Since the whole concept here is sharing stuff, I thought I really should share with you what I discovered on Hannah's birthday.
It is Zucchini Time in my garden and therefore in my kitchen. Last September I posted a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake - a favorite in our house and something of a seasonal delicacy (you know, Zucchini Time and all). Hannah was in favour of having a Chocolate Zucchini Cake for her birthday cake so I turned on the oven and got ready to bake. In last year's post I said that I never frosted the cake because it was simply unnecessary. And it is but I couldn't bring myself to present her with an undecorated cake in a 9x13 pan as we sang Happy Birthday to her, so I decided to try something different - ganache. mmm-mmm-mmmmmmm. Yes, then. Anyway....
I baked the cake in one 10" round pan and one of my adorable little 6" pans - just because that worked out. (I really only wanted the large cake but who can complain about a cute little chocolate cake?) The baking time was adjusted to 45 minutes for the large cake and 30-33 minutes for the small one. If you haven't made ganache before it is stupidly easy. And it makes a wonderful cake fantastic.
(makes enough to frost both cakes)
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
Chop the chocolate fairly fine and put in a medium sized bowl.
Heat the cream and butter until it begins to steam. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and let sit for a minute or so. Gently whisk the mixture until it is smooth and shiny being careful not to incorporate air. You have just made ganache. From here you have a number of choices but if you want to frost a chocolate zucchini cake....
Pour a generous amount onto the top of the cake (I really do mean generous - you want enough to do the whole cake in one go) and using a long metal spatula push it over the top and sides of the cake. The ganache is actually easy to work with and if you have a spatula you will end up with a nice smooth surface. Shockingly, I don't have a metal spatula (and I thought I did so I had a pile of ganache sitting on my cake while I looked frantically through my drawers) so I grabbed the next best thing that I could find - my serrated bread knife and used the back of the knife. It worked reasonably well but as you can see, not perfectly. Nobody minded however.