Ron Ben-Israel Bakes a Better Chocolate Cake

by in Recipes, Shows, April 25th, 2012

It is no secret that Chef Ron Ben-Israel tastes some of the best, most impressive dessert dishes around on his show, Sweet Genius. But did you know that Chef Ron also creates his own ingeniously inspired and impeccably decorated cakes? Yes, he is a New York City-based wedding cake baker who has a passion for designing whimsical confectionary creations that taste as heavenly as they look.

A few weeks ago I caught up with the Sweet Genius himself and we chatted about what it takes to make a classic, tried-and-true dessert: chocolate cake. Not surprisingly, Chef Ron shared that he has discovered two tricks to baking the best-ever chocolate cake and they are both easy, no-fail techniques.

“The different thing about my recipe is that it gives the strongest chocolate flavor possible. I learned to pour boiling water or very hot coffee on the cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is actually very rich with cocoa fat, and if you pour the hot liquid on it, the liquid brings out the aroma and deep flavor and makes the chocolate much more intense,” explains Chef Ron. If you’re worried about the cake tasting like coffee, don’t be — the hot coffee will merely enhance the chocolate’s natural flavor, not cover it up.

His second technique is a lesson in what not to do. Chef Ron says, “I eliminated milk from the recipe because I found that milk actually tapers the flavor of the chocolate and makes it a little bit less intense and even a little bitter.” Ron’s Chocolate Layer Cake (pictured above) recipe featured in Food Network Magazine does not include milk, unlike many chocolate cake recipes, but rather calls for hot strong coffee. He stacks rich, decadent cake with whipped ganache then covers the entire tower with even more creamy, bittersweet ganache and decorates the sides with paper-thin chocolate bark.

Check out how Ron prepares this four-layer showstopper and learn how to bake it at home.


Don’t miss Ron Ben-Israel on Sweet Genius, Thursday nights at 10pm/9c.

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Comments (16)

  1. Vintage FN viewer says:

    I would take a piece of that in one second. Looks divine! Would make an elegant birthday cake or for a special occasion of some kind. Thanks for the tips, I will be giving them a whirl with my cakes in the future.

  2. Heide says:

    In my mind I could not help but read the words within quotations in Chef Ron's voice :-)

  3. Lois says:

    I like the new show better. He seems more relaxed and friendly. I can't find his answers to the chat questions a while back.

  4. DONNA says:

    This is a CAKE that I will definitely make it looks so divine…. I'm sure it is delicious… You just get so many idea from Chef Ron…

  5. Darlene says:

    I love Sweet Genius this season. Chef Ron has a different personality this time. He's giving hints, he's a little playful, smiling more. I'm really enjoying him and his show, not to mention his cakes and such are awesome.

  6. babatunde kehinde says:

    I love this cake is good

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, this cake LOOKS divine. However, the taste didn't quite live up to it's looks. It was almost bitter, because there is no sugar in the ganache, which acts as both the filling and the outer frosting. The chocoate chards also kept falling off. As much as I love Ron Ben-Isreal, this cake disappointed me!

  8. I think your article is pretty good, i found it from a good collegue of mine from Europe

  9. I've definitely never seen a chocolate cake like that before. Forget just being better – I'd say that would probably be one of the best I've seen just by looking at it.

  10. Diane says:

    I made this creation for my partners birthday last year. It turned out amazing! Everyone was astounded at the beauty as well as the taste of this cake especially my boyfriend.

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