Chocolate Berry Walnut Cake
Happy birthday Tiff! I wanted to make something extra-special, so I tried my hand at chocolate ganache. I combined a few recipes, so the cake and ganache are adapted from Simone Rugiati and Licia Cagnoni, and added a berry-jam glaze from Betty Checkett on Allrecipes.com. The cake is very nutty, and next time I would put a thicker berry glaze layer. I think this is the prettiest thing that I’ve ever baked!
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbspn cocoa powder
- 2 tbspn cornstarch
- 2 1/2 cup ground walnuts (or very finely chopped)
- pinch of salt
- 300-400g baker’s chocolate, and reserve a handful of pieces for decoration
- 4 tbspn butter
- 2 tbspn whipping cream
Berry jam glaze
- 1/2 cup seedless berry jam
- 1 tbspn apple juice
- 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and cream the butter with sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs in one at a time.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and cornstarch into the mixture, and beat until smooth. Add the almonds and stir to combine.
- Butter and flour a spring-form pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before removing from pan.
- Once the cake is cooled, the glaze and ganache can be added. To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until smooth. Remember that the consistency is thinner over heat, but if you find that the glaze is too thin, take a few spoonfuls of the glaze into a bowl and add some cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved in the bowl, return to the saucepan, incorporating with the rest of the glaze until a desired consistency is reached.
- Remove glaze from heat and immediately brush over the cake. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, or until set.
- Once the glaze has cooled and set, prepare ganache by cutting chocolate into smaller pieces. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add chocolate and whipping cream over low heat. Constantly stir the mixture to avoid burning chocolate. Once smooth, stir in vanilla and remove from heat.
- Pour over the glaze layer in a lattice pattern so that the ganache evenly covers the cake. Reserve a small portion of ganache, and let the chocolate cool on the cake for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using reserved baker’s chocolate, make fine shavings by closely cutting chocolate with a sharp knife, cutting from different angles to achieve differently sized shavings. Sprinkle shavings on top of the ganache layer, completely covering the surface of the cake.
- Using ganache reserve, use an icing spatula and ice the sides of the cake. A trick I learned from Wilton’s is to hold the spatula out to the side, and slowly rotate the cake against the iced spatula to achieve an even layer. Refridgerate the cake until serving.