Felix’s Chocolate Ganache Cake
My husband, Felix, absolutely loves sacher torte, and this chocolate cake with decadent ganache is inspired by his love for that dessert. The cake is adapted from a chocolate cake recipe passed down from my grandmother. The result reflects the same richness and deep chocolatey flavor characteristic of a sacher torte, but is a little less intimidating to bake. The cake layers are drizzled in a sauce made from orange liqueur that brings brightness and depth—I typically use Grand Marnier. This is a romantic dessert—make it for someone you love!
Felix's Chocolate Ganache Cake
From the Source, Season 2Chocolate Episode
- 9 inch cake pan
- stand mixer
- 2 ounces dark chocolate chopped into very small pieces
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare one 9-inch round cake pan by lightly greasing it with butter, then lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- Combine the dark chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract to the boiling water. Pour the hot water over the chocolate and cocoa powder, then let sit for 1 minute. Whisk to melt the chocolate and mix the ingredients evenly. Add the milk and stir to combine. Set mixture aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Directly in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides in between. Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. This process should be completed in 3 additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Test the cake to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick or skewer in the middle. If it comes out clean, or with just a few small crumbs, it is done. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning the cake out of the pan to finish cooling.
- To make the filling: While the cake is cooling, combine the granulated sugar and water for the syrup portion of the filling. Bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then remove it from heat and cool slightly, Stir in the orange liqueur.
- To assemble and fill the cake, use a serrated knife or cake cutter to cut the cooled chocolate cake into 2 layers. Using a pastry brush, soak the crumb side of the bottom cake layer with half of the syrup, then top with strawberry jam evenly spread across the cake, leaving 1/4 inch free of jam around the edges of the cake. Add the top half of the cake back on top of the jam, cut-side down. Soak the top layer of the cake with the other half of the syrup—it’s tasty, so use it all! Place the cake on a wire rack set over a sheet tray. Using a 9-inch cardboard cake round makes it easy to move the cake around, and will help transfer it to a cake plate after the ganache is added.
- To make the ganache: Bring the heavy cream to a boil, and pour it over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute. Stir slowly until the chocolate melts. The ganache will come together and begin to thicken. Stir in the tablespoon of butter until it is fully incorporated.
- Pour the warm chocolate ganache slowly and evenly over the top of the assembled cake. Start in the middle, then move to the edges, so the chocolate pours down the sides evenly. Take a look at all sides of the cake to make sure it is fully covered in ganache. If needed, use an offset spatula to help spread the chocolate evenly. Allow the ganache to set for 1 hour or up to 1 day at room temperature.