Catching up with the Heavenly Cake Bakers

Since I can’t seem to get my computer to recognize my camera, I’m going to have to fly mostly blind (no/few pictures) this week. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks at our place, so I missed blogging last weekend’s cake, and forgot to take many pictures of this weekend’s cake.

Last weekend, the heavenly cake bakers baked the Chocolate Tomato Cake with “Mystery” ganache. I baked this one the weekend of the apple caramel charlotte, and took them both into work on the Monday, and promptly forgot to blog about it. I didn’t tell anyone there was a secret ingredient (people know to ask me if they have allergies), and nobody mentioned noticing anything unusual. Several people did comment on how nice a big cold glass of milk would be with it. This one was pretty quick and easy to throw together.

Simple butter cake
Smoothed in pans

With the cakes in the oven, it was time to make the ganache. Pretty straightforward: chop the chocolate, heat the cream and soup, add to the chocolate, stir to melt. Waitaminnit. Soup? In ganache?

Peculiarly pink cream

The little bit of soup turned the cream a disturbing pink colour, but I guess that was to be expected. No matter, I could hardly taste it once it was mixed in with the chocolate. I’m not sure whether that should be considered a good thing or not, though. If you’re trying to feature tomato soup in a cake, shouldn’t the cake taste like tomato soup? I don’t know that I’d want to eat such a cake, though, so I think it’s best this way, covered up by the chocolate.

As I said above, none of my coworkers noticed anything unusual about the cake, so I’ll chalk that up as a success. Not sure I’d bother making it again, though.

On to the caramel pineapple pudding cakes! I made this one last weekend. This is the one where I got hardly any pictures… and the ones I have seem to be stuck on my camera. I may reboot and try to add them after I post this.

This cake starts with a brioche. I made it without too many incidents, though it did threaten to eat the contents of my fridge, then threatened to take over my windowsill, then tried to consume the oven. To say this was an active dough was an understatement. Once you have the brioche, you take off the crusts, cut it up into cubes and dry it in the oven. I’m too impatient to use the ‘wait overnight’ option for staling bread.

Cubes dry, move on to making the creme anglaise, to soak the bread cubes in. By the time I got to this point, my Mom was here visiting from New Brunswick, so we got to spend a little time in the kitchen together again, which was nice. I stashed the soaking bread in the fridge while we ate dinner. After dinner, it was time to tackle the caramel and the pineapple. The caramel was all going well until it was time to add the butter. I added the butter, and it bubbled up like crazy, probably hitting some crystallized sugar on the sides of the pan, and the whole thing crystallized into a frothy mess. I poured what I could into the bottom of my ramekins, scraped the rest in more or less evenly, and figured that was ‘good enough’. Mom wondered if I should start the caramel over, and I said that since it was all getting baked, it might dissolve again. From reading everyone else’s posts, I don’t think I was alone in struggling here.

Next up, the pineapple. I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with a fresh pineapple, but with Mom’s help, I managed to get something resembling 2 peeled, cored, pineapple quarters. Then it was time to make the roasting syrup for the pineapples. I think I burnt it, just a touch. 😦 I carried on anyway, and was going to do the whole roasting and basting thing suggested in the recipe, but instead I decided to slice up my pineapples into the slices and thirds of quarters (12ths?), and just kind of sauté them on the stove top instead. What can I say? I’m lazy, and didn’t feel like babysitting something in the oven for half an hour. Once the pineapple pieces are soft, put them into the bottom of the ramekins.. I added a spoonful of the basting liquid on top of the weird sugary “caramel” stuff, hoping to assist in the dissolving process. Add the soaked bread cubes on top, and bake in a water bath. By the time our dessert was done, it was too late to eat it that night, so I stashed it in the fridge for the next night.

When it came time to unmold, I was expecting a bit of a mess, really. Much to my surprise, they turned out perfectly. The burnt taste from the pineapple syrup wasn’t too strong, and counteracted the sweetness of the weird sugary bits (which didn’t really dissolve, but seemed to kind of work anyway, somehow). Jay’s figured out that he doesn’t like pineapple, and it’s not just a distaste for it on pizza, but he liked this dessert without the pineapple pieces. More pineapple for me! Now I just need to figure out what to do with half a pineapple in my fridge.

This past weekend, I baked the lemon meringue cake. This was one of the ones the other heavenly cake bakers did while we were in the thick of our kitchen renovation. We’re still in process, but we’re getting really close to finished. Pictures soon. For now (since my camera’s not cooperating), let me just leave it at this: Jay won’t let me take this one to work.

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2 thoughts on “Catching up with the Heavenly Cake Bakers

  1. Wow..you baked quite a few cakes but just didn’t post them up.. i hope your camera works with your computer so we can see some photos! 🙂 If you still can’t get them to talk, you might want to use an intermediary – ie – a usb card reader..then you can download the photos directly from the card. 🙂

    Like

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