Chocolate Bulls Eye

I’ve got another confession to make. Unfortunately, this one isn’t a tasty tip like IKEA chocolate. This one is that I had last week off work, and I still managed not to find the time to write up last week’s cake, from the Heavenly Cake Baker’s group. Last week’s cake was the cranberry crown cheesecake. After all my angst about trying to figure out what should be used for the base, I neglected to post about it after it was baked. In fact, after checking all of my ingredients for their sodium content, picking the lowest sodium cream cheese, lowest sodium sour cream, leaving out the salt, and calculating what the max sodium content might be if I cut it into 12 pieces (about 250 mg, if I did the math right), I neglected to take the cheesecake to my family’s Christmas celebration up at my uncle’s house (about a 1.5 hr drive from our place).

Some of you may remember that my grandfather’s been having health issues off and on over the last year, and the doctors have finally made it known that he should be on a very-low-to-no-sodium diet. Congestive heart failure can apparently be mitigated by eliminating sodium. Who knew? Anyway, he’s been turning down food left and right because “nothing tastes very good”, so I thought this cheesecake might go down well. Well, Christmas morning, at about 9ish, we were about an hour from home, and I said to my husband, “I forgot the cheesecake.” He offered to drop me off at the farm (my grandparents’ home – adjacent farm to my uncle’s) and turn around and go home for it, but that just didn’t seem worth it. When we walked in at my uncle’s place, after I greeted my cousins and removed boots, etc, my husband asked my aunt if I’d told her my sad news. She looked quite concerned, and when I told her I’d forgotten the cheesecake, her face dropped. “I only stayed awake all night thinking about cranberry cheesecake.”

Oh well. Here it is, before I forgot it in the fridge.

Cranberry Crown Cheesecake

Now let’s talk about this week’s cake.

Chocolate Bulls Eyes

I’m going to make this mostly pictures, for a reason I’ll explain at the end of the post.

Mise en place
Whipped eggs, yolk & sugar
Folding in the flour & beurre noisette
Ready for the oven

Here’s where I stopped taking pictures. Syrup, apricot glaze, and chocolate custardy stuff didn’t seem terribly exciting, so I didn’t take any pictures of them. Actually, I just forgot. 😉 I left one of the cakes unglazed (though I did syrup it), for my husband, because I know he’s not terribly fond of apricot. He’d probably happily eat it, but I think he’d prefer it without, so I thought I’d try it. I haven’t gotten feedback yet, but if he has anything interesting to say I’ll share the feedback. You can see that one in the upper left corner here.

Chocolate Bulls Eyes

I took one of these to work today, and while I definitely enjoyed it, I wasn’t sure about the texture. It was almost gummy to me (difficult to get a piece off with a spoon), though I may have gotten the consistency of the apricot glaze wrong. It sure tasted good, though!

Now, what I was doing while I could have been writing up a more extensive post. Rose recently shared some of her early baking experiences on her blog. I spent some time the last day or two thinking about a reply. I’ll cross-post the result here:

I can’t say I had too many spectacular failures early in my baking career. I suspect that had a lot to do with my mother, who has a degree in home ec, and used to teach math. Of course, there was that one anniversary cake for my parents that my sister and I tried to make with caramel frosting, when there wasn’t enough powdered sugar in the house to thicken it properly, and it soaked right through the cake. Dad claimed it was delicious, but we knew he was just being nice.

Because of my Mom, I learned fractions, addition, multiplication and division in the kitchen, baking.

I was introduced to the Cake Bible by my supervisor for my Master’s thesis. It was an MMath at the University of Waterloo, in the School of Computer Science. The scientific approach in your books truly appeals to the geek in me, Rose. I suspect the same can be said for many, including my supervisor. I love the “Understanding” sections in your “Bibles”, and it’s been a real joy to bake my way through Rose’s Heavenly Cakes with other bakers from around the world.

My husband gave me the Pie and Pastry Bible for Christmas, and the gift couldn’t have been more well-received.

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5 thoughts on “Chocolate Bulls Eye

  1. Looks wonderful..ok..i have to say i too bought Ikea chocolate bars after reading your post. I wanted to buy the whole carton but then i thought i should try it first..but to try i bought 12 bars at a go..lol.. now that Monica said it is as good..i have to go buy the entire carton..LOL!

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  2. the IKEA chocolate tip has been a life (and wallet) saver! .98 cents a bar instead of $4.99 to $8.00 that I use to paid in Whole Foods or the supermarket … I’m just blown away with the quality. I’m telling you IKEA will one day rule the world.. just like google! LOL

    And I got to second Mendy comment the bull’s eye are sure pretty!

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  3. Your Bull’s Eye Cakes look fabulous!
    I have spread the word near and far about the IKEA chocolate! What a great savings. I have always been such a chocolate snob. This allows me to just jump out of the compartment and live dangerously. Now I will no longer have to watch my husband grimace when I ask him please bring me some chocolate for a cake. lol…..Thanks so much for sharing your wealth!

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  4. I’m so glad all of you appreciated my shameful confession about IKEA chocolate. Really, I had managed to convince myself that there must be something flavour-wise I was missing about really great expensive chocolate, or that there was something else wrong with the IKEA stuff, but it tastes good to me.

    I suppose it’s probably harvested by people making next to no money and destroying a rainforest or something, but unless you’re buying certified fair trade chocolate (and who can really afford that, with the amount we’re going through here?), I don’t think you’re going to do much better ethically by buying any major brands.

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