Bittersweet Cocoa Almond Genoise
Posted: 30 July 2011 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, all! 

I will be making this cake for the end of September and was wondering the following:  What is your fave incarnation?

Julie, is your fave still the version with your own invented mocha ganache?  Or do you prefer the melted light whipped gananche as a glaze?  Do you like it best with espresso powder in it?  With rum?  Neither? 

What is the best way to do the almonds (I also have a separate almond post) —finely ground or blanched almond flour?  I know the recipe says unblanched, but I think you—or was it Jenn—mentioned liking it with blanched almond flour.

Any shape faves?  I only have a big bundt pan, so I’m probably limited to that (Fleur de Lys bundt) or layers.

Thanks for your thoughts!!

—ak

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Posted: 31 July 2011 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Anne in NC - 30 July 2011 03:45 PM

  What is your fave incarnation?

Probably paired with either stabilized whipped cream (vanilla or coffee flavored) or a thin coat of the dark mocha ganache that I posted.  A while back I tasted bites of this cake with a bunch of different flavors- orange zest, brandy, rum, coffee, grand marnier, amaretto, frangelico, etc., and I thought the best was coffee.  I normally like cakes and ganaches with brandy, grand marnier or rum, so I was a little surprised. 

The thing with this cake is that it is a not-too-sweet cake, even more so than Rose’s other chocolate cakes.  Because of that, if you pair it with anything that is even slightly too sweet, it detracts from the cake and makes the cake taste worse, instead of better.  My sense is that all buttercreams are too sweet for it, and that most versions of ganache are too sweet and/or too intensely flavored.

It is also nice baked as a torte layer and then covered in chocolate curls (no frosting).

Do you like it best with espresso powder in it?  With rum?  Neither?

If pairing the cake with a frosting that has coffee in it, I wouldn’t add any extra flavor to the cake.  If skipping frosting or pairing it with vanilla whipped cream, I would add instant espresso to the cocoa/hot water mixture.

What is the best way to do the almonds - finely ground or blanched almond flour?

  Blanched gives a softer texture to the cake, unblanched can give more flavor.  But particle size and toasting are more important than skin/skinless. 

Any shape faves?  I only have a big bundt pan, so I’m probably limited to that (Fleur de Lys bundt) or layers.

I haven’t tried this in a large (10c) bundt, only in a 6 cup size, so if you go that route it would be a test.  The bundts are nice unfrosted or dusted with a little powdered sugar.  If you’d like to frost it, a layer/ springform would be a nice choice.  I probably wouldn’t choose to fill it or stack layers, but rather keep it one deep torte-style layer.

Be sure to use a good-quality, dutched, full-fat cocoa powder.

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Posted: 31 July 2011 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Many, many thanks, Julie!

I will make the recipe ‘as written’ and then top with either use your mocha ganache or coffee whipped cream.  For the coffee whipped cream, do you use a TCB recipe?  If not how much espresso powder & sugar do you put in the whipped cream?  I’ll make it a single layer, as well.  I’m using the E.  Guittard Cocoa Rouge, so I should be good with the cocoa powder!!!  Finally, I’ll grind the raw almonds in my juicer to a flour and toast the flour, per your other post recommendation. 

Thanks again!!!!!!

—ak

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Posted: 01 August 2011 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I checked but don’t have a written recipe for the coffee whipped cream.  Often when I make a flavored whipped cream, I add the flavorings to taste along with the sugar.  I think that starting with a teaspoon of instant espresso per cup of cream might be a good place to start.

There are a couple of other frostings that may be quite good, but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.  One is the mocha version of light whipped ganache in RHC (coffee cake in sponge section).  That may or may not need tweaking to be un-sweet enough and mellow enough.  The other is the mocha whipped cream, p.253. 

The reason I ventured into the dark mocha ganache that I posted earlier was to find a ganache with the right flavor/sweetness/intensity that also had an attractive dark color.  With a lighter-colored frosting, it may be easier to find the right balance.

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Posted: 01 August 2011 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thank you!!!!

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Posted: 01 August 2011 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Anne,
When I made this I made my own almond flour (blanched almonds, grind with food processor). The filling I used very light whipped ganache (was going for whipped ganache but overheated it so it started separating, saved it by adding more cream). Ended up liking the flavor a lot (not too rich).

I used 2 9 inch pan, torted the cake into 4 layers, and made the chocolate “cage”.

Here’s my post in the forum:
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/3077/

I think coffee would work well. Agree with Julie that try adding a bit of espresso powder first and then go from there.

Have fun! I’m excited to see and hear about the results. I’m sure it’ll be fabulous!

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