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.
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.
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.