I've been looking forward to this cake and at the same time dreading this cake. I love caramel and I love dark chocolate but, as I've mentioned many many times before, I DETEST making caramel. My caramel batting average usually fits into the "third time's a charm" category. I can never get it right on the first try.
The cake itself was simple. Melt the chocolate in boiling water. Cool. Combine dry ingredients and then add the chocolate and the egg mixture. No brain required.
The caramel ganache was a different story.
I couldn't find the electronic candy thermometer in the drawer so I settled for the 1920's style thermometer (to be more fair it was probably from the 70's) that was definitely not digital. Rose said to let the caramel boil up and then to take it off once it gets to 370 degrees Fahrenheit. I did everything she said. I stopped stirring after it started boiling and then stood there and stared at the numbers and the color of the sugar. It went slowlyyyy.
When It got up to 250 (after a good 5 minutes) I decided to run into the other room to get something since it still had to rise another 120 degrees. As soon as I was walking back into the room, I noticed the thick gray smoke that was quickly billowing out from the pot on the stove. I ran up to it and discovered that my caramel was blacker than the chocolate sitting next to it. It smelled horrible! But when I looked at the thermometer, the temperature read 290.... I guess age really did it's work on that old thing.
I took the pot outside so that the fire alarm wouldn't go off and asked myself if I'll ever conquer caramel... probably not. But that's ok. I'll just keep at it anyway.
The second try was much better and I was able to pour in the heavy cream, butter, vanilla, and chocolate! YUM! The ganache was probably the best ganache that I've tried from this book. You couldn't really taste the caramel part unless you knew that it was there but it definitely gave the ganache a delicious spin.
I think it was even worth having to make the caramel twice <insert gasp here>.
By the end of the night, every plate had been cleaned except mine. I loved it but for some reason I just don't have the appetite for a lot of cake anymore. Maybe it's the fact that this is my 74th cake in the book?
Rose's Heavenly Cakes- page 104