Chocolate cake/icing like William Greenberg's used to make?
No, I'm not looking for his precise recipe since I'm sure that's not public information. However, I grew up in NYC and was lucky enough to be treated to occasional chocolate cakes from William Greenberg's for such things as birthdays. The problem is a) I now live in Seattle, b) the bakery got sold and c) no chocolate cake or chocolate icing I have made or bought since then has come even remotely close.
The qualities this cake had and that I'm seeking in a recipe:
- very small crumb that's a balance of moist and dry, tastes like chocolate, and has the consistency of very smooth cake (not like a flourless, but not like a big puffy cake either)
- icing that is extremely smooth/silky, not at all fluffy, and not thick/dense like a ganache but not like a layer of liquid either. Tastes very chocolatey.
Cake and icing both not too sweet.
I had a slice of this cake some 20 years ago and it seems to me, IIRC, that the icing was a buttercream. All else I can remember about the cake, aside from the fact that it was very good, was that it most likely was made with butter and melted chocolate, not oil. The cake was most likely made with cake flour, or a proprietary flour blend, as it had a fine, tender crumb.
As for the coffee addition, the bakery possibly added it, but coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate and is not a flavor that is obvious. So whether it contained coffee or not would be difficult to know.
It was a shame when the bakery changed owners. His bakery made delicious and highly praised cakes for the NYC crowd. Maybe you'll have to do some further experimentation on your own to duplicate this.
I was wondering if this request ever yielded any recipes of note? I too grew up in NYC and had many a William Greenberg chocolate cake for special occasions. I have never had another bakery ever come close. You are right it wasn't ganache and it wasn't flourless, but it was so wonderful! Who, Where, and why can't we find this legacy cake at the current WG desserts in NYC. So sad :( Anyway, I am trying my best to recreate and any advice would be appreciated
Is it possible that the icing was a beaten ganache, which has a very different texture than a ganache that is just poured. I also suspect that this cake might have been made with oil as opposed to butter. Does butter count as dairy for kosher Jews? An oil based cake would be able to be eaten at any time as opposed to one with butter if that is the case. An oil based cake tends not to be too fluffy. Also, if it was very chocolatey tasting, it might have some coffee as liquid in the batter.
Rosie's Bakery cookbook (which is out of print and I've lost mine) has a recipe for blender chocolate frosting. It's pretty much just 6 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate, a bit over 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 and 1/2 cup sugar. You whir it all together in a blender until it thickens and motor makes a different sound. THen rest at room temp. It's not dense or fluffy - more like a very thick pudding, and really chocolatey.