I recently became enchanted with Glory’s ombre swirl cake. Ombre describes a design technique that features a graduation from dark to light color. Like this:
Martha Stewart is a big fan. This has now concluded the design portion of the post/mini Pinterest site. Mostly because that’s all I really know about design.
Anyhoo, we recently had friends visit for the weekend. They’re great friends with many fine attributes, among them a weakness for over the top desserts. I wanted to bask in Glory’s glory, with a more frosting-than-you-really-should-eat-at-one-time, chocolate twist.
It turned out wonderfully. We were all in chocolate swirly heaven for a couple of days, indulging in one – and sometimes two – giant slices after every meal or every excuse for a meal that we could make sound legit.
For this recipe, I used Sweetapolita’s One-Bowl Dark Chocolate Cake recipe, which is quickly becoming a no fail favorite for me. I baked two 8 inch rounds and cut the rounds in half for a four layer cake.
For the filling, I started with a layer of swiss meringue buttercream, topped with 1/3 cup of chocolate ganache on each layer. Then I gave the cake the old crumb coat and finished with a double batch of swiss meringue buttercream frosting, applied to the cake in giant swirls.
To create the color (and flavor!) variation in the frosting, I started with a double batch of plain frosting and then added a few dollops of ganache and a tiny drop of brown food coloring to the whole batch for the lightest variation. From there, I kept adding more ganache and food coloring to create the two darker chocolate hues.
For the swirls, I used a large Wilton 1M decorating tip. Whenever you use the big decorating guns, the frosting goes fast. I started at the bottom with the darkest frosting, creating a row for each color. Unfortunately, I miscalculated the color ratios and ran out of the lighter frosting and had to improvise on the top of the cake with ganache and the more chocolatey frosting. Ultimately, the ombre effect was cut short, but all to good end. More chocolate for all!
Shiny Chocolate Ganache
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 T. unsalted butter
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 t. corn syrup (for shine)
1. Microwave the cream and butter in a measuring cup on high until bubbling, about 1 1/2 minutes. Or, bring to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Place the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a food processor. With the machine running, gradually add the hot cream through the feed tube and process until smooth and thickened, about 3 minutes.
3. Transfer the ganache to a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature until it is the consistency you desire (about 1 hour for spreading; 1 1/2 to 2 hours for piping). Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
(slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 sticks (1 1/2 c.) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 t. vanilla extract
1. In the heat proof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water on medium heat, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white/sugar mixture on high-speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks, about 5 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
4. If the frosting appears to separate after the butter and vanilla are added (it usually does), beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes until combined.