This is like a jazz up version of a simple chocolate loaf cake with an easy to make Rocher glaze.
Here are some of the tips for a successful bake:
CHILL THE CAKE BEFORE BAKING TO CREATE A DOMED CENTRE
If you want your cake to have some height in the center that domes during baking, it is recommended that you place the batter that was previously filled in the baking tin in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
The second thing you will need to do in order to achieve a domed center is to bake the chilled cake in an oven that has been preheated at a very hot temperature, having turn down the temperature slightly once the cake is in the oven.
The sudden height in temperature will disallow the cold cake batter to come to room temperature and then rise gradually, which in turn forces the centre to rise up exponentially.
Once you have achieved a domed center, you can lower the temperature during the rest of the baking process to prevent burning on the top.
HOW TO ACHIEVE A SMOOTH GANACHE
If you have read my post about Chocolate Tempering, and if you are using Coverture Chocolate for the ganache, they consist of stable crystals in the cocoa butter fat, which is the natural fat to cacao bean. These stable crystals, often also called beta IV crystals, is essential to give you the smooth mouthfeel to your ganache and a glossy finish.
In order to achieve a smooth and glossy ganache with no signs of splitting, temperature control is crucial.
The rule of thumb is to bring your cream/ liquid to a boil and allow it to settle before pouring it into the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit in the hot liquid for 2 - 3 minutes to gradually melt before stirring to fully form a ganache.
Once the ganache is achieved, you will need to emulsify them in a deep jug with a stick blender. The blade of a stick blender helps break up the fat and water molecules in small particles, which will suspend in the emulsion in a more uniform way, which means that in the absence of larger fat or water molecules, they have lesser chance of finding one of its smaller kind and join together to form into even bigger ones, which can cause the ganache to separate over time.
This means that by simply stirring your ganache to combine is not enough if you want to prolong the quality of the ganache for a longer period of time.
WHAT IS A ROCHER GLAZE?
Rocher is a word riding off ferero rocher because it is a hazelnut base chocolate. The glaze itself, is also often called the "gourmet glaze" is a combination of coverture chocolate, grapeseed oil or any type of toasted nuts.
Yield: 1 x (15cm length x 7cm width x 8cm depth) loaf tin
Eggs - room temp
Dehydrated Coffee/ Instant Coffee Granules
MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate 40%
Grape Seed Oil
Chopped Toasted Hazelnuts
To make the Chocolate Travel Cake.....
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE
1. Line the loaf tin with parchment paper slightly overhanging the height of the tin.
Place the room temperature eggs, honey and sugars in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk. Whisk the mixture until light an airy. The mixture should be thick and airy and has at least doubled in volume.
2. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a sauce pan until it just comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and room temperature butter in a bowl and stir until both the chocolate and butter are fully melted.
Set aside at room temperature.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the plain flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir to combine.
4. Gradually stream in the melted butter and cream mixture into the foamy egg mixture while gently stirring through until well incorporated.
5. In several addition, sift in the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture and gently stir to combine. Repeat until all the dry ingredients have all been added.
6. Transfer into the loaf tin that was previously lined with parchment paper. Level the top with a spatula.
7. Place the cake batter in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C.
8. Once rested, generously spray a pairing knife with some oil then draw a line approximately 1cm deep along the center lengthwise.
9. Turn the oven from 200C down to 180C and continue to bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until when tested with a skewer it comes out clean.
10. Remove the cake and parchment paper from the baking tin. Leave to cool completely at room temperature.
FOR THE GANACHE
1. Heat the cream to a mere simmer then pour over on to the chocolate in a jug. Allow the chocolate to slowly melt then emulsify with a stick blender without incorporating any air.
2. Transfer the ganache onto a flat tray and place a plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent any skin from forming.
3. Leave to crystalize and set to pipeable consistency at room temperature for 2- 3 hours depending on the ambient of your kitchen. Do not let the ganache set too hard.
FOR THE ROCHER GLAZE
Heat the chocolate to melt and cool to between 32 - 35C. Stir in the grapeseed oil followed by the finely chopped toasted hazelnuts.
1. Pipe the ganache on top of the cake and smooth out with a palette knife.
2. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 20 minutes prior to glazing.
3. Keep the glaze between 32 - 35C then pour over the cake to fully coat. Decorate the top (optional) with some chocolate curls.
4. Keep the glazed cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to set the glaze before serving.