It Is With Great Pleasure That I Bring To You...
|Kitchen Disasters 2007 Pt. I !!|
As always, I'm tickled to present to you the new year's first culinary disaster fresh outta my kitchen.. I think ONE of the lessons learned this time is, not to leave your layer cakes in their pans for more than 10 min. or so after taking them out of the oven. I greased and floured my pans well, the only thing I didn't do was line them with parchment paper as I usually do because I was out of the paper - but I've went without the paper in the past and this didn't happen. No.. I'm thinking it's because I left them in their pans for about 3 hours. Mmm hmm..
A little background - As some of you know, I'm on a quest to find the ultimate chocolate cake. I found this recipe while reading Orangette's lovely blog and knew I had to try it when she said, and I quote,
"I will be shocked and horrified if you don’t find this to be the most deeply-flavored, moist-yet-fluffy chocolate cake you’ve ever tried."
Well how could I pass this recipe up? I couldn't! Not even when the good angel and the bad angel who reside on opposite shoulders got into a brawl about not baking anything sweet, yummy and bad for my blood sugar. Alas, the bad angel won.. as she usually does. *sigh*
The funny thing is, Molly calls this cake, "Far-from-Disaster Cake". *giggle* Apparently the first time she made it, her ganache separated and she didn't notice it until she had poured it on the cake. A frosting problem though, it had nothing to do with the actual cake. So when she re-posted about the cake, she included a different ganache frosting recipe that worked quite well for her. Mmm hmm.. not so much for me...
Okay the other lesson learned? Stay away from heavy frostings at all costs. It's not like you like those heavier frostings anyway, you ass. Buttercream has always been your friend, be loyal to your friends!! Actually, in all honesty, I don't believe that this new ganache frosting that Molly offered was necessarily heavy - I think I made it heavy by leaving it in the fridge for so long. I didn't want a glaze type frosting so I left it to chill longer than normal to bring it to a thicker consistency. Which ended up being uhh.. a lil too thick.
Okay so what have we learned? Take the cakes out of their pans before they are completely cooled and allow them to cool on a rack. This will better your odds on not having half of your cake stick to the pan. Gah. And.. stick with lighter frostings, even though this was my fault and not the frosting's fault. Just stick with buttercream from now on, for crissakes.
And without further ado...
Ain't she a thing of beauty? I was asked by a friend, after having seen a picture of this monstrosity, if smoke and flames erupted from the cracks to then be followed by demons. Actually, yes. That did happen. I think there was lava too.. I don't remember it all now - I ran for cover and covered my eyes through most of the ordeal. I did hear strange noises though and Nigel cowered behind me with a low growl in his throat. Chloe went running into the bedroom - the big chickenshit that she is.
Okay - maybe this was my first clue that impending disaster was on it's way...
My cakes had brains. Quite possibly these were actually beings from another world, cleverly disguised as yummy chocolate cakes? Maybe outter-world beings who do not appreciate a nice ganache frosting? Or maybe this was just a sign of the apocalypse. I would not doubt it.
Anyhoo.. you can find the recipe on Orangette's blog - go there for it, kids.. I don't trust the bad juju that will certainly rub off on my blog if I were to include it here.
And seriously, don't let my unfortunate mishap dissuade you from trying this recipe - because Molly was right. This was the most deeply flavored, moist yet fluffy chocolate cake that I ever had the pleasure of massacring. And as with most really good chocolate cakes, it's just getting better and better with each passing day. The crumb is still off a bit - it's not quite there compared to the ultimate chocolate cake I had that day at the party.. but it's super close, I mean.. really, super close. I'd say that if I didn't actually find that ultimate recipe - that this cake is damn near close enough for me to be happy with for the rest of my days. Although frosted with buttercream from now on.. ;)
Okay well.. after having to go through the search procedure to find this recipe over and over again on Molly's blog (because I am a glutton for punishment and make this cake often! hee!) I've decided to slap it in this post - copied verbatim from Molly's Orangette:
3 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 ½ cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process; I use Scharffen Berger)
2 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups well-shaken buttermilk
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. If you’re making cupcakes, line the wells of your pans with fluted paper liners, or grease and dust them with flour or cocoa. If you’re making larger cakes, grease pans and line bottoms with rounds of wax paper. Grease paper.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another (very) large bowl, beat eggs with an electric mixer until thickened slightly and lemon-colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed, bracing yourself against puffs of cocoa-and-flour dust, until just combined well.
Divide batter between pans. Bake in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes, or 50 to 70 minutes for larger cakes, until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and remove cupcakes, or invert larger cakes onto racks. If making larger cakes, carefully remove wax paper. Cakes may be made one day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
Again, adapted from Orangette and Epicurious
1 lb fine-quality semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs light corn syrup
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
Finely chop chocolate. In a 1 ½- to 2-quart saucepan, bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable. You may want to place the bowl in the fridge for a bit, but stir it now and then until it cools to your desired consistency. Spread.
One small note.. if you do try this recipe, don't be alarmed if it doesn't look like this one (ha ha no, not the cracks and craters - the color!) as mine is very dark due to the use of Hershey's dark cocoa powder that I wanted to use up. :P