Rich, chocolaty, and so very festive, this chocolate cake with ganache frosting is worthy of a party. Ganache has many applications in pastry, and here Chef Paola Velez uses it to make the silky-smooth frosting to top her chocolate cake. If you’re making the sprinkles from scratch, remember to start one day ahead so they can dry overnight.
For the Chocolate Cake;
⅔ cup olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
⅓ cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
Pinch of kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache:
5 ounces roughly chopped dark chocolate (not above 64% cacao)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
Homemade Sprinkles (see recipe below) or store-bought, for garnish
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Make the cake
Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with 1 3/4 to 2-inch high sides with olive oil. Line bottom of pan with a parchment paper round and lightly brush with oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add coffee, yogurt, vanilla, and 2/3 cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and, using a whisk, mix batter until fully combined. Switch to a rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl and fold the batter a few more times to fully combine until flour is fully incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan; tap cake pan once on a work surface to release any bubbles. Bake cake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes; let cool in pan. Run a small offset spatula or a table knife around edge of pan to release cake. Invert cake onto a plate and peel off parchment paper.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache
Place chocolate in a medium mixing bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine cream, corn syrup, and salt; heat, stirring occasionally, until just starting to simmer and is warm to touch; pour cream mixture over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Whisk to create a smooth chocolate ganache; let stand at room temperature until ganache thickens into a shiny, pudding-like frosting, about 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, spread ganache over top of cake and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Cut slices with a knife dipped in warm water and wiped dry.
To make your own sprinkles for the cake, start one day in advance, and be sure to have access to a cool, dry place to dry the sprinkles. Use cocoa powder to color and flavor chocolate sprinkles or omit the cocoa powder and use natural food coloring for rainbow sprinkles.
2 cups confectioner’s sugar; 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional); 1 ½ tablespoons meringue powder; 3 tablespoons water, or more; Natural food coloring (optional)
1. Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder (if using) into a large bowl. Whisk in meringue powder. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, gradually beat in water, tablespoon by tablespoon, until a smooth, shiny, and spreadable texture is achieved. Stir in desired food coloring, if using. Add mixture to a piping bag and cut off 1/16-inch from tip to create a very small hole, equivalent to the tip of a pencil.
2. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, pipe long strands lengthwise. Allow to dry at room temperature until hardened, about 24 hours. Once fully dried, break apart with hands to create 1- to 2-inch shards.
Recipe posted on FoodAndWine.com