Free Choice week always presents a problem. (Not a real problem, I hasten to add). I sometimes bake a different version of something I've baked before. This time, however, I pair something I didn't bake at all with a frosting from The Cake Bible that I'd never tried.
A few weeks ago, Woody dropped by on his way to tai chi, or broomball, or one of his esoteric activities, and invited Jim and me to sample the cake he was taking along for his buddies. Honestly, I don't even remember what the cake was, so taken was I with the frosting. He showed me the recipe (p. 268 in The Cake Bible), and problem of Free Choice week was solved! I didn't even have to bake a cake to put under the frosting because Woody had also given me several sample cakes a while ago when he and Rose were testing flours.
In case you're wondering, yes, I do know how lucky I am to know someone like Woody, who drops by the house with delicious treats, a big hug, and an even bigger grin. I just don't want him to develop a big ego to go along with the grin.
The whipped ganache begins with melting bittersweet chocolate with part of the whipping cream. (In TCB, Rose doesn't specify the cacao %. I felt giddy with freedom, and chose a 70%).
And it was. Like so many of Rose's recipes, although the directions and amounts are completely precise, there is still room for user error.
I had refrigerated the ganache briefly to make it more spreadable, but it was still pretty soft. Usually the strips of waxed paper I put under the cake while I'm frosting it will slide out easily, leaving a clean bottom line.
The cake was fine, but the frosting was so much the star of the show that one of my tasters carefully ate all the ganache and left the cake.
Jim: "This is delicious. I like the cake too, but I really like the frosting."
Liz: "I'd give the ganache an A, but I'm not even going to bother with the cake."
Sarah: "I usually don't want dessert after a big meal, but who can resist this?"
James: "Very good, especially the frosting."