I may have mentioned that I recently returned from 4 months in Japan. (Or, you may have *hopefully* read some of my blog posts about being in Japan?) I loved Japan, and leaving was incredibly hard, but I was not able to bake while I was there.
I know. 4 months without baking a single thing. It was near torture.
So when I returned to Minnesota (at 6:30am after a day of traveling) I took a 4 hour nap before bundling up in a million layers in order to brave the cold and walk to the grocery store for ingredients. Soon after, I set off on a baking adventure!
I was so starved of baking, but still jet lagged and culture shocked enough, that I needed a recipe that would be exciting, creative, new….and still somehow simple. I searched through my Pinterest archives and found two recipes that I wanted to make 1) a chocolate cake with a chocolate sheet wrapped around the outside, and 2) white chocolate cranberry truffles. I ended up making both, but using the cranberry sauce for both recipes.
I chose this cake recipe because of how simple it was. I wanted to focus on the Chocolate Wrap and having simple flavors throughout the rest of the cake. Basically you just add everything together and let the oven do all the real work!
I also used an incredibly easy recipe for chocolate ganache to coat the cake. All you need to do is heat up some milk and then pour it over some chocolate and voila~ finished!
As mentioned, I used the Cranberry Sauce from my White Chocolate Cranberry Truffles. By the time I used it, it had been thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator.
When you are ready to assemble, get all the components and start with the cake. Split the two cakes in half so you have four layers. I spread ganache on one side of one layer, then flipped it on top of a layer spread with cranberry so that each layer had both chocolate and cranberry sauce on it.
After the cake was stacked, I frosted the top and sides with the ganache.
Now comes the challenge! Cut a strip of parchment paper and lay it on your work surface (which should also be covered somehow). Pour some melted chocolate on the strip of parchment paper and spread it out evenly with an offset spatula. You don’t want this to be too thick, but it also needs to be thick enough to stand up nicely and stick to the cake.
Let the chocolate cool for several minutes, so that when you pick up the strip it doesn’t drip. When you are ready, pick up the strip and wrap it around the cake (obviously with the chocolate side touching the cake). Make sure to straighten the top and add chocolate to any areas that look messy or that you touched while moving it. I also added some chocolate to the edge where the cake met the chocolate wrap on the inside of the cake. No one will see this because of the berries, so it doesn’t matter if it is messy.
Let the wrap completely harden. I stuck my cake in the freezer for a bit, which hardened it very quickly. When you are ready, gently remove the parchment paper from the outside of the cake.
Now comes the fun part! Filling the top with berries to decorate!
The cake had a great mixture and combination of flavors, and though it was not entirely purposeful initially, it worked out wonderfully. Perfect with a cup of tea! ^_^
Chocolate Cake Recipe
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease four 6 inch pans.
2) Whisk the dry ingredients well in a large bowl
3) Add all other ingredients except for the water to the large bowl and combine.
4) Stir in the water to the batter, then divide evenly among the prepared pans.
5) Bake for around 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
6) Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1) Heat the cream on the stove until it begins to simmer.
2) Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and pour the hot cream over the top.
3) Whisk the chocolate and cream until it forms a smooth and shiny ganache.
**Cranberry Sauce Recipe is on my White Chocolate Cranberry Truffles page! Make sure to check it out!