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May 4, 2007 05:40 PM

Epicurious Double Layer Chocolate Cake - Ganache Frosting Question

I'm making, for the first time, the Epicurious two layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting. I actually need the cake for Sunday, daughter's b'day, but have too much tomorrow to do everything then so made the cake tonight - it's in the oven right now. I plan to wrap the layers and make the frosting in the morning, frost it and refrigerate it for Sunday. According to the recipe that should be fine. However, I have a question or two...

Would it be better, as I'm planning to make the frosting in the morning and frost the cake and hold the whole thing in the refrigerator until Sunday - bringing to room temp before serving
Should I hold the cake unfrosted until Sunday, wrapped in saran as recipe says you can, and then frost it on Sunday?

Also, will there be a problem with making the frosting a day ahead before using it? I've read several suggestions regarding whipping it if you don't use it right away but this is my very first time ever with ganache in any capacity and I'm completely clueless.

Please help. The whole ganache thing - just making it - is unnerving me.Thank you!

Oh also, while I'm at it, can anyone give me a clue about why this recipe calls for butter and corn syrup in the ganache and so many others I've found are just cream and chocolate with sugar? Thanks again.

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  1. Is this the recipe?

    I would frost it first and then refrigerate. The frosting will keep the cake moister than the saran wrap. Ganache is really easy--it's hard to go wrong with it so don't let it unnerve you! The recipe is a ganache frosting, rather than a ganache. If you refrigerate ganache, it gets hard and is hard to cut (unless you take it out well in advanced) so I'm assuming this is why they add butter and corn syrup. And, you can't spread ganache like frosting, you just pour and smooth, letting the ganache drip off the sides. This sounds really good--let us know how it turns out!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      I have to agree with chowser...I've made this numerous times usually for the following day...and I've always frosted the cake & refrigerated...then pulled it out a bit before serving. I hope you love it as much as I do...I must have posted a million recommendations for this cake but only because people I've served it to go ballistic over it.

      1. re: chowser

        Yes, that is the recipe. Thanks. I think what I found really confusing was that in the picture the frosting looked like regular shiny ganache (the pour kind - I've eaten it, watched people on tv make it but not made it myself) but now that I look harder at the picture I see it does look a little stiffer/thicker.

        My daughter just ate an unfrosted cupcake made from extra batter (I used a 9" pan instead of 10"). and she said the cake was really good. I'll let you know how the whole thing turns out and the feedback from the adults.

      2. I believe that the corn syrup also gives it a sheen that regular ganache doesn't have. And I would do as Chowser suggests. I have done this a couple of times with good results.

        1. I will chime in to say "ditto" to what everyone else has said. I make this cake all of the time and it is my go to chocolate cake recipe. The cake gets better the longer it sits and depending on how you like the texture, you can choose to serve it right out of the 'fridge (fudgier) or come to room temp. Me, I like it at room temp. but that's just me. Also, posters are right, you cannot go wrong with the ganache frosting, it is delicious and very fudgey with all of that chocolate. When I frost the cake, I put strips of wax paper under the bottom layer because the ganache does drip. I love this cake with other frosting too and want to make it soon with a vanilla buttercream, my kids love it..."Got milk??"

          10 Replies
          1. re: 4chowpups

            chowpups, and anyone else, do you make this ganache in a pot or do you use a real or improvised double boiler?


            1. re: laylag

              improvised double boiler. My stainless steel bowl over the pot works great.

              1. re: laylag

                Ditto other thing about the frosting, I usually have to chill it a bit before frosting, typically, I brush crumbs off the cake with a pastry brush and then frost with a think layer of the just made frosting. Let cake sit while frosting is in fridge and then frost completely. Otherwise the frosting is too thin and just drips off the cake. Just an FYI, I used to make this with Lindt chocolate and realized that Trader Joe's lb. plus chocolate is inexpensive and comes out fantastic.
                P.S. If you chill too long, don't panic, just put back on the double boiler.

                1. re: 4chowpups

                  Thanks all. I actually just used a regular pot not double boiler for the ganache since I figured that if the chocolate wasn't added until it was off the heat, I'd have no problem. I didn't and my fear of ganache is conquered. It came out well. I let it sit, on the counter, not in fridge, and it was perfect consistency for frosting - not drippy at all. My only issue was there was "just enough" frosting. I always like there to be extra for "fixes" etc. Still, the frosted cake looks great.

                  There has been a mini taste test though with mixed results. I had 2 cupcakes of it because I used 9" pans instead of the 10" the recipe calls for. Daughter ate one and loved it. Husband had other and thought it wasn't "sweet enough". They were unfrosted.

                  Tomorrow will be the larger taste test of cake with frosting together and I'll see what the verdict is. I am concerned because the only "undutched" cocoa powder I could find around without trouble was Hershey's and used that and the ghirardelli semi-sweet block chocolate I bought at Trader Joe's. Didn't see any Callabaut block there and only TJs was the chips but will look again for the future. Does the callabaut make a huge taste difference? Also, for the future if I do make this cake again, what cocoa powder does everyone buy?

                  Sorry to be such a pain over a fairly simple cake but I don't bake cakes often but have committed to only making them from scratch since I've realized they're not all that hard. I just started recently and am trying to accumulate some "go to" recipes. I have an amazing Red Velvet recipe and now need a perfect chocolate one as well as others. I was hoping this one would be my chocolate cake but after husband's comment, not sure.

                  Again, thanks all. As always, your help is always "on the money" and greatly appreciated.

                  1. re: laylag

                    Glad the ganache frosting worked out. It is simple to make and it seems like every way I've tried it works fine. For a simple chocolate cake recipe that's good, try the black magic cake. Really easy and moist. The picture doesn't do it justice. I like it with whipped cream but any frosting is good.


                    1. re: laylag

                      The TJ chocolate is the big block that has their name on it. One of the hounds alerted me that it is Callabaut in TJ packaging. I 've been using this chocolate for other uses for years but used to sell the Dbl. Chocolate Layer cake and would buy Lindt. Tried it and molten chocolate cakes for home and they were great. The blocks come in Bittersweet, Milk with Almond and Milk and maybe even 70% which I found too bitter for these two recipes.
                      P.S. I use Hersheys unsweetened cocoa too!

                      1. re: 4chowpups

                        Are they the big blocks that are completely wrapped (vs the Ghirardelli which are in plastic)? I think they're called TJ's Pound Plus? They seem fairly inexpensive to be Callebaut. I thought they were good when I made truffles with them but didn't seem to be the same quality.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Yes, those are the bars. I cannot remember eating Callebaut straight, I've used it in the past to make candies also but I thought it was extra creamy. Either way, the quality of the TJs bars is definitely great given the price!

                            1. re: itryalot

                              TJ is short for Trader Joe's a chain of stores in the U.S.

              2. Okay all, the verdict is in. Everyone, including my husband who wasn't happy with the unfrosted cupcake, absolutely loved it. Yeah! It was a huge hit and everyone agreed it should be my "go to" chocolate cake recipe. I will look for the Callabaut next time and maybe try to find some higher end cocoa, and I might experiment with different filling/frosting for the middle layer, but this was great!

                Thanks everyone for all your help and advice!

                1 Reply
                1. re: laylag

                  When you tested these as cupcakes, how long did you bake them? I want to make the cake for friends, but having a regular-sized cake isn't feasible... and I was hoping to turn this recipe into cupcakes.