Sunday, October 04, 2015
Truly Fall - A Time For Ganache
The signs of fall are all around. It takes the sun a much longer time...til after 7 am...to rise in the morning and evening comes much sooner, too.
The acorns are falling all around the base of the oak tree by the barn and the oak leaves are turning gold and brown and falling.
I collected a whole basket of walnuts on the deck yesterday. I prefer to gather them from the deck than from the ground because they bake on the deck and are ready to shell. The tomatoes are winding down and I harvested almost all of my pumpkins this morning and set them marching up the front steps. I changed out the wreath by the door to my fall one.
Since fall is my favorite season, it's great to see the signs of the season. There are also quite a few family birthdays around this time of year. Happy birthday to each of you...you know who you are, including the great guy in the photo at the top of the post (enjoying his cake with ganache topping) who started celebrating early, for which I am grateful.
Even though I love the crisp fall air, it was lovely that yesterday was warm and dry. Our darling daughter visited and we sat out at the table on the front deck at lunch time catching up and
admiring her new painted rock art. Isn't she talented?
Later we lounged on the wicker couch and in the rocking chair on the newer part of the front deck after gathering morning glory seeds from the little dried pods left on the plant for just that reason. Next year we will have an amazing array of morning glories if all the seeds germinate. In the evening we went into town and ate outside so as to enjoy the lingering warmth of the evening. Soon there will be chilly evenings and (we hope!) rain to keep us inside. The furniture and rug will go inside, too, for the late fall and winter.
When we were back East for our visit, I made my sailing brother his favorite birthday cake ...chocolate cake, chocolate icing and raspberry jam in the middle. Just to make it even more decadent (and because I was using a cake mix and pre-made frosting due to a scarcity of baking equipment, especially a stand mixer, in the Marshall St. kitchen) I left the frosting off most of the top of the cake and instead poured on ganache, a decadent mixture of chocolate and cream. The birthday 'boy' even got to lick the bowl.
The trick to doing this kind of topping on a cake is to let the ganache mixture cool enough that it thickens a bit and doesn't run off the top of the cake, but is still warm enough that it will pour and spread without much help from your spatula. If you pour a little out and it is too thin, just wait a bit more and try again. Those drips down the side of the cake should be drips, not fountains.
I had fun with the decorations, using star shaped multi-colored sprinkles, spiral candles and some tiny silver dragees that everyone decided were about 30 years old. My Mom was not one to throw things away that still had use. She was a keeper.
Chocolate Ganache to top a cake
4 oz. semi-sweet good quality chocolate, chopped fine
4 oz. heavy cream
Place the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl.
Over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Stir or swirl the cream to make sure all of it is hot. Pour heated cream over the chocolate and stir until mixture is smooth. Let cool, stirring gently every few minutes, until mixture reaches desired consistency.
Pour cooled ganache over the top of your cake. Use a spatula if necessary to smooth the top and encourage some of the ganache to drip down the sides. Chill in the refrigerator to set the ganache.