|There it is in full glory :o)|
I served this cake at a dinner party tonight and it was a big hit. Everybody loved how chocolatey it was. Although I didn't tell them about the tomato, they didn't taste anything "funny". I was going to tell them afterwards, but I forgot. Will let them know when I see them again.
For step-by-step pictures and my final thoughts and tips, please continue reading.
Since I cut the recipe in half, I used two 6" pans. The batter was thick and satiny. It required a spatula to smooth it out.
|Before and after smoothing|
Because I wanted to make sure this cake tasted good, I made a couple of samples for us to try on Saturday, before serving them to our guests on Sunday.
|My two Quality Control samples|
I covered them both with the ganache, which was still runny at the time. I like how shiny the ganache is.
|Quality Control sample #1|
|Quality Control sample #2|
I frosted the cake with the whipped ganache on Saturday night.
|The frosting is done. After a good night's rest, the project continued.|
On Sunday afternoon, I decorated the cake with the Pirouette cookies. After I was half way done, I realized I didn't have enough cookies. If I had done my math, I would have realized that the circumference of a 6" pan is not half of that of a 9" pan (it's more like 2/3s). With only 2 hours before my guests' arrival and other things to do, I didn't have time to go to the store. My husband had just started shaving at this point, when I stormed into the bathroom to tell him about my HUGE problem (haha. Oh boy, can I exaggerate, or what? It's a good thing I can laugh about it now). He was the voice of reason and said "just space them out more". What a great idea! As I started pulling the cookies off, the ganache frosting came off with it. Uh oh. Don't panic. I "spackled" the gaps with some leftover ganache but it didn't look pretty. And now that I have more space between cookies, those imperfections will show. Hmmm... what to do? Hot water! I carefully dipped my spatula in hot water and dried it, and then smoothed out the imperfections. YES!!! It worked. I even had some cookies left in the end. I guess I could have arranged them closer together but I wasn't going to remove all those cookies again!
|My friend said it looked like the cake was imprisoned, haha!|
The cocoa truffles were made using a mixture of chocolate cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake scraps, from a previous cake project. I simply rolled them between the palms of my hands and rolled them in cocoa.
|Ta-da. A slice of Chocolate Tomato Cake with (not-so-mystery-anymore) Ganache!|
- Although the cake was a bit on the chocolatey side for my husband, he liked it. He couldn't detect any tomato in it (I'm sure he would have if I had told him beforehand, haha). He gave it an 8.5 out of 10 rating, citing his biggest criticism was that the cake was too crumbly. I noticed it was crumbly too, but I really enjoyed the velvety texture once the cake enters your mouth. It just melts. The cake wasn't overly sweet, which is a big plus in my book.
- For the ganache I used half 58% Ghirardelli chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate. It was the perfect balance for me. The tomato soup in it must have also added some sweetness to it.
- I substituted 1 oz of oil for 1 oz of butter to keep the cake moist.
- The top of the cookies were adorned with leftover Lacquer Glaze I had in my freezer.
- Everyone had a slice and one of my friends had seconds. All in all, I'd say this cake was a big hit!