I'd like to share my success with this cake. After much deliberation on my part, I finally decided on baking the Black Pearl Layer Cake from Epi for my daughter's first birthday. I am not much of a baker, so I thought it was an ambitious undertaking to start off on a very fabulous looking cake with complex tastes and was heading for disappointment should my guests think that the ingredients were weird. However, as it was a special day for my child, I decided to go ahead and give it my best although honestly, I was prepared to have my husband make a last minute run to Two Little Red Hens in Park Slope to purchase a cake in the event that my creation turned out to be a flop.
I was so thrilled at the way my cake looked after I spread the frosting on and sprinkled the black sesame seeds and shaved bitter-sweet chocolate on the top. I didn't expect to do a good job as it was my very first time to ice a cake. During the cake icing process, I was whining and bickering at how inept I felt and blamed my husband for not being able to get me the right tools to ice the cake. At first the whole thing looked lopsided and I almost gave up because my OH has had enough of my complaints and asked me to just stop whatever it was I was doing and he will make a run to the bakery to get one for the party the next day. I prevailed and finished the job, much to my surprise, it looked like a real cake!
My guests all raved at how it looked, and then oohed and ahhhed at the way it tasted. I was so proud of myself! I definitely recommend the recipe - I followed most of the reviewer's suggestions, used two 9-inch round pans, only used 5 oz. of bitter sweet chocolate for the ganache, tripled the wasabi, and since I loved ginger, I increased the amount - but you could hardly taste the ginger if you didn't know it was there. Two weeks later, I had to make the cake again as my husband and teenage son nagged me to do so. The cake serves 16-18 adults. It lasted 3 days in my refrigerator - with my husband and son getting the biggest chunks of all.