In our house, the last two days have been all about love...which, if you're a regular reader of this blog, means it's all about food. Cake's birthday is the day after valentine's Day, so that means double the love and double the food.
Except that I've been super busy at work, so when I asked Cakes whether he had any special requests for Valentine's supper he said (rather astutely, I think), "Honey, since your cooking is so special and fantastic all the time, I imagine that, no matter what we come up with, Valentines dinner can't be any better than what we normally have." (or something like that anyway...I'm pretty sure that's what he said.)
So we had an anti-Valentine's dinner: Grilled cheese sandwiches and tinned tomato soup. I couldn't stop myself, however, from cutting the panini bread into little hearts and drawing love-hearts in the soup with sour cream. Which, as Cakes pointed out, is fine, because my special blend of dork and type-A is something he loves about me. Can this man do no wrong? Apparently not.
On the second night of love, Cakes' birthday, I made this cake, which was infinitely improved by the substitution of cinnamon for the espresso powder in the cake, and the addition of 50 grams finely chopped crystalised ginger and 1.5 tablespoons of dried ginger powder to the ganache (Of which I only made about 1/3 recipe). It had a terrific spicy bite to it which Cakes loved, as he is addicted to dark chocolate coated ginger. I also substituted canned evaporated milk in the ganache to make it a bit less rich, as I always find ganache made with cream too cloying for my palate.
The recipes was not, however, improved by icing it with chocolate buttercream frosting, which was far too rich and sweet in combination with the ganachce (which I used only as a filling). Next time, I'll make the full batch of ganache and use that for a thin coat on the outside as well as for filling.
The cake itself turns out gorgeous and dark and moist. It rises evenly instead of forming a great, cracked, tumorous mound in the middle. It's quite dense and is a velvetty, dark chocolatey cake. It would be good with a lighter icing as well. Maybe the one I made last year for my pistachio muffins.