Monday, May 5, 2008

Not so Perfect Chocolate Cake


Has this ever happened to you? You’re cruising the web, or reading through a cookbook or magazine and you see some gorgeous confection. You think to yourself “I've got make that.” You imagine your loved one’s eyes rolling back in his head as he tastes your latest creation, thinking you must be absolutely brilliant to have come up with this masterpiece.

Then you actually make it and it turns out like crap.

Yeah, me too. This week, in fact.

Well, it wasn’t total crap, just not the taste sensation I had hoped for. And OK, I admit there’s a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy chance it wasn’t the recipe’s fault.

Today’s adventure was Cook’s Illustrated “Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake”. My husband’s birthday cake, and thank goodness it was just our little family and not the whole brood to have to make excuses to.

Houston, we have a problem…

Firstly, the oven shut down mid-way through baking and refused to start in spite of my begging and pleading. My cakes were underbaked (see above). I told myself it would be OK, though. Aren't the ever-popular molten lava cakes just that? Under-baked cake?

(As an aside, let me just say that my next oven will not be a Whirpool Accubake.)

Ahem, anyway, the second problem was me accidently buying unsweeted chocolate rather than semi-sweet chocolate for the icing. D’oh!!!

Was the extra sugar the reason the icing was stiff and not soft and billowy? Or was it that I should just stay away from making ganache-type icings because I am unable to follow the instructions for stirring, blah blah, ice bathing, yawn, whipping, blah, blah, etcetera, etcetera? Maybe.

It wasn't all bad... I got a few cool pictures. Mmmm, a melted chocolate island in a sea of buttery sugar.

Well, here it is… (see… not even close to gorgeous). Will I try it again? Maybe. Or maybe I’ll stick with my go-to chocolate cake recipe which you can find -- here.

I'll leave you with a baking tip: if you’re like me, half the time you forget to take the butter out of the freezer to warm to room temperature. No prob! Just grate that baby, let sit for 5-10 minutes and it’s good to go!

Here's to tomorrow!

No comments: