Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Chocolate Ruffle Cake

February 23, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Posted in BWJ, cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 21 Comments
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chocolate ruffle cake

I know that I’m a week off with this one, but it took some extra time for me to get motivated to make Alice Medrich’s Chocolate Ruffle Cake from Baking with Julia.  Maybe I’ll get to that Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta from Baking Chez Moi for a rewind week.  I had my hands full with this one, what with making a genoise, a cake filling and all kinds of chocolate deco work.  It is impressive, though, with its beautiful ruffly top and sharp chocolate band.  This cake could easily be spread out as a weekend project, although once I did get off my duff, I just charged through it.

I was only making this cake for the two of us so I downsized the recipe by half to fit into a 6-inch pan.  Since the cake was smaller, I figured I could get away with slicing it into just two layers instead of three.  I like when one bit of simplification leads to another, and with only two layers to sandwich, I skipped the chocolate cream filling layer in favor of just plain cream.  Oh, and instead of using whipped creme fraiche as my filling and topping, I used whipped cream stabilized with a nice blob of mascarpone (so tasty!).  I only did this because wanted it to hold up for a few days…even a 6-inch cake takes us a while to eat up.  Also rather than fresh (winter) raspberries in the filling, I used some booze-preserved cherries that I jarred over the summer, and the cherry booze liquid became my soaking syrup for the cake.  Sounds like I made a lot of changes, but really, they were pretty minor tweaks.  Dorie says in to recipe intro that we can think of this cake as a variable format rather than a precise formula, so I felt free to do so.  Anyway, it’s delicious– I basically turned it into a Black Forest cake.

The chocolate work can seem intimidating, and I can hardly describe the process myself, so if the book’s instructions aren’t clear, these videos of the TV episode are really helpful.  No tempering is involved, so it’s really not that bad, even if it does take a few practice swipes get get nice ruffles.  Mine weren’t perfect– and I’m the “chocolatier” (it is embarrassing for me to say that!) at the restaurant I work for– but they were good enough to make a lovely, swirly-twirly arrangement on top of the cake.

chocolate ruffle cake

If you’re up for a weekend challenge, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan for the recipe.  There are also a couple of videos of Alice and Julia making the cake together.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of this week’s TWD Blogroll!  


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  1. It looks amazing n Black Forest is my all time favorite!

  2. Such a beautiful cake!! Your chocolate ruffles are PERFECT! xx

  3. An absolutely amazing result. So beautiful.

  4. I adore Alice Medrich’s recipes (and even met her once at a chocolate event!) but I have never been able to get the hang of making chocolate ruffles. Kudos to you!

  5. This looks amazing. Very impressive!

  6. I sense you are all chocolate out? This is a beautiful cake and all your minor tweaks sound delicious. Hopefully next month we will have some non-chocolate items for you:)

  7. The work on this cake is stunning!

  8. Steph – your cake is stunning and I like all the changes you made. Beautiful. Don’t feel bad, I am just getting around to posting mine…

    We went for the 6″ as well – definitely a lot of cake for two people

  9. This is impressive, Steph. I was thinking about making this cake. Making the ruffles gave me pause.

  10. Gorgeous cake! Truly impressive making those ruffles! And if I took all that time making those ruffles…I wouldn’t let anyone cut into it!! Lovely job!

  11. Yum – looks delicious 😍

  12. What a stunning cake, Steph! This has always been one of my favorite cakes to get or make for a special occasion, it makes such an impact!

  13. This is absolutely beautiful!! My, oh my!! I sat that one out…not for any one part of it, but there were so many steps and I couldn’t fit it in. Great job!!!

  14. OK, this is simply stunning !! I mean WOW. Off the charts beautiful and I confident it was off the charts delicious too. Well done you !!

  15. Looks amazing!

  16. I agree with Tricia. Absolute stunner. What a gorgeous cake and now I want go see the video too.

  17. Simply gorgeous! I saw the videos of how to make this cake and the process sounds almost impossible. Yet you got it done! What an achievement! And an inspiration.

  18. Stunning ❤

  19. Magnifique! Those chocolate ruffles are perfect.

  20. So chic. J’adore.

  21. Magnificent rufflage!

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