Saturday, April 21, 2012
My Ultimate Birthday Cake
I spent my actual birthday on an airplane heading back from Portland so we had some friends (and their adorable children, above) over last night for a cookout to celebrate. We had a great time (and a rousing game of trivial pursuit), but really the reason for the party was to give me an excuse to bake myself the ultimate chocolate cake. Nearly a foot tall, this cake made me very, very happy.
I know to some people, making your own birthday cake seems a little sad. To me, this is my chance to have EXACTLY the cake I wanted. I find most store-bought and restaurant chocolate cakes disappointing, with all sugar and almost no chocolate flavor. I had been planning to make a chiffon cake and improvise a whipped chocolate ganache filling with a poured chocolate ganache icing when I came across almost that exact recipe in a Food Network magazine by dad gave me.
The chiffon cake is made with oil in place of butter so it has a supremely light and tender texture. This particular cake is also made with strong coffee which brings out the dark chocolate of the cocoa powder. I used a 70% cacao chocolate for the ganache so both the filling and icing had an intense and slightly bitter quality which kept the cake from being overly sweet. That, combined with the tartness of the raspberries I beat into the whipped ganache made for the sort of cake you could eat a big ol' slice of. Which is exactly what I did.