Sunday, June 10, 2012

Neapolitan Custard Cake with Drippy Chocolate Ganache

Not only is this a lovely cake, it's my wedding cake! Not a practice version either. It's the only one I made. I got the inspiration and the recipe for ganache from the coolest book ever by Heather, the Sprinkle Bakes blogger. I almost hate to send you over to her blog-knowing I'll probably never see you again on mine! Her's is amazing.

Heather's beautiful Neapolitan cake is made from scratch with white frosting and no ganache. I've always wanted to make a drippy ganache cake so I ran with that...and I used my favorite Cream Cheesy Frosting instead of her white frosting.

I even made those chocolate curls on top! The whole cake was fairly easy to do, though I'll admit it turned out nothing like I planned (I'll explain). My cake was essentially a fail though no one at the party knew it! I heard it called "amazing" and "incredible" - not only when they saw it but when they ate it too!

See the bottom chocolate and middle vanilla layer? Those weren't meant to be custard. They were meant to be cake, jazzed up with pudding mix. You see, Heather's 3 layer cake had one white cake layer, one chocolate cake layer, and one strawberry layer flavored with strawberry jello. So I think, why not "flavor" the other 2 layers with their corresponding pudding?

Didn't work. The layers didn't rise at all. The strawberry layer worked out fine, however, and was twice the height of the other two. So I cut it in half and there you have it! Nobody was the wiser. In fact, they drooled over it!

Here are some photos from my perfect day! We had an easy going birthday/surprise wedding party in our backyard over Memorial weekend including a good old-fashioned potluck. Hop over to the Daring Kitchen home page for the whole story (my article is titled "Potluck Soup"). And see below if you really must know how to make this crazy custard cake...

Neapolitan Custard Cake with Drippy Chocolate Ganache:
The ganache and chocolate curl instructions came from Heather Baird. The rest is mine.

For the cake:
One box white cake mix
3 oz box of strawberry Jello powder mixed with 1/4 cup hot water
3 oz box of french vanilla Jello pudding powder mixed with 2/3 cup hot milk
3 oz box of devils food chocolate Jello pudding powder mixed with 2/3 cup hot milk

Mix one box of white cake mix as instructed on the box. Divide the batter evenly between 3 bowls. Add the Jello stuff to each bowl and stir each until they are well combined.

Pour into 3 cake pans prepared with baking spray. Bake as instructed on cake box, using the minimum baking time for the strawberry layer. The custard layers will take a bit longer to bake. Remove them from the oven when they are pulling away from the sides of the pan and the centers are just a bit loose when you wiggle the pan. They will go from sloshing to barely sloshing and that's when they're done. The custards will set up when they are cooling and will be sliceable but not rubbery.

Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks before frosting. Slice the strawberry layer in half the long way if desired. This is easily done by sticking toothpicks all around the outside at 3 inch intervals exactly half way up the cake layer. This will help guide your knife as you slice.

Cream Cheesy Frosting:

1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar (not powdered)
1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/2-1 block of cream cheese (I use 2/3, at room temp)

Whisk (vigorously or it will be chunky) milk and flour together over medium heat until it boils and is really thick. Put the pan in a bowl of ice water to cool it completely. Once cool, whisk in the vanilla.

Mix together the butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and mix well. Add the cooled milk paste and beat until it combines and fluffs up a bit. It doesn't take long and when it's done it is fluffy with a kind of glossy look to it. Sooooo good!

Frost your cooled cake layers with this, trying to get the top and sides as smooth as possible. Place in the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes before adding your ganache.

Chocolate Ganache:

Heat 1 cup heavy cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over 9 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly before pouring. Pour some but not all onto the top of your chilled cake and spread it out using a spoon in a circular motion from the center moving out. Add more ganache and continue to spread out in this manner until it spills over the edge a bit. It will drip a bit and cool in that shape. When chilled, the ganache is creamy and soft, not crunchy.

Chocolate Shavings:

Melt a quarter cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler. Spread thinly on a sheet pan and cool completely in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature. Using a thin metal spatula, scrape up thin strips of chocolate and it will curl on its own.

I also tried this with white chocolate and strawberry melts. Those didn't curl so I chipped them off the pan and used them as sprinkles.

If you try this cake, good luck to you and I admire your spirit!!


  1. Congratulations! I hope that you have a lifetime of happiness! Lovely cake too!

  2. I've made this cake for almost every event I've attended for years now. It's everyone's favourite! Making it for a divorce party tonight and am switching up the strawberry for a lemon layer. Fantastic recipe lady, thanks for creating it


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