Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Chocolate Pavarotti



                                    The Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache

I had expected this recipe to be a daunting one, yet it did not seem to present any problems. Only a few very minor cracks appeared on top of the cake that were expected. The underside was lovely and perfect.

        The ganache was made two days before the cake, and it remained air-tight unrefrigerated.

The Guittard: Collection Etiene chocolate I wanted to try was not available at the time so I chose Scharffen Berger that has precisely the right amount of cocoa, 62% and 99%. I liked the idea of the cayenne so I used a rounded off ¾ tsp of it. When I tasted it from the bowl it was excellent. When I tasted it after frosting it, however, there was a slight indeterminable after-taste, [before the golden sprinkles were put on, unfortunately with too heavy a hand].

I am curious. I have shared the cake with two ladies at work, and my husband. One lady said too spicy for her with the cayenne, one lady loved it and took it home, my husband did not like it at all. I noticed an odd flavor in the ganache.

Now I have decided to remake the cake right away. I have thrown away all the white chocolate I had, the Green and Black’s cocoa, and VaIrhona chocolate. I think it will be interesting to use the Guittard: Collection Etiene chocolate if I can find it, or possibly I will want to see if the ganache comes out the same for me with ½ tsp of cayenne instead of rounded ¾ tsp..

The batter

[somebody got loose with the golden sprinkles - oops] 

This cake. of course, is wonderful. I feel as if I have done something wrong in the ganache and although I have looked to see, I will have to re-bake it to find out.    A pleasure.


  1. I like the sparkly cake. I'm making mine this weekend. Philemon is very handsome.

  2. Hi Joan: You are ahead of the game on the Pavarotti cake! It sure looks beautiful! What could have gone wrong with the ganache, your photos don't show a thing! Your kitchen pictures make me feel right at home! Philemon looks like he is lord of the manor! My cat Kenya isn't quite that regal, but he does keep a close eye on things around the house. I will be interested to hear how you do with your second batch of ganache.

  3. It's funny because of all things, I have never had a problem with ganache. I usually make it first because it is so easy. I will make two batches now. It could have been old chocolate or too much cayenne. We shall see. Philemon is so sweet, typical of the breed.I was so far behind on the cakes that I just thought I would start fresh and then play catch up. Thanks for stopping by. I really admire your creativity.

  4. I love your baking center! So glad to see your blog back up too. Your cake looks very regal, and so does Philemon!

  5. Joan you cake looks lovely even with "somebody's" heavy hand with the golden sprinkles - HE HE. The pictures were marvelous to see your step by step process - I felt as if I was there with you. Thank you for that! I wold really be interested in hearing about your second take on the recipe with different chocolate and less cayenne.

  6. Your blog is back! And a very nice one, I might add. Seriously, I think we should do a FB for the AlphaBaking Cats and Dogs in our baking community. I am always shooing mine away. They think it's quite exciting when the different packets of sugar, flour, etc start coming down from the cupboard. Love your baking center. I just checked out from the library Art & Soul of Baking by Sur La Table Cindy Mushet. There is a fabulous section on ingredients which covers different chocolates in depth. It has answered every fail the Alpha's had with the Pavarotti. Might check your cayenne spice or pick up a new one just to be on the safe side.

  7. I love your cake and I love the idea of the gold sugar - looks very posh and opera-y. I never thought about putting sanding sugar on a ganache, but I really like it! I might try that next time.