Tuesday, April 14, 2009

seeking marzipan advice...

It's almost my Dad's birthday again, and we are going to celebrate on Friday night! Last year, for his 65th, I made a lemon cake, which is usually his favorite. But a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned something else that sounded delicious to him: chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling, covered with marzipan and ganache. I rarely bake cakes without an occasion - who's going to eat all of that? - but figured this would be a great opportunity to give it a try. However, I'm a little unsure of my planned methodology.

I tried a new chocolate cake recipe, and it's in the oven now. (Will freeze until Friday morning, then decorate.) Here's where I need the advice: I've never covered a cake with marzipan and ganache. I've done some online research, and there are a number of iterations of a pistachio cake covered with marzipan, which ganache was then poured over. That's my general plan: lightly "frost" the cake with raspberry jam to give the marzipan something to stick to, roll the marzipan thin like fondant, drape and smooth it over the cake, and then make pour ganache over the cake. If it is not coming out nicely, I might do a very thin layer of ganache - almost a crumb coat, like I do with my flourless chocolate cake - refrigerate it, and then pour a second thin layer.

If anyone's got any expertise with this, please let me know if this approach sounds reasonable! I'd appreciate any suggestions, since I basically have one shot at it. Thanks!

(The buzzer just buzzed, and after 60 minutes of baking, the center of the cake is as wobbly as a bowl full of jelly. Well, the recipe said 60 to 70 minutes' baking time, so back into the oven it goes!)

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