Rustic Holiday Cake

I wanted to make a rustic style cake this year for our Christmas Day celebration.  I decided on a chocolate cake recipe from a vintage Good Housekeeping magazine.  The icing between layers and the crumb coat on the cake is chocolate buttercream.  The finishing touch is a simple ganache recipe I wanted to try.  It is very simple and I wanted to compare it to a more complicated one that we used at the Milliken Guest House in LaGrange, Georgia.   I loved it so I’m sharing it with you today.   A couple of nights before making the cake, I formed melted chocolate into oval shapes and used melted chocolate like glue to add flat sliced almonds to form “pine cones”.  These kept well in the refrigerator until the big day.  In between pine cones I used sprigs of rosemary to add to the rustic woody presentation.

Simple Ganache

1 Cup Heavy Cream,  3/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips,  2 Tbsp. butter

Put chocolate chips in bowl, set aside.   In sauce pot warm 1 Cup heavy cream and 2 T. butter until you see little bubble on the edges, but not a full boil.  Pour warm cream over the chocolate chips and let sit 5 minutes.  Stir until all chocolate is melted and pour over cold cake.  It will be soft at first then set up to a typical ganache texture.  Pour the ganache over while cake is sitting on cooling rack that is sitting on a large bowl.  You capture the runoff ganache so you can dip orange segments or strawberry in it.  It’s hard to resist eating it myself when no one is watching.

*Great for cupcakes, too.  *Recipe didn’t call for it, but I added 1-2 tsp. of Chambord liqueur to add a little more depth to the flavor for this special occasion.  I won’t add if just topping cupcakes.



pinecone cake 2

Very festive cake for chocolate lovers.

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