Chocolate Ganache heart cakes

Joined Feb 9, 2004
help! I tried to make chocolate ganache heart cakes - a recipe from the william sonoma web site. It turned out a mess. :( I have no idea what went wrong.

the only thing i noticed which was different from the instructions below was when it says to roll the ganache into a ball and put ontop of the cake and press gently. when i did this the ball sank into the batter as soon as i put it on top.
another difference was i used white chocolate. ( i can't remember the name of the chocolate. i purchased it from whole foods. they had blocks of chocolate on display for valentine's day next to the strawberries and such.)
I filled the heart molds to the top and still had batter left over. (the recipe says it serves 6 and there are six hearts in the mold they advertise with the recipe)
When the cakes were in the oven they rose over the top. when i took them out of the oven they sank way down. when they cooled they were mush and what was left of the ganache seemed to sink around bottom.

Here is the recipe:

Cocoa powder for dusting
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 Tbs. heavy cream
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and softened
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
for serving

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 400ºF. Grease a 6-well heart baking pan and dust with cocoa powder.

In a heatproof bowl, combine 2 oz. of the chocolate and the cream. Set the bowl over but not touching simmering water in a small saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth and blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the ganache to a small bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

In another heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 4 oz. chocolate and the butter. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and melt, stirring constantly, until smooth and blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Using a handheld electric mixer or a balloon whisk, beat until thick ribbons fall from the beaters or whisk and the mixture is nearly triple in volume, 5 to 6 minutes.

Sift the flour over the bowl and gently fold until just blended. Add the chocolate mixture and gently fold together until smooth and blended. Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan. Remove the ganache from the refrigerator and form into 6 teaspoon-size balls. Place 1 ball on top of each cake and press gently.

Bake until the cakes pull away from the sides of the wells and the tops are just firm, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and transfer to individual dessert plates. Serve warm with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
The white chocolate is the problem. White chocolate is not the same as dark chocolate.

In order to make a white ganache, you need much more white choc. to cream, in order to obtain a consistency that holds its shape.

I assume you also used this white choc. in place of the chocolate in the batter. It must've ended up looking broken. That is because white chocolate cannot handle heat as well as dark chocolate, and will separate if the temperature is too hot. Also, if your white chocolate contains a lot of fat, in conjunction with the butter, the mix itself may have been too fatty to bind together during baking.

Needless to say, the recipe is not designed to fill the 6 molds that you had. I don't know if that's an error in the recipe, or if your molds were not the size they recommend. In the future, don't fill the mold to the top. The whipped egg acts as a leavener, and you need to leave at least 1/4 of the side unfilled, to allow for leavening. Better luck next time.
Joined Feb 9, 2004
Any suggestions on how much white chocolate i should use or a brand to try? or am i just attempting the impossible? :)

Yes i did use the chocolate in the batter as well. you are right it did not totally blend together. The balls of ganache were very greasy too.

The recipe i used was also on the mold packaging. But i have had this problem before with William Sonoma's recipes not fitting the fancy mold they are selling.

Joined Mar 4, 2000
I use Callebaut, which is hard to find retail. As long as you buy a good quality white chocolate (as opposed to white coating, or white baking chips), this ratio should work fine:
1 lb. 8 oz. white choc.
2 cups cream

Same technique. Make sure the cream isn't boiling, but scalding.

As far as making the cake with white chocolate, you can try it without butter, and that may hold together a little bit better. It couldn't hurt to add an extra yolk either.
Joined Apr 5, 2004
This recipe sounds like a molten chocolate cake with a truffle filling to ensure that the centre oozes out when it is cut open. I don't believe you can make it work with white chocolate in the batter. In the past, one of my collegues had to make a dark chocolate cake like you described but with a white chocolate centre but it never oozed out as nicely as a dark chocolate centre would. I think the heat does terrible things to white (and milk) chocolate. Other recipes you may look for would be underbaked (almost flourless) chocolate cakes and I think the batter is usually chilled in the mold before baking. Hope this helps in using your molds.
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