The finished cake has so many reflections on its pretty, shiny surface, that I don't have a good photo of it, but truly it was a nice all-purpose cake.  And easy.  

Cook's Notes:  I added the high-altitude adjustments in parentheses.

Yogurt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Serves 12

For the cake:  
4 ounces (1/2 cup)unsalted butter, softened, more for greasing pan
9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour (plus 2 T for high altitude baking)
1 teaspoon baking powder (less 1/4 t for high altitude baking)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup granulated sugar (less 1 T for high altitude baking)
3 large eggs
1 1 /2 cups plain yogurt, lo- fat or full-fat (plus 2 T for high altitude baking)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the ganache frosting:
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

To prepare the cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350F (375F for high altitude).  Butter a 9-inch cake pan.  LIne the pan with a piece of parchment paper (we used waxed paper) cut to size.  Butter the paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the sugar and the butter on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low, add the eggs, and then add the yogurt and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and  bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes (it took longer at this high altitude).  Let cool completely on a rack before turning the cake out of the pan.

Make the frosting and frost the cake:
Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate and corn syrup, and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate uncovered, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until it firms to a spreadable texture, about 45 minutes (or do as we did and use it when it is warm and pourable).  Transfer the cake to a cake plate.  Spread the ganache evenly over the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula.  The frosted cake can be refrigerated for up to five days.


The ganache in a pourable stage

The ganache, tidied up a bit

...and perfect roses from my husband...

©Victoria Challancin.  All rights reserved.


John said...

I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ooh you can definitely see how lovely and light this is and I love how glossy the icing is too :)

Ben said...

I love the ganache, and the light cake. I guess I love everything about this recipe, hehe.