Saturday, January 3, 2015

Festive Chocolaty Cake with Chocolate Pinecones

I made a very festive, holiday season-style cake for a customer who was having a New Year's Eve party. This chocolate cake was very rich and covered in a semi-sweet dark chocolate ganache (a cream and chocolate mixture), and it was decorated with vines and leaves made of dark chocolate toffee, and chocolate truffle 'pinecones' for a festive flair.

What's inside?
My special Raspberry Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake recipe was used for the base of the cake (sorry, I can't share, it's a business secret and served at a local restaurant, but you could use any of the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipes from my chocolate blog site here under the 'Chocolate Brownies and Cakes' section).

Inside the pine cones I used pinecone-shaped dark chocolate mint truffle, otherwise called chocolate paté.  You can find the recipe here - choose any of the three flavours of patés to put inside, just make sure you cover them with a good coating of dark chocolate ganache so you can't see the white or milk chocolate when you cover your paté in chocolate chips to get a pine cone look. A flatter chocolate chip works well (check at a bulk store for flatter-shaped chips, like Callebaut brand), but any will do.

How to make the Pine Cones:
Simply shape your paté on a half-egg shape, then cover in a coating of ganache. Let the ganache set in the fridge for a half hour. Press chocolate chips into it in straight rows across the 'pine cone'. Use bigger chips at the back and smaller at the thinner end. If you make the shape more like a sphere (i.e. with a plumper middle) you will have something that looks like a hedgehog.  Feel free to use the same method to make hedgehogs instead!

Happy Baking (or should I say 'Caking') in 2015!

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