This technique is so much easier than you would ever dream it would be. So you have no excuse for not trying it out.
Basically, you build your cake upside down, then chill it, flip it over, remove the old base and voila! You end up with a perfectly flat top…and ganache that looks like it is defying gravity!
I would go out and make a dozen more cakes in this style, but I am down to counting the days (16) before I leave for France, and I am getting more into packing-and-freaking-out mode than I am into lollygagging about in the kitchen. There will be more kitchen adventures once I get to France though, so never fear! (Though you may want to fear a little bit…because I am not the most reliable at blogging-while-abroad as you may have noticed from my time in Japan and Korea 😛 )
Anyway. This cake was marvelous. The filling was not as put together as I wanted it to be, but since I made it without thinking in advance I really only have myself to blame for that–and I know exactly what I would do next time to make it better. That said, it was delicious even though it was on the softer side of what I originally hoped it would be.
The chocolate cake that is at the base of it all is double chocolate from the Miette cookbook, with the addition of cardamom and ginger to spice things up. I thought I would end with some chocolate frosting and chocolate ganache…but somewhere along the line I ended up buying cherry jam to use in a filling…then at the last minute bought two kinds of canned cherries which I thought I would use just for decoration, but that ended up going in the filling as well. So the cake went from being a spiced chocolate cake to a chocolate and cherry explosion. (Not that my family is complaining! Lucky for them I had no plans of gifting this cake and it all went into their stomaches only hours…or minutes…after being completed!)
Along with making this cake I took a video to show exactly how this whole “upside down” technique works–particularly because in this case it is a lot easier to see it happen than for me to write multiple paragraphs trying to explain exactly how and why everything works out:
As you can see, it all starts with a wax paper covered cake board, a huge dollop of chocolate buttercream, and then the whole cake is built as normal until it is flipped onto the serving plate and the wax paper is carefully removed. Easy peasy.
Triple Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe
Spiced Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
**Based off of Miette’s Double Chocolate Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk (I used whole milk kefir)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 1/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and coat two 6X3″ cake pans with cocoa powder. Set aside.
2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamom and ginger in a bowl and set aside.
3. Put the chocolate in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over the top of it. Wait a minute and then whisk until the chocolate has melted. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk or kefir and the vanilla.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs on high until foamy–about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in the oil, and whisk for another minute until completely combined.
6. With the mixer on low, add in the chocolate and then the buttermilk/kefir, and whisk until combined. Add in the sugar and whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is a smooth liquid.
7. Stop the mixer and fold in the dry ingredients by hand with a spatula, scraping down the sides as you go. As soon as the batter comes together, stop mixing, even if it looks a bit lumpy–thats okay!
8. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 45-50 minutes.
9. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them rest for about 20 minutes in the pans before removing them from the pans and letting them cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Keep the cakes in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap until ready to use.
Cherry Mascarpone Filling Ingredients:
4oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature**
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup cherry jam
2 cups powdered sugar
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the mascarpone cheese until it is smooth and thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add one cup of powdered sugar, mixing to combine.
2) Add in the cherry jam and mix on medium high speed for at least two minutes, or until there are few streaks of jam and everything is combined. Check the consistency and taste, and add in the second cup of powdered sugar if needed.
**I used 8oz of mascarpone, not thinking about the amount of filling I wanted, and ended up needing to add more sugar than I wanted in order to balance the texture of the filling. I assume cutting the amount of mascarpone in half will do the trick!
Chocolate Buttercream Ingredients:
1.5 cups butter, room temperature
~6 cups powdered sugar
4oz dark chocolate
1) Chop the dark chocolate and melt it just until it is smooth with no chunks in it. Let it cool slightly.
2) Beat the butter on medium high speed for five minutes, until light and fluffy, and then scrape the sides of the bowl.
3) Add in two cups of powdered sugar and beat for at least a minute. Add in another cup of powdered sugar and beat to combine, then pour in the chocolate. Beat for another 5 minutes.
4) Observe the consistency of the frosting, adding more sugar if you need a stiffer buttercream or leaving it as is if it seems to be the texture you are looking for.
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
100g dark chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1) In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chocolate and butter and stir until the butter melts. Stir until it is completely homogenized then pour into a bowl.
2) Checking the ganache frequently, wait until the chocolate is at 30C before putting it into a piping bag and piping over the top of the cake.
1 can unsweetened cherries
1 jar golden cherries
edible gold dust
**For Assembly, please watch the above video!**