HCB: Le Succes

     This is my 10th baking post with the Heavenly Cake Baker group and so far there has been spectacular cakes (Ingots) great cakes, good cakes and I knew that with over 400+ pages of recipe there was bound to be one that was going to be just “blah”.

I think I found it this week.

Because, well … Uh…Ok.. ok… I’m going to come clean:



And the worse part of it is that I still do not understand why! Because when I read the recipe for this cake I was like.  Dude, almonds and chocolate? What is there NOT TO LIKE?  And it was simple to make - The cake is composed of only 4 ingredients – FOUR!  And I had enough egg whites frozen from previous recipes and the whole Saturday free to take my time to do this and then lounge around my house watching reality TV.

All the stars were aligned for this cake to be simple and spectacular.

I should have known better.

I started on Saturday.

No special equipment this week, 2 flat baking sheets, a bit of drawing background was needed to draw the circles or as Rose’s recommended if using a nonstick baking mat: “…mark the 8-inch circles by placing some flour or unsweetened cocoa powder on a plate and lightly dipping the rim of an 8-inch round cake pan or cake ring into it. Firmly tap the cake pan down on the mat to mark the circles and lift it straight up.”

Guess what I did?

Yep, after like 4 tries (and flour all OVER THE PLACE) I finally got my “marked circles”. 

I should have quit at this point.  But, I’m a type “A” and god, I just cannot leave things half finished.  So I moved along.  The meringue with the almonds came together pretty much as expected.  But when it came to actually preparing the batter for the baking sheets?


It involved “piping” something – the “bang of my existence”

I original thought I could get away with doing this without using the pastry bag. It was a circle, all I needed to do was spread the batter around the circle. Right?

Wrong!  I had to break out the pastry bag, which took me over 20 (10 for the bag and an additional 10 for the pastry tube) minutes to find and put together and have it ready.  Then putting the batter INTO the bag?

Don’t even get me started.

Piping the cake mixture unto those pesky circles?

Let’s just say that my ability to follow and stay within the lines needs major assistance.  I was so glad to put them in the oven so I could clean the major mess I left in that ordeal and forget the experience.

But, by this time I was totally rattle, off my game and I started to get antsy…Not a good combination.

The book tells you that after 15 to 20 minutes the disks (first sheet) should be ready.  Not so, mine were not brown on top.  So after about 30 minutes I finally decided that it was done.  Took them out, place the next sheet in and got to loosen them off the mat.

I need to learn the art of patience.

‘nff said.

By the time the last disk came out of the oven I was done, and walked away.  I decided to just abort the whole thing and use my free pass this week.  Instead, I packed my disk in plastic wrap and put them away.  I was going to re-group and finish it on Sunday.

Sunday rolled around. Raining, cold and with a splitting headache. 

I made the ganache the old way, not using the food processor this time.  Put it away to wait for it to sit and get to the frosting consistency.  I did not use the instant powdered lemon tea since it has a certain ingredient that causes Tom to have headaches, so I left that out.  The ganache had a very strong cocoa flavor, much stronger that I would have liked (and I’m a dark chocolate lover), but I figure that the disk were sweet enough to counter-balance the flavor.

We were going to my mother’s for lunch and I promise to take the cake with me for dessert.  But, the ganache was not cooperating and was still loose and nowhere close to the right consistency to frost.  So I took everything with me to my mothers and figure that I would finish the cake there.

And that is just what I did.  I placed the ganache in the freezer as soon as I got there and waited about 30 minutes.  Then I composed the cake, totally skipping the refrigerating instructions between layers.  Instead, I frosted the whole thing and put it in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before taking it out and let it sit at room temperature.

The verdicts:

Tom: “I like the texture, but the ganache is really strong for me”

My mother: “It’s really good, but then you know how much I like strong chocolate.  If you don’t want the rest leave it here”

My sister: took a pass and did not even tried it

Me:  Like Tom, I really love the texture but the chocolate ganache was right on the border of way to strong for me.  I left the cake at my mothers.

As you can see not even the pictures cooperated this week.  Like anything, I’m blaming the whole thing to being just cranky and out of patience this week, making for something that should have been relatively simple a huge task.  But, reading the other baker’s post I’m sure that this cake has some fans. 

   And if you want to find out, you can get the recipe at here