07 November 2009

Super Luxe Valrhona Chocolate Layer Cake

I'm always on the lookout for a good go-to chocolate layer cake that would make a good base for birthday and special occasion cakes.

I decided to experiment with a chocolate buttermilk layer cake, as I love the fragrance and fine texture of cakes baked with buttermilk. My vision for this cake was that it had to be super rich, moist and decadent, a cake that would showcase my Valrhona Alpaco 66% cocoa dark chocolate in the best possible way.

I baked a dark chocolate mocha buttermilk cake for the base, which was split into 2 layers, with each layer generously brushed with dark rum. A fluffy, whipped dark chocolate truffle frosting and sliced bananas formed the filling between the cake layers, and the entire cake was then glazed with chocolate and covered with a walnut coat on the side.

As I was making and assembling this cake, I decided that it needed to be finished in a real classy and RICH way. This was no child's cake, and its decoration should do justice to its sophistication. Thinking along those lines, I decided to decorate the cake with dark chocolate mint leaves brushed with gold dust. Each chocolate leaf was painstakingly made by brushing mint leaves from my garden with melted chocolate, and then peeling the chocolate leaves away when they cooled and hardened. In the end this turned out to be the most labourious part of making this cake, as it was often difficult to get a clear leaf imprint and the thin chocolate leaves were also very prone to breaking.

In the end, this cake tasted every bit as rich, moist and LUXE as it looked and it was even better served slightly chilled. Definitely well worth the effort it took to make it.


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