The Black Flame Candle! (Still on a Hocus Pocus kick here, friends.)
Ok, I know this is not what the Black Flame Candle looks like in the first movie. In fact the only thing that’s black about the Black Flame Candle in the movie is the flame. Whereas for my Black Flame Candle, everything about it is black and the flame... isn’t.
C’est la vie.
The truth is, I’ve wanted to make a candle cake for a few years now and I finally seized my chance. But ever since this summer when I had my forced baking hiatus, I’ve found it difficult to get motivated to decorate and finish my baked goods. Currently I have a tray and a half of baked macaron shells just hanging out in my freezer, waiting for me to make a delectable filling and to actually pipe it into them. But for some reason I can’t seem to find the drive to do it.
And that’s why this cake isn’t quite as tall as I was envisioning it to be. I made a half batch of my chocolate cake recipe and baked it in a 9”x13” pan so I could cut 6 circles out of the cake and make a tall candle. However, I baked the cake, let it cool, then got tempted to taste test a little nibble off the corner. I decided it needed to cool some more (read: I was procrastinating), and when I went to check on it again, I nibbled a little more.
Then the Man Candy™ showed up and asked if he could nibble some, too. Indignantly I told him he could only have a little because I was trying to save enough cake to cut 6 full circles out of it (as if I hadn’t been contributing to the problem enough myself 🙄). Long story short, we snacked our way out of an entire layer of cake, hence the reason why it’s on the shorter side 😬
Anyway, this cake is a chocolate lover’s dream because it is made out of my soft and delicious chocolate cake, filled with alternating layers of caramel and tart cherry ganache (a great way to use my leftovers from last week’s macaron batches), and wrapped in a thick layer of whipped ganache frosting.
For this recipe of whipped ganache, I made a very similar batch to last week’s recipe - obviously omitting the tart cherries - then whipped it until it was fluffy and lighter in color. I did need it to be a little stiffer than typical ganache so that it could support a cake, which is why I reduced the amount of heavy cream to make the main ingredients a 2:1 ratio, plus a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt for balance.
My tip of the week for whipped ganache is to make sure that you increase the amount of liquid in your ganache for a smoother finish. Since this cake is based off of a candle that is +300 years old, it definitely didn’t need to be smooth. But if I had been planning a different type of cake, it would have been very important to add more liquid to the ganache so that it would smooth out for that perfect consistency we’ve all grown to expect from our cakes.
To create the desired color for this cake, I squeezed a healthy amount of black food dye into the ganache, then whipped it until it was almost doubled in size.
After letting the ganache set in the refrigerator for a bit, I carved a small notch in the top layer of the cake to incorporate a little more candle-like detail. Then I made a deep black drip for the top edges and spread the rest around the top layer. I topped it all off with an actual black candle to give that real fire element to the cake.
Happy eating, y’all!
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