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Sunday, November 20, 2011

HCB: Bernachon Palet D'Or Gateau

This is 1/2 recipe of the Bernachon, baked in a 6 inch pan. Usually when I make 1/2 recipe I like to use the 7 inch pan but this time I want a tall cake.

The cake component is similar to several other chocolate cakes from the book. I love cakes with sour cream and this one is no exception. Mix sour cream, cocoa, vanilla with a whisk until it's pudding like. Mix all the dry ingredients in the mixer, add the butter and 1/2 the cocoa mixture. Mix for 1 1/2 minute. Add the rest of the cocoa mixture.

The cake baked in 30 minutes.

While the cake is cooling, I made the ganache. I opted for the sour cream version of the ganache, which Rose included in the book in the notes section. I'm so glad Rose came up with the sour cream version, so it saved me some $ from buying a tub of expensive creme fraiche.

The sour cream version of the ganache is also easier. It has less components too. The sour cream has to be kept at room temperature, and add it to the melted chocolate.

Because the sour cream was not heated, the ganache cooled down way faster than what the recipe said. It took less than 1/2 hour for it to be at the correct consistency.

I really want the cake to be perfect so I took my time trimming the top of the cake, making sure it's even. I also took my time frosting the cake. I refrigerated the cake first, then do crumb coat, refrigerated the cake again, final coat, then refrigerate again. And finally, using a warm spatula (dipped in hot water and wiped off), I went all over and around the cake, to make sure it's perfect.

All these efforts took time and by the time I was done, it was 4 and I was tired. So tired that making the lacquer glaze I messed up and forgot to strain the glaze after the gelatin is incorporated. I only realized my mistake when it's too late. The glaze is poured and I noticed all the little gelatin dots on the sides of the cake. Too late now. I was so upset at myself! This cake was supposed to be perfect.


I quickly got over my frustration because the cake still looks pretty (at least I think so). It doesn't hurt that I am using the red cake stand that I got recently.

Tasting impression:
I like the consistency of the cake, it's fudgy and chocolatey. It's a good fit with the ganache, the cake and the ganache complement each other well. However, I am not wowed by the combination. It tasted like chocolate cake. Not stellar, not bad, but just like how you would expect a regular chocolate cake to taste. I am a little disappointed. I was hoping for something more.


  1. Even with the lacquer glaze not being perfect.. the cake looks quite amazing.. and I love your cake stand.. maybe because I have the same on some in green! (we chicas have very GOOD taste in kitchen ware!).

  2. I know what you mean about striving for perfection. I think your cake turned out great and very pretty (fit for a queen) :o)
    I made the raisin bread this weekend. The post will be up shortly. Thanks for the inspiration :o)

  3. Despite what you said I still think your cake looks perfect! The red cake stand is a nice touch, but even the cut slice looks like the perfect ratio of cake to ganache to glaze.

    My cake is cooling and the ganache is made, so I won't be slacking off this week! I'll take pics and hopefully post tomorrow.

  4. Who cares about gelatin dots?! You have the best Bernachon I have ever seen outside the book!

  5. Monica, Hanaa, and ECL, thanks for your nice comments!

    Mr. P, your comment about gelatin dots made me laugh. Thanks for the compliments on the cake :).

    Jhart, you can find the recipe in Rose's Heavenly Cakes - by Rose Levy Beranbaum.

  6. Jenn, your cake looks scrumptious regardless of the gelatin. Those are the types of small details that makes the average baker tear her hair out and give up. However, the HCB's soldier on. It's all a learning experience. Now can you send me a slice?


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