I’m surprise that I had the right frame of mind to bake our HBC choice cake this past weekend. Why? Because my mind was not fully engage in baking pans, measuring cups or stacking delicate layers of chocolate cake between light whipped ganache.
Instead my mind was thinking of a certain lakeside cabin, kayaking trips, hiking thru the woods, wardrobe combinations, airline tickets, car rentals, weather projections, balloon festivals and how my spotty French was going to get me thru a day trip in Montreal.
In 5 days, we are out of this hot hell we call Florida and flying to the north for some serious vacation-lazy time.
But, after 3 weeks of fruit dessert surplus, we were back in business with none other than a major chocolate overload choice, and I just could not pass it up.
The picture of this cake in the book is one of my favorite, if not THE favorite. It looks rustic, rich and decadent and a bit of a show-stopper – my kind of cake.
It has five – yes FIVE – pages of instructions. It can be intimidating, but once you read it, you realize that there is tons of steps that you can totally cut and still get the same end results – sorry Rose, but I need to side up with my fellow baker Raymond in this, because sometimes those steps are a pain in the you-know-what and totally unnecessary.
Let’s start with the batter. You have to make this twice. I decided that I was going to totally cheat be lazy here and just do it once – in order words I halved the recipe. The batter makes a pretty simple chocolate – feathery light sponge cake (see, title reference folks – keep up).
Chocolate is melted until dark, rich goodness and put aside to cool off, then the egg yolks and sugar (some of it) are mixed until double up and nice and pale. We finish it up by mixing in the melted chocolate and see it turn into a yummy, thick batter.
Then in another bowl the egg whites are whipped up into a white cloud of beauty. Everything is folded nice and easy and into the prepare sheet pan it goes. And once more, I’m reminded never to doubt Rose – because as I was making the batter I keep thinking that there was NO WAY this small amount of batter was going to cover that sheet pan.
I was wrong… it covered the whole thing.
Mine baked at 17 minutes. Out it came and it got covered in a dish towel and left there to cool off.
I then went off to dream about different vacation outfits for the different activities we have planned next week. I did mention we are going on VACATION right?
Sorry folks, but we are really, REALLY looking forward to our vacation.
After a couple of hours I came back and was ready to tackle the ganache whipped cream. But then as I read the last page of instructions, I come to find out that we need to cover the baked cake and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours before the final assembling.
Uh? Hello? Miss something much?
So, I cut my single layer cake into equal 4 parts, stacked them up, wrap them up and into the refrigerator they went.
On Sunday, I set out to make the ganache whipped cream. The book gives you two ways to do this - the long way and the short way. I did the long way (according to the book) and I totally think there is a editorial error in there because I read both ways and the long way was actually the fastest way to get this done.
Did I lose anyone in that last paragraph?
The whisk and the mixing bowl gets placed in the refrigerator to chill out while the chocolate gets melted with a bit of the cream until nice and smooth and left to cool off to room temperature. That is what the book said to do, this is what I did: I place half of the cream (I also halved the ganache recipe) in a glass bowl, placed the bowl into the freezer, stuck the whisk beater into the ice dispenser full of ice cubes, melted the chocolate with the other half of the cream, and also placed that into the freezer as well.
Chill baby, chill.
After 15 minutes of cool temperature, I pulled everything out of the freezer with my handheld beater, whipped it good, shaped it up and move forward by adding the melted, cooled chocolate and voila – creamy, light chocolate ganache whipped cream.
And a couple of dance steps later….
Took my cut up cake stacks out of the refrigerator and some serious layering ensue. The ganache whipped cream went on smooth and well behaved. Since, I wanted to eat the scraps – for testing purpose of course I wanted it to be all nice and even, I trimed it once more to make sure I got that entire nice layer look.
Tom: “It’s good, very light cake and frosting. I like how the cake sort of melts in your mouth. I wonder how it would taste with just the whipped cream.”
Mom: “Its good, but I was not wowed by it. You have given me better ones”
Me: Like my mother, I liked it; but was not amaze by it, which was a bit of let down – I had really high hopes for this cake. I’m glad that I made only half of the recipe, since I’m sure Tom and I would not have been able to finish it and sadly would have ended up discarded. The chocolate flavor of the cake is very rich and the dark chocolate taste did took over and overpower it, even thought I used 62% chocolate all throughout. The next time around, I may try to do the ganache whipped cream with a 52% chocolate instead of the 62% for it not to be so chocolate-heavy.
Regardless, I had a good time doing this cake, even while thinking how to look stylish in a hiking outfit - which I’m finding imposible to do so.
Disclaimer: No recipes are shared in my Heavenly Cake Baker posts, due to restrictions in sharing the recipes by the publisher of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. But, you can purchase the book here.