I love to bake cakes for people. I will volunteer every chance I get to make one for a special occasion. Well, if it is for a small crowd - occasion. I guess it is the artist in me. Not the artist that draws a horse that looks like a messed up dog but the artist that can see chocolate for what it is, perfect, especially layered.
So, when my colleagues decided to throw our coworker a bridal luncheon for just us gals, I volunteered to make the cake. Not just any cake, but a Hershey's chocolate cake. Dressed from bottom to top and in between with more and more chocolate.
I added the batter into two 9" pans. Baked the cakes and cooled them. While the cakes baked and cooled, I made the frosting filling and ganache icing. I always use the same ganache recipe found on the Joy of Baking site. It also gives you instructions on how to properly layer and ice a cake with ganache (or any frosting or icing for that matter). First, I sliced the 2 cakes in half to make a 4- layer cake. I added my frosting to the layers and stacked them, making sure I put a nice flat smooth cake layer on top to round off the cake. I then, brushed off the excess crumbs from the cake with a paper towel in a sweeping motion. I highly recommend Youtube for demonstration videos on how to do this. A smooth side and crumb coating make a big difference to a homemade cake. The crumb coating is a thin layer of the frosting or icing, in this case, ganache, applied to the outside of the cake. The crumb coating traps the crumbs and keeps a smooth finish on your cake while you frost. I left mine on my cake for about 30 minutes in the fridge just to be safe. For regular frosted cakes not using ganache or whipped topping, you can let the crumb coat set for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Next, I frosted the Tres Chocolates cake with the ganache icing by basically dumping the melted chocolate over the cake and spreading it evenly over the cake. If some of the chocolate drips on your serving platter, just use a warm, clean cloth to wipe it off the edges. You can even place the cake on a wire rack with a catching tray or liner of some sort and frost it that way. Then, you let the chocolate on the cake set really good before lifting it up and placing it on your serving tray.
Finally, I added dipped strawberries that I made with seasonal fresh fruit and melted Hershey's kisses with a touch of butter. Of course, you dip the strawberries in melted chocolate and let them set on wax paper until hard. Then, you transfer the dipped strawberries on top of the cake. I made one for each lady that RSVP'd.
The result? A very rich chocolate cake that made a blushing soon-to-be bride very happy. Her guests, too.
I really loved the moist, dense texture of the cake and the combination of different chocolates was really nice. The strawberries added a special touch, too. This cake goes perfectly with a nice glass of wine or champagne, even a tall glass of cold milk!
This cake is not difficult to make, but it does take a little time.
I will definitely make it again for fellow chocoholics like me!