Saturday, December 18, 2010


Two for the effort of one
This is another do-ahead dessert and the recipe, easy, is for two cakes. It's a combination of two old recipes I tweaked. Make today, wrap and freeze. The base is the same genoise-like cake used for the Buche de Noel. (

Make the cake and cool as directed. Then, slice the cake across the middle of the 15-inch side of the pan. Slice each half into thirds. Trim pan-side edge of pieces. Each piece will be about 7 inches by 3 inches. Cut two pieces of cardboard, same size as the layers, so each cake will have a base.

Make the filling/icing. Purists may reject the recipe because the ingredient list includes corn syrup. Too bad.


2 cups heavy cream
4 tbs unsalted butter
4 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate*
* you can reduce the amount of chocolate by 4-6 ounces if you want; the result will be a softer but still firm icing.

Chop the chocolate so that it will melt easily into the other ingredients. Combine the cream, butter and corn syrup in a saucepan and heat to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add chocolate, stir once. Leave for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth and strain through a sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate until thick, about 2 hours. 

Whisk the ganache until it is spreadable. Use a long metal knife to ice the tops (generously) of the two bottom layers; then add and ice 2 layers to each base. Ice the sides of your 2 cakes (again generously) and then spread a thin layer on the tops. You now have two cakes which look like this:

Now, put the remainder of the ganache into a pastry bag with either a plain half-inch tip (or a slightly smaller one, either plain or the one with the ridged side). If you use the 1/2-inch tip, pipe tubes at an angle across the top. If you use a smaller tip, pipe at an angle or straight across, and make a border all the way around. (Reminder: make sure the ganache is not too thick for the smaller tip.) If you are going to freeze the cakes, place them on a pan uncovered and put in the freezer for an hour. Remove, wrap each in plastic and place in separate baggies before returning to freezer. To serve, remove two hours ahead of time. Voila.

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