Chocolate and Durian Cake with Salted Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate and durian are a match made in heaven. This cake is sinfully delicious. This recipe was first published in Flavours magazine.

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Salted chocolate ganache
To make the cake:
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line and butter 3 23cm round baking pans. Set aside.
  3. Place the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add in the buttermilk, coffee mixture, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Divide batter among 3 23cm cake pans and bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out almost clean - about 25 to 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare filling:
  1. Whisk the cream to the stiff peak stage. In a mixing bowl, combine the durian pulp with the instant custard powder and salt, making sure mixture is well incorporated. Fold in the cream and use immediately.
To make salted chocolate ganache:
  1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl, add the heavy cream and double boil until chocolate dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and fleur de sel (or other coarse salt). Set aside to thicken, about one hour. If the ganache becomes too thick, warm it over a double boiler, or in the microwave for 10 second intervals, until more workable.
To assemble:
  1. Take the first cake layer and place it into a 23cm round cake pan (with a height of about 8cm). Spread the cake with half the durian filling. Top with the last cake layer.
  2. Quickly pour the warm ganache over and refrigerate the cake for about 2 hours, until the filling and ganache has set.
  3. Remove the cake from the fridge and unmould.
To decorate:
  1. Whip the cream and spread around the sides of the cake, then dust with some cocoa powder.
  2. Using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle, pipe cream round the outer edge of the cake. Refrigerate. Slice just before serving.

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