Wednesday, February 13, 2008

French Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache


On a recent trip I came across vanilla beans - an ingredient I have been looking for ever since I started visiting Vanilla Garlic, where amazingly creative Garrett waxes eloquent about vanilla bean varieties, vanilla sugar and what not......

So, when I saw that test tube shaped bottle with three long curling-black-as-gnarled-wood vanilla beans, I grabbed it up. Isn't it an oxymoron that the bean itself is this dark blackish brown and the colour one associates it with is white....vanilla icecream, vanilla white, plain as vanilla.....
I came back and it lay on my spice rack, where I could see it while cooking. I would open the bottle and take a deep breath and place it back. It's time had not come.....my cooking depends a lot on what I feel like, I rarely cook something "just because".

And so Valentine's Day drew nearer and though I did feel like making something this year, I somehow couldn't bring myself to think of chocolates or strawberry or pink and red stuff. So I kept looking at recipes and putting it off.

Today I caught sight of my vanilla in-a-test tube and knew that this is what I wanted to make - something with this rich aroma which makes the world seem like a nicer warmer place. I vaguely remembered a recipe on Vanilla Garlic and when I checked - there it was - perfect for my mood and for the day - French Vanilla Cupcakes.

So I set about making this as a cake. I followed the recipe exactly since I wasn't sure whether the custardy consistency he referred to would make it differ in anyway. The only thing I changed is the quantity of sugar - I used 1 1/2 cups instead of 2 and it was quite sweet.

The Circle of Life

The cake was oh-so-soft! but still had a nice brown crumb. It tasted of vanilla and a dozen childhood memories......and is perfect for my Valentine's Day this year.

I had decided to make a chocolate ganache to go with this since I'm not too fond of meringues. But when it came to making the ganache, I realised I am still the girl who likes to draw and hates painting in the sketch......I didn't feel like frosting the whole cake!
I just wanted more of the creamy vanilla flavour, so I just frosted the 3 cup cakes and part of the main cake.


Three valentines for the three of us

This goes to the Serendipity Bake Off hosted by familiabencomo with help from the soapchix at Serendipity Soaps and to Pooja at My Creative Ideas for her Valentine event.

And one of the pics goes to Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi for their event Click - this month's theme is FLOUR.

16 comments:

Asha said...

I love the aroma of French Vanilla. Ganache looks fabulous Miri. Happy V day, enjoy!:)

Mansi Desai said...

that looks great Miri! I love french vanilla flavor, and garret's recipes are just so cool!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!:)

Alpa said...

i love your cupcakes! i wanna bite :)

Sagari said...

wowwwww that ganache looks soo yummy

Pooja said...

Thats nice sweet dish for your sweet hearts :) , thanks a lot for sharing an participating Miri.

Happy Vday to you all :)

Swaroopa said...

looks gr8! thanx 4 sharing...

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Hi Miri...WOW...these are so coooooool! Love the cakes & the recipe & the ganache! Did you find vanilla pods here? Am curious...never seen them here before. BTW...are you through with the Arusuvai chain? Do let me know. Thanks...

familiabencomo said...

Thank you, honey, for entering our contest! This looks super-yummy. I'm going to have to find a place to buy vanilla beans.... I know it will be expensive here (darn!)

xoxox Amy

Miri said...

Hey Deeba - Thanks for your kind words....and no I got the vanilla beans from Chennai...and no I'm not yet through with the Arusuvai chain, I answered on another comment, but will mail you also in case you don't check.

Miri said...

You're welcome - it's quite expensive here too, which is why I'm treasuring those three beans! :)

Happy cook said...

Wow super delicious. I just want to lick the chocolate ganache

Cynthia said...

Ummmmm, the place smells heavenly.

Pooja said...

thanks for reminding me Miri. I have updated the new entrant's list now :)

Jaya said...

all looks so mouth watering to me ..
i like circle of life a lot agreat cocept ...
hugs and smiles
jaya

Laavanya said...

That looks great!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Nice blog site. Loved to read and leanr.