While I was home recently, my family threw a party for our good friend Jerry McConnell. It was his 85 th birthday and we had a great time. There was an insane spread of food prepared, and I was in charge of the cake. I made the chocolate ganache cake from the Barefoot Contessa. This has to be the easiest cake recipe ever and it is delicious. It takes no time to whip up and creates this incredibly thick, fudge like single layer cake with a decadent ganache frosting. My mother and I have made it for a number of occasions due to it’s ease and deliciousness.
The recipe calls for a double boiler to make the frosting. If you don’t have a real one, don’t worry. All you need is a pot of boiling water and either a glass or metal mixing bowl. Set the pot to simmer and set the bowl on top of the pot, not touching the water. Hold it with a pot holder and slowly melt the chocolate. This prevents it from burning the chocolate and helps it melt evenly.
Also, here is my tip for frosting the cake. When you put the cake on the wire rack for frosting, set the rack on top of a foil lined cookie sheet. This will make your cleanup fast and easy. If you don’t, you will have chocolate sauce all over your countertop. This was a brilliant tip from my mother. I recommend it. And I recommend you make this cake. It is a wonderful special occasion treat and a real crowd pleaser.
For the cake:
1/4 lb butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 (16 ounce) can hershey chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2 Butter and flour an 8 inch round cake pan, then cover the bottom with parchment paper.
3 Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
4 Add the eggs one at a time.
5 Mix in the syrup and vanilla.
6 Add the flour and mix until JUST combined (overbeating with make the cake too tough).
7 Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until just set in the middle.
8 Let cool thoroughly in the pan.
9 For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
10 Place the cake upside down on a wire rack and pour the glaze evenly over the top, making sure to cover the entire cake and sides.
11 You can tilt the rack to smooth the glaze. A rubber spatula is also handy.
12 Do not refrigerate.