Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake, Easiest and Best Ever Ganache

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

Remember this cake:

I posted it last week and felt it was trying to do too much at once. Well, there were some in my camp, but there were a good many others who thought I was a loon and that it was really really good. My brother-in-law called it a masterpiece. My daughter--who has only requested this cake for her last 2 birthdays and who had requested it this year again, changed her mind when I made this pumpkin cake and wanted it for her birthday. I'm not one to deny birthday girls their birthday dreams (well, at least when there's a cake involved).

And then I gave it to a couple of my friends after the party and one requested the recipe, I thought, "Okay, I can take a hint already," and I promised I'd post the cake. It's not my number one ever favorite (kisses to you mon chocolat--is that even a language, who knows). But it's a dang good cake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake
adapted from Amanda's Cookin'
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cost: $2.65
(flour: .20, cocoa: .15, brown sugar: .40, white sugar: .10, oil: .12, yogurt: .10, eggs: .10, pumpkin: .99, chocolate chips: .45, other stuff. 04))

2 C all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 1/4 C brown sugar
2/3 C white sugar
3/4 C canola oil
3 large eggs
15-oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 C plain yogurt or sour cream (I used yogurt because that's what I had)
3 oz or 1/2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch pans and line with parchment paper or waxed paper, then grease the paper.

Whisk together flour,l cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Beat together sugars and oil. Then add eggs and beat. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and yogurt, and beat.

Mix wet mixture into dry mixture. Add chocolate chips (Note: The original recipe chopped these up, which is what I did the first time. However, I tend to prefer chunks of chocolate in my treats and this time left them as whole chocolate chips and did not regret it with each chocolate pop in the bites I took.)

Put in greased pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a fork inserted comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a rack. (If you allow cakes to cool too long in their pans, they tend to get stuck, so don't ignore this step, okay.)

Frost as desired. I recommend a cream cheese frosting or a chocolate frosting or, heck, a cream cheese frosting with chocolate ganache. The ganache is actually a really nice contrast to the creaminess of the frosting.  We did a cream cheese frosting with caramel mixed in, but the caramel really got lost for me, so if you're going to add it, drizzle it on as you would a ganache.

Recommended ganache: The texture of this one is really butt-kicky with the cream cheese frosting. I was able to pour it on the cake pictured above. I was also able to let it cool just a bit longer and pipe it onto Elizabeth's cake below.

2 oz. cream (1/4 C)
4-5 oz chocolate chips (2/3 C or so of chocolate chips)

Put in microwave bowl and microwave at 20 second intervals, mixing in between until smooth. When smooth, allow to cool until still pourable (or pipe-able). If you'd like to pour, let it cool until not hot, but pourable. You want it kind of lukewarm-ish (too warm and it will melt your frosting and drip all over the place; too cool and it will be a big tasty blob in the middle of your cake).

If you'd rather pipe it, let it cool a bit more and then pipe it on as letters or decorations. Either way, I consider this the easiest and best tasting ganache ever.

Note: If you let it cool too much, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so and it will soften back up.


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