Friday, February 13, 2015

Rose's Alpha Bakers: Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache

To celebrate Valentine's Day, the Rose's Alpha Bakers are baking something deep, dark, and delicious. Up this week is the Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache...and Caramel Whipped Cream (I finally made the amazing caramel whipped cream from the Chocolate Cuddle Cake week!).

my finished cake with white chocolate "pearls"

time for a slice, with delicious caramel whipped cream!

I had mixed feelings about this cake. The cake was a breeze to make. And I really liked the flavor of the cake - it was very chocolatey but not overpowering - but I felt the texture was a little too crumbly. It looks more firm and dense (in the pictures) than it was and, for me, the heavy ganache needed a slightly more dense cake.

And...that brings me to my next mixed feeling - the ganache. Again, the flavor was delicious, but I thought the ganache was too stiff. It was lovely and very smooth while spreading but was too hard once it was on the cake. The texture of the cake was too soft and crumbly compared to the stiff ganache; the two didn't seem to go together. My decorating plan was to make little valentine's hearts on the top of the cake by putting drops of white chocolate on the ganache and dragging a toothpick through...but the ganache hardened immediately so I wasn't able to. I had to settle for little white chocolate "pearls" on top.

Instead of the ganache, I think this cake would be lovely with some caramel sauce on the plate and a dollop of the caramel whipped cream. Next time!

The ganache was made with both 60% and unsweetened chocolate, so it was very rich and not overly sweet. There were a few more steps than usual for Rose's ganache (melting the unsweetened chocolate first, in the Lyle's Golden Syrup) but was still very easy to make.

ingredients for the ganache

first the unsweetened chocolate is melted in the Lyle's Golden Syrup

the 60% cacao for the rest of the ganache is bashed into bits

Instead of breaking out the food processor for this little bit of ganache, I just made it by hand. The scalded cream is poured over the broken chocolate pieces and stirred gently until it's completely melted, then the other chocolate-syrup is mixed in.

the stages of ganache

gorgeous, smooth Wicked Good Ganache

The ganache sets up for several hours while the cake is made and cooled. The cake was very easy to make, as all of Rose's cake are.

mise en place for the cake

first the cocoa powder is melted in boiling water and set aside

then the white chocolate is melted and set aside

the dry ingredients are combined with the melted chocolate, oil, and butter

and mixed well

then the eggs are added

and finally, the melted white chocolate

such a lovely, smooth batter!

and, voila, chocolate cake

so pretty

time for a slice, with the caramel whipped cream


Bye for now...


  1. I notice you substituted golden syrup for the corn syrup in the ganache. I was hoping this was possible because I didn't really want to buy corn syrup. Do you think it affects the flavour? Your cake looks perfect, not crumbly at all.

    1. Hi Catherine - it only makes the flavor BETTER! I also try to avoid corn syrup so I use golden syrup as a substitute (even in my caramel). I definitely recommend trying it :)

  2. I can just imagine this cake with the caramel whipped cream! So delicious.

    1. It was a great accompaniment! Although I think that whipped cream would go with anything!

  3. Your cake looks so tall and beautiful sides! Great idea with the golden syrup. Next time i'll do this too! :)

    1. I love the golden syrup! I always use it instead of corn syrup.

  4. the cake looks wonderful and tall and also nice that you put pearls on top...

  5. Love the pearls!! Your cake looks great. I was thinking about that whipped cream, would have made it myself except I had used all the cream in the ganache! Nice pictures!

    1. Thanks! I loved your ganache piping too...very pretty.

  6. you made the caramel whipped cream! yay. too bad you didn't care for the cake. oh well. i like the look of the white pearls, even though it was unintentional.

  7. Yay for caramel whipped cream! Love your cute polka dot design :).

    Patricia @ ButterYum

    1. Thanks Patricia - your decorating was lovely! I loved the raspberries.

  8. ב''ה

    I agree that the caramel whipped cream went nicely with this. Great step by step pics!