The cake layers are from David Lebovitz, and the recipe is available here. I used two 8" pans instead of the 9" that he calls for in the recipe; the baking time is about the same. Note that the cake requires almond paste, which is not the same thing as marzipan. Vancouver bakers can get almond paste at The Grainry inside the Public Market on Granville Island.
For the icing, I re-visited an old favorite: Mrs. Milman's chocolate frosting. The recipe and accompanying video are available here.
This frosting actually takes a good four hours to set in the fridge if you follow the instructions. Here are my notes and modifications:
- The recipe was halved.
- Pour the cream into the pan you're going to be cooking in and set it out to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking. This will take the chill out of the cream, and will hasten cooking a bit.
- The cream and chocolate chips are cooked on LOW (not medium low as the recipe says) for 30 minutes (instead of 35), all the while stirring to make sure that no chocolate is sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the chocolate has all melted and the mixture looked homogeneous, I increased the heat *slightly*. If the cream is chilled when you started cooking, this will take longer than 35 minutes.
- I placed the heated cream/chocolate in a pre-chilled metal bowl and stirred it for a few minutes to rapidly cool the mixture before proceeding with the cooling step.
- I then placed the bowl in an icebath and I began to stir vigorously, occasionally taking the bowl out of the bath to make sure that the icing isn't forming any solid lumps. This method is quite a workout but the icing will be done in about 15 to 20 minutes, not four hours.
This frosting swirls very well: