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Ha! Cha! Cha! Cake with Whipped Ganache

Recipe: Ha! Cha! Cha! Cake with Whipped Ganache

Remarks:

    This is sort of a Mexican chocolate cake. The zing from the pepper jelly and the exotic flavor of the cinnamon will make your taste buds jump, and your guests will really be surprised by something different.

    This dessert is almost as easy as tossing things in the mixer and letting it fly. The whipped ganache is not for the complete rookie, but that's only because you have to be careful to turn the mixer off at the right point. If the thought of that scares you, look up the recipe on this site for regular ganache or for the Ghirardelli Whipped Cream frosting. Both of those are in the dessert section and are super simple. Either will taste great on the cake.

Ingredients:

    Ha! Cha! Cha! Cake
    1 box Devil's food cake mix
    1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
    1 cup water
    3 eggs
    2 tsp cinnamon
    2/3 cup frozen mini chocolate chips
    2 Tbl red pepper jelly

    Whipped Ganache
    16 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    12 oz whipping cream

Instructions:

    Ha! Cha! Cha! Cake
    Put all of the ingredients (except the chips, the pepper jelly and the frosting ingredients) in a mixing bowl. Mix on Low to incorporate the ingredients. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Now start the mixer again on Medium High and let it run a full two minutes. Add the chocolate chips and slowly mix them in just until combined. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 X 13-inch pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Test for doneness with a toothpick. If no batter sticks to the toothpick when you stick it in the middle, the cake is done.

    After the cake cools you're going to slice it in half across to make two rectangles of 6-1/2 X 9 inches. Place one rectangle on your serving platter. Spread the red pepper jelly on top of the first layer. Use a frosting spreader or knife and do it gently. Two tablespoons is about the right amount. You are only trying to put a glaze layer on the cake. The pepper jelly has a real kick to it so you don't need a lot.

    Whipped Ganache
    16 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    12 oz whipping cream

    Put your chopped chocolate in a glass or heatproof bowl. Heat the whipping cream in saucepan on Medium High. Keep an eye on it. You are going to bring it just about to a boil. When you see the bubbles forming around the edge of the pan and it's just coming to the boiling point, you are ready to take the cream off of the heat and pour it over your chocolate. Then stir the mixture with a whisk until all of the chocolate is melted and it's a beautiful smooth mixture. Let this mixture cool to room temperature. Do not let it harden. Stir it once in a while to keep it smooth.

    Your next step is going to be to separate one-quarter to one-third cup of the dark ganache to use as a drizzle for your finished cake.

    Now get out your mixer and prepare to whip your ganache just like you whip cream to make regular whipped cream. Turn the mixer on High. Whipping ganache is an art. The trick is to get it to lift and lighten just like whipping cream and to turn it off before it turns to butter. The trick is to know when to stop and it's difficult to describe. Depending on the humidity in the air and the power of your mixer, this will take about 5 minutes. Right from the start, the color of the frosting will begin to lighten and the texture will begin to rise up just like whipped cream. You're watching for the light peaks to form. When this happens, turn the mixer off. You're ready to frost your cake.

    Be ready to frost FAST. Work diligently and quickly, first putting a gentle layer of frosting over your pepper jelly. Place your second layer of cake over your first layer. Now quickly put a layer of frosting over each of the ends of the cake where you cut it in two. You want those areas covered so you don't have crumbs dragged over your finished cake. Then liberally cover your cake with the remaining whipped ganache. You'll notice the frosting starts to stiffen, so work quickly to cover the cake. The smooth creamy frosting is easy to work with as long as you work quickly and get it on the cake. Don't be fancy. Just put it on in fluffy peaks. You're going to drizzle the dark chocolate frosting on top and it's going to be a cake with perky peaks of frosting when you're finished, not a smooth surface, so just dab on the frosting. If you're pulling at the cake too hard, the frosting might start to pull the cake away. That's when you know you're being too rough. Just work quickly and smoothly and you'll be just fine. The results, believe me, are worth it!

    And finally, drizzle the dark chocolate frosting on top.

Serving Suggestions:

    Store the leftovers in the refrigerator and, if you're not going to serve the cake within a few hours, I'd suggest you store it in a cool place because of the whipping cream. Take the cake out of the refrigerator well before you want to serve it.

    It's nice to serve it the first time without refrigeration. The taste is amazing! After that, the leftovers served even right from the refrigerator are a real taste treat!

Enjoy!

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