Years ago, hubby and I drove up to Monterey and stayed at the Martine Inn in Pacific Grove.
The inn is a charming bed and breakfast on the coast of California.
Our room was wonderful, with a sitting room area that overlooked the ocean.
Finally this was a trip where we could stop frequently, and did. Unlike when we traveled in “Clustr Maps: Connect the Dots!”
We spent several hours in Morro Bay, CA. We visited a sea lion rescue center, had lunch, wandered in and out of souvenir shops and antique stores. But we were anxious to get to the Martine Inn. We had planned lots of excursions for our three day stay on the coast…
While in Monterey we visited the aquarium, 17 mile drive, walked along the ocean, watched otters eating seafood al fresco at sunset.
Every afternoon our hosts had wine and cheese for us in the parlour over looking the ocean.
A few times we were lucky enough to spot a whale. Well, I thought it was a whale…could have been a guy in a wet suit on a surf board.
Our dinner we planned for the first evening was at Hammerheads.
I have looked in vain on line for Hammerheads Restaurant in Monterey. I am afraid the only hammerheads you will find now are swimming in the ocean. The eatery must have closed in the last 25 years.
The restaurant was set in a lovely old fire station, sadly I did not take any photos.
The food was delicious, we both had steaks with all the extras.
But what had really drawn us to the restaurant was their famous Chocoholic Dessert Bar.
Yes, a dessert bar with all things chocolate. Anything you can think of that was chocolate they had. Chocolate pie to candy bars.
I admit, some of it was rather uninspired. But they did have a decadent cake covered with chocolate.
Over the years I have seen recipes for it with different names, Chocolate Suicide Cake, Better Than Sex Cake….(highly unlikely)…or as I call it, simply –
Chocolate Ganache Cake
1 box devils food cake…I like to use Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix
Eggs, water and oil as directed on the box
16 ounces semisweet chocolate – see cook’s notes
1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons real butter
Prepare cake as directed on the box. Bake in a 13×9 according to package directions. Cool completely.
Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with waxed paper.
To make the ganache: In a glass mixing bowl, microwave cream and butter just until the mixture begins to boil. Remove and immediately add the broken up chocolate; let sit 1-2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. You might need to rewarm in the microwave for a few seconds. Cool slightly.
Cut the cooled cake into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour about half of the cooled ganache mixture over the cake and mix well. While you are mixing , you may have flashbacks to childhood days of mud pies – but this will be WAY better. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix the cake and chocolate together. Scape mixture into the prepared spring form pan, smooth the top and place in freezer for about an hour.
It is okay to leave the bowl of the remaining ganache on the counter until the cake is cooled. Try not to sample it.
To unmold the cake: Carefully run a knife around the edge of the springform pan. Remove ring.
Taste any morsels of cake that may remain on the ring, as this is the cook’s privilege.
Place the serving plate on top of the cake and flip. Remove the bottom plate and carefully peel off the waxed paper. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake; spread smooth. The ganache will drip down the sides of the cake. Store in the refrigerator until serving time; cover and refrigerate any leftovers. The cake can be stored up to one week in the refrigerator, but trust me, there will be no leftovers.
Because it is so rich, I serve thin wedges of the cake. If you are feeling extra fancy you can drizzle a little chocolate sauce on the dessert plate place the cake on top, adding a few strawberries or raspberries on the side.
Re: the chocolate for the ganache. You can make this cake very inexpensively, or you can spend more money on quality chocolate. I have made this just using Semi-Sweet Chocolate morsels, but the consistency was not pleasing. It also took more ‘zaps’ in the microwave to become smooth.
When I make this, I like to use a good quality chocolate. I often use 3 packages of Ghirardelli Intense Dark, Twilight Delight 72% cacao bars, at 3.5 oz a package. And, 2 packages of Starbucks Milk Chocolate, 3 oz each package.
The recipe calls for 16 oz of chocolate, these bars will give you 16.5.
What are you going to do with that extra 1/2 ounce?
I say, eat it!
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