HCB: Designer Chocolate Baby Grands

And I’m back!  This week’s HCB choice was baby cakes… CHOCOLATE baby cakes and covered with my favorite piano glaze – which I love to do and was introduce to the technique back with the Chocolate Apricot Roll and then again with the Bernachon Palets D’Or Gateau.

These cakes were pretty easy to put together and they are a marriage in chocolate heaven!

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HCB: Double Chocolate Valentine

In tribute to Valentine Day the Heavenly Cake Baker group baked the sinful, delectable Double Chocolate Valentine cake this week.

And let me tell you this cake, well this cake is ... There are NO WORDS except to say that if you like chocolate then this cake (and I’m going to quote the book) “is really the final word in chocolate cake...” The basic ingredients of cocoa powder, eggs yolks, sugar, flour and butter with a touch of vanilla extract and salt gives you a rich, not so sweet flavor with a fudge-ty and moist texture.

I wanted to make it on a heart-shape baking pan, like the book picture. But, apparently everyone in Tampa had the same idea, because after visiting 3 Walmart, 2 Targets, 3 Michael’s and the William-Sonoma (which was the hardest thing I have done to date, going in and walking out without buying the whole store up) store, I came up empty.  No heart-shape pan to be had ANYWHERE in town.

The round 9x2 pan was it.  But I had a plan.

The cake was not complicated to make, once you gather the ingredients you are pretty much done in about 15 minutes and into the oven it goes. On a side note: I’m really loving the way that Rose’s recommends mixing the cake batter, which is putting all the dry ingredients in the mixer first, giving a spin for 30 seconds and then incorporating the butter and wet ingredients which in most cases have been whisked before hand.  It just creates a better cake batter in my opinion.

I do have to say that I took a peek at the video that Rose’s blog had posted for this cake before hand.  I wanted to make sure that I was going to do all of this the right way.  So, I was super prepare for the next steps, which were basically taking the cake out of the oven after baking it for 30-40 minutes and then soaking the top with the Ganache Glaze, then flipping it, taking the baking pan out and soaking the bottom with more ganache (YUM!).  I was a bit scare that the cake was going to be way too hot and crumble on me during all of this flip-flopping.  But, to my surprised it held its own.

Then of course the waiting... Since I made this cake on Sunday, I knew that the waiting period was going to be hard because,
a) the smell of the cake was just driving everyone in the house crazy and had us all salivating and
b) I was running out of natural light to take pictures of the finish product. 

The book said to put it aside to cool for 1 or more hours... And I knew deep down that the more it rested and cooled the better it would be at the end. But....

...I was on a deadline people! I waited an hour. (queue foreboding music here)

I took it out of the refrigerator and put my plan into action.  I really wanted the shape of the heart, so I thought shaping it like a heart by carving it out could not be that difficult to do.  As you can see, I watch way to much Ace of Cake and Food Network Challenge shows.

Before all the carving started, I needed to move it to the serving plate, so I tried to do a flip and flip and realized that it was not going to work.  So, I tried to slide it, and nope, nada. Next up lifting the cake with two spatulas and transferring it to the serving plate, and it seem to work, except that I did not count on it still being wet at the bottom, so when I tried to remove the spatulas, the cake started to split ... YIKES!

Abort! Abort! And yelled for HELP!  Tom came to my rescued and together we were able to place it on its final resting place, but not without some damage.  My type “A” personality was going into overdrive at this point.

My carving idea flew out the window, since I realized that it was not going to work.  The cake was way to moist and soft within and there was no way it would hold the planned sculpture without really making a total mess of it.

Next up...I thought of doing the heart shape with the raspberries!

And it seem to work, except that my heart-shape looked waked and off-centered.  At this point I gave up and covered the whole thing with the raspberries.  Then I gave them a quick glaze over with the red currant jelly and off it went to be photographed.

As soon as I came back into the house with the cake, Tom and the little men were awaiting with forks and grins in their faces.

The verdict:

Tom:  “I take it back, THIS is my favorite cake so far. I love that its light and not sweet  at all, but very chocolate flavor. (the poor man, I still have over 80 more cakes to have him taste)
The little man:  “Its not so sweet, I really like it”
The neighbors (after ringing the doorbell and sticking a paper plate at me): “Just gives us another piece for us to fight over”
Me:  Rose’s keeps pushing the envelope in giving me cakes with fruit and me having to take back my restraint in liking the combinations.  I’m a chocoholic, I love chocolate and if its the dark kind, even more, so this cake just hits my happy center dead on, even with the raspberries on top, which I promptly remove from my piece and give them to Tom to eat.

Plus by the time I finish writing this and posting it, the caked looked like this: