Bernachon Palet D'Or Gateau

Chocolate cake covered with a creme fraiche chocolate ganache and then dressed with a shiny coat of chocolate glaze.  You really do wonder how this cake could ever go wrong.  And to be honest, it doesn't go wrong.  It isn't puke inducing rich.  How's that for a compliment?  It looks quite amazing with that shimmery shiny glaze - like it must have taken hours.  But you know what, I think I would almost put this onto the quick and easy cake list.  Sure there are three components, but none of them are a big deal.  In fact, other than the cooling time, you could probably whip this cake up in about an hour.

First the cake.  Simplicity itself, a sour cream and cocoa base mixed in the now familiar two step method.  Then into the pan insulated by cake strips - do not forget these!  Thirty five minutes later, it looks great.  Ten minutes to cool on the rack and then about 3 seconds to tear its bum getting out of the pan.  You can just see the tear in the photo below.  Nothing that ganache couldn't hide!

The ganache is super easy also, scald the creme fraiche and then blitz with the chocolate.  Or you could do as Raymond and I do and just stir in the chocolate squares until it all comes together.  I was a big worried about the ganache because it seemed pretty grainy.  But as is most often the case, time is a great healer.  And once everything was cooled enough to ice, the ganache came together perfectly.
Here is a tip from Kylie Minogue (who seems to favour her left very arched eyebrow a lot whilst posting for photos) - always have them photograph you from your best angle...  No one really wants to see that your cake is a bit lopsided because the baker didn't smooth the mix properly.

The next step after ganaching the cake and determining its best angle, is to prepare the glaze.  I had a young accountancy graduate reporting into me once upon a time.  He was a bit weird, as accountants usually sometimes are.   He had this saying that he spouted often...I think it was his Mother's mantra and I quickly discovered why.

"Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, seldom found in woman, never found in man."


And as I prepared the glaze this cake, this very quote sprung to mind.  Firstly because I actually sieved the glaze as instructed by Rose.  And it was worth it.  Those are undissolved bits of cocoa that you see below.  Nothing more sinister than that.  They would have looked awful lumping away on the top of my cake.  Nothing says "OMG, what is that" like brown lumps on an otherwise perfect cake.



And secondly, because I glazed my cake a total of three times.  First time my glaze was too hot, so it didn't quite cling to the ganache on the edges.  The second time was better and the third time was just because I quite liked the process of watching the glaze run over the cake.


So, yes, you may need a little patience when composing this cake.  And in the end, I think it is worth it. If not a wee bit messy.

That glaze makes the cake slice so nicely, it is quite incredible.

I had no redcurrants, just pomegranate bits.   Pretty enough but not a match for the cake.

I served this cake with the option of creme fraiche or ice cream.  I preferred the tang of the creme fraiche compared to the ice cream.  In all honesty, I think this cake is a vehicle for the fabulous ganache and the show stoppingly impressive chocolate glaze.  But be warned, that glaze is as unforgiving as those new fangled treggings.   It shows lumps and bumps and dings and all those imperfections that come courtesy of laziness.  If you want to see how it the professionals do it... 

I have to admit that I found this cake a touch on the dry side.  I have noticed that with a few of Rose's cakes, just ever so slightly needing a bit more moisture.  How do I tweak the recipe to increase the moisture?  More fat?  More liquid?  More ice cream when serving? Inquiring palates want to know.


  1. The pomegranate pieces are really inspired. I would have never thought of that. What a great sub for currants!

  2. nicola, some of your links in this post were hilarious! your cake looks so shiny and pretty, and so professional plated with the pomegranates.
    i'm not sure what to do about the slight dryness. here's one discussion about it in the forums:
    maybe we are all letting the cakes overbake just a tad?

  3. "treggings"...what maniac invented these?

    Your cake looks picture perfect! I'm going to remember the three coating rule for future lacquer glazing.

    Mendy added extra water and I popped the cake out of the pan immediately to stop the cooking then noticed even the parchment was holding in a great deal of heat. I wish I had brought it out slightly under baked.

  4. Your cake looks so shiney and beautiful. I like the pomegranate seeds, very danty.

  5. Nicola.. I found that my cake got moist as it aged (who knew?) it was actually more moist and less chocolat-y after 3 days. it has been sitting out on my island under a covered glass dome... so that is my trick.

  6. I am a bit mystified by my Japanese fan....I'm not certain it isn't R-rated but have no idea what to do about it.

    Did you see Marie's link to Matthew's cake? I read through his posts on Rose's site. He mentioned only using aluminum pans instead of stainless steel as it heats up and cools down very quickly. I've been using stainless steel thinking they were better. I'm wondering if this is contributing too much heat and over baking. Maybe Rose could shed some light.

  7. Thanks for your lovely comments.

    I think I did overbake this cake. And just like Monica said, as the week has progressed, the cake has picked up some moisture - I guess from the ganache. Vicki, that makes sense about the aluminum pans, I always thought they were flimsy and rubbish and gave you Alzheimers. I will have to give them a whirl.

    Matthew's cake was amazing. He can definitely wear treggings without any issues! Perfect indeed.

  8. Mine also got a little moister as it aged, but never quite got quite there. And I tried to be careful about overbaking--maybe I need to shoot for underbaked next time....

    The pomegranate accents work well. Good thinking for a currant substitute!

  9. Your cake looks beautiful complete with pomegranate seeds. Mine was very dry and I tried to blame it on the cocoa -- Glad you got the glaze working, even after three times. Good work.


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