Wednesday, March 26, 2014

TWD: Mocha Brownie Cake

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Marcel Desaulniers

I have to say, I was so excited when this recipe was chosen. Not only for the fact that the recipe comes from Marcel Desaulniers (of which, at last count, I have five of his books), but also, I love chocolate. I love brownies. I love ganache. Sounded like a winner to me!

How does one expect to cut a cake, that is not even two inches high, into three layers? I have Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake, to thank, for her clever tip of using toothpicks inserted into the sides of the cake, to use as a knife guide. Thanks Liz!!

I did not quite have enough ganache to frost the cake completely. I ended up having to add an extra three and a half ounces of chocolate, and a splash of half-and-half to the remainder ganache in order to have a sufficient amount.

This is the first time for me, making a ganache where butter is added. I have always made it with just chocolate and cream. The butter does add a bit of richness to the ganache (as if ganache isn't rich enough already).

The photo makes this cake look moist and delicious. However, I felt the cake was too dry. Apparently so did the boys at the shop. Normally sweets like this disappear in a heartbeat. There was still about half the cake left over when I went in the next day. By the end of the day, it was still there... sad to say, into the trash it went.

I felt this was too much work for the outcome. I'm sure there are better recipes out there. And interestingly enough, this recipe is not in any of Mr. Desaulniers' books that I have.

This may not have been a hit, but his other recipes have been:

One of my favorite recipes of Mr. Desaulniers' is his Ebony & Ivory Truffles, from his book Death by Chocolate - those are to die for - I'll have to remember to share those with you one day; and his Sliced Beets with Curly Endive, Red Bliss Potato Salad, Honey Mustard Roasted Walnuts and Meaux Mustard Vinaigrette from his book Salad Days, is delicious too!

It just so happened, the day I baked this cake, it was my sister's birthday. She was on her way over to pick up her camera, and I had a slice of cake, complete with candle, to send home with her.

If you would like to attempt this recipe yourself, you will find the recipe on page 282 of Baking with Julia, or the recipe can be found on the Chicago Tribune website.

Do be sure to visit my fellow bloggers sites to see their rendition of this recipe, by visiting the Tuesdays with Dorie page for their links, listed under LYL: Mocha Brownie Cake.


  1. I have to say your cake looks delicious. I had a similar experience though...we thought the cake was dry, and I ended up throwing out half of it. I too love chocolate, brownies, and ganache, and had great expectations for this cake. I'll have to try other recipes of Marcel Desaulniers...the salad you mentioned sounds wonderful.

  2. I'm so glad my tip helped you! I've had my fair share of un-even layers until I discovered this method. Your cake is gorgeous...I think it's a matter of a minute or two between just cooked and over done. Sorry yours was dry.

  3. It looks delicious.

    I thought this cake was a little dry too, but I figured it was something I did :-)

    (Liz is pretty clever, isn't she?)

  4. I had the same experience with the cake being a bit dry! Those ganache layers look amazing. Love to hear you have 5 other books by him.

  5. wow--it looks so gorgeous! there was a lot of chocolate in this sucker, so I'm sorry to hear it had to go to the bin. :(

  6. I thought this was too dry too. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one!


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