Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vanilla-Dark Chocolate Mini Cakes

If you love chocolate, then you must have cakes made with ganache for a filling or frosting or both... like these!

What You Need:
Vanilla Cake Recipe*
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
White Chocolate for Drizzling

*I baked one and a half times the recipe of my vanilla cake to make enough batter to fill the 9"x13"x2" pan.

To make 24 mini cakes that are about 2" square, bake the vanilla cake in a 9"x13"x2" pan. Let it cool completely.

While the cake cools, make your chocolate ganache. Click the link for complete directions and my recipe, but in short, you need equal parts of heavy cream and chocolate. I used about 12 oz. of each.

Heat the cream just to a boil... add it to the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips or disks)... let it set for 30 seconds, and mix it together until it is smooth. Voila! Ganache.

Reserve about 1-1 1/2 cups of the ganache to top the cakes. Whip the remaining ganache until it about doubles in size. (You may need to wait for the ganache to cool a little before you can whip it. My general rule of thumb is if it no longer feels very warm when I touch it, it's ready to whip.)

To prepare your cake, level the top by removing the domed area in the middle.
(For some reason, with a sheet cake, even when I use my fave Bake Even Strips, it still domes a little in the middle. But I still use them because it domes less than if I don't use them.)

Flip the cake over onto a piece of parchment paper. Then use a cake leveler to cut the cake in half, and each half in half, to create four layers.

Use a piece of cardboard covered in foil to remove the top three layers.
Spread 1/3 of the whipped ganache onto the bottom layer.

Repeat with the next two layers.

End with the top cake layer-- do not spread the ganache on this layer. You will do this on each individual mini-cake.

To create square cakes, using a bread knife, I cut the cake to a 8"x12" rectangle. I put rulers on either side of the cake to make sure I cut straight edges.

To cut the squares, I again use two rulers, and cut it two inches in...

Then pull that section out and cut each two-inch square.

Remove these to individual doilies.

To spread the ganache over the top, use a small spatula. Puddle a small amount on the top of the cake, and push a little drip over the edge of each side, allowing it to drip down. You want to be sure your ganache is neither too warm nor too cold for this step. If it's too warm, it will pour down the side and make a mess. If it's too cold, it doesn't drip down the side at all.

Drizzle white chocolate over the top, using a disposable decorating bag with a small hole cut in the tip.

These will need to be stored in the refrigerator because of the ganache.

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