Chocolate Cuddle Cake

Chocolate Cuddle Cake

March 10, 2015

I know that you think of me only as a cookie lover, but before I was into cookies, I was into cake. Just cake with no cover or anything: naked, wonderful, tear-it-apart-with-your-fingers cake. Of all the cakes, chiffon cake is dreamy stuff and I’ve never had a failed one…until…THIS. I’m renaming this cake the Chocolate Humble Cake. Why do I think I know it all? Maybe that’s my problem.

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Instructions

SPECIAL CAKE EQUIPMENT

  • What is all this? Grease the sides and line it with parchment? What about the bottom? And what is all this architecture with the supports (cans, mugs etc.), lips, and elevated racks, greased, ungreased, upside down, right side up. Huh?
Studying the equipment list…
Studying the equipment list…
My husband Rick taking pics. Having fun.
My husband Rick taking pics. Having fun.
  • In the end, I cut the parchment strip for the sides of the pan and put it in place.
Me cutting the parchment strips.
Me cutting the parchment strips.
I’ve never lined the sides of the pan before.
I’ve never lined the sides of the pan before.
  • But I refused to pour the batter into the pan with an ungreased bottom. I was convinced there was an error of omission.
Note the GREASED cake bottom, and note the cognac to undo the stress of the equipment list.
Note the GREASED cake bottom, and note the cognac to undo the stress of the equipment list.
Not having any idea what’s ahead, I stretch the cake strips onto the over-prepared pan.
Not having any idea what’s ahead, I stretch the cake strips onto the over-prepared pan.

THE CAKE BATTER

  • The batter went together nicely.
Measure the baking powder.
Measure the baking powder.
Separating my eggs.
Separating my eggs.
Adding the eggs to the chocolate mixture.
Adding the eggs to the chocolate mixture.
The chocolate part of the batter.
The chocolate part of the batter.
  • The egg whites looked beautiful.
Stiff egg whites.
Stiff egg whites.
  • The two folded together perfectly.
Fold in the chocolate.
Fold in the chocolate.
  • I poured the batter into the pan with the nail.
I just liked this shot.
I just liked this shot.
  • And, set it in the oven. The tester came out super dry after 40 minutes. Hhmm. So far so good.

COOL AND UNMOLD THE CAKE!

  • I set the rack over the cake, flipped it over and set it on the supports.
The set up.
The set up.
  • It couldn’t have been more than a millisecond after I flipped the cake (the moment I heard the cake fall and hit the rack) that I realized why greasing the bottom of the pan was not a good idea. Damn. The hot cake didn’t have anything to hang onto as it cooled. Damn. How stupid of me. Of course, when I make a traditional chiffon cake, I pour it into an UNGREASED tube pan, and when I cool it upside down, it hangs onto the UNGREASED tube pan (like a bat in a bat cave) so gravity can pull the cake down, and keep the crumb open. YESSSSS.
Failed cake #1. Note the sunken center. When it cooled, I ripped it in half and had a taste. No picture of that. Too embarrassing.
Failed cake #1. Note the sunken center. When it cooled, I ripped it in half and had a taste. No picture of that. Too embarrassing.

TAKE TWO.

That’s better.
That’s better.
Smooth the ganache on the sides first.
Smooth the ganache on the sides first.

MAKING CARAMEL

  • My favorite part of making caramel is the furious bubbling when the cream goes into the hot sugar. When everything calms down, the mixture is completely altered. Cooked sugar and cream is life’s simple pleasures.

CARAMEL WHIPPED CREAM

  • Making this cream fascinated me. First, the caramel went into the cream with great luxury. Second, I couldn’t get over how quickly the cream went to firm peaks with just the hand whip. Licking the bowl was a religious experience.

COMPOSING THE CAKE

  • The three components (cake, ganache and cream) were so soft in texture, my anticipation was building to try them together at Christmas dinner. I worried that I would lose the cream in the hot Christmas kitchen, but I didn’t want the ganache to harden in the fridge, so I put the cake on a table outside (it was about 7 degree Celsius). At dessert service, the cream survived, but the ganache had firmed up too much and that super soft texture was lost. Still, the cake was devoured and appreciated, especially by the three kids. The Chocolate Cuddle Cake is history now, just a distant memory, but remains alive in my heart. Next time, I’ll serve it right away, so that the cake, the chocolate and the cream stays at room temp and keeps its silky soft and dreamy texture.
Chocolate Cuddle Cake, The Finer Cookie.
Chocolate Cuddle Cake, The Finer Cookie.

WHAT ARE THE ALPHA BAKERS? : Here’s how it works: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s newly published The Baking Bible. Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our likes and dislikes. The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone will be baking the same recipe at the same time. Unfortunately, no recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions. But if you love to bake, The Baking Bible is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/

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