Chocolate Cuddle Cake

On Saturday morning, I looked at my counter, where you can find: a tin of holiday treats and a bag of chocolates from my friends, a tin of Chocolate Chip Cookies (from The Baking Bible), not one, but TWO gingerbread houses, leftover candy from decorating gingerbread houses, and two boxes of handmade truffles. In the freezer, there are still two pieces of frozen pecan pie, and the fridge had a couple of pieces of fruitcake and a couple of pieces of cheesecake.  So, what’s a girl to do, when she’s participating in a bake-through with friends from all over the world? Bake anyway, and plan on taking the bulk of it to work.  So, that’s what I did/will do tomorrow.

Completed Cuddle Cake
Completed Cuddle Cake

…I just want to know where this cake gets its name.

I didn’t find any one part of this cake particularly challenging, and because I split it up over two days, I almost felt like it belonged in the quick & easy category.  First, you make a chocolate chiffon cake, which basically means you’ve got an egg-yolk based batter that a meringue is folded into.

Mise en place for meringue
Mise en place for meringue
Mise en place for cake
Mise en place for cake

The chocolate, flour mixture, egg yolks and vanilla get beaten together until thick & light in colour.

After beating the dry and wet together
After beating the dry and wet together

You can sort of see how much the batter lightened after beating for 1.5 minutes, where it’s much darker on the spatula than in the bowl.

Folding in the meringue
Folding in the meringue

After beating egg whites into a meringue with a bit of sugar, you fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture. I use the big wire whisk from the stand mixer for this. It’s the biggest whisk I’ve got. 🙂

The batter’s poured into a springform pan that has had the sides lined with parchment, then the whole thing wrapped in cake strips, and a flower nail inserted upside-down into the center. The flower nail helps with heat distribution. I thought I knew exactly where my flower nail was, when I started baking, and I went to grab it before putting the cake in the oven, and discovered that it wasn’t where I thought it should be. Commence panic, removing all of my cake decorating supplies from every cupboard and drawer. My husband happened to come in from the workshop at this point and tried to help, but (my fault completely) only succeeded in making me more impatient and flustered. I gave up, threw the cake into the oven, and started trying to clean up the mess. Cleaning up the mess involved reorganizing some of what I’d pulled out of the cupboards, including my tin of cookie cutters. Guess where the flower nail was? Fortunately, the cake had only been in for about 5 minutes at this point, and on top of that, it turned out I’d forgotten to set the timer, so I pulled it and stuck the nail in, and set the timer. It hadn’t appeared to have started to set yet. Whew.

Cooling, upside-down.
Cooling, upside-down.

You can kind of see the nail in the middle of the glass bottom of my springform pan, here.  The cake baked up beautifully and came out of the pan at the appropriate time with no drama, so yay! I made the ganache Saturday evening, and left it with the cake on the counter overnight. I think the kitchen in my 100+ year old house in Southern Ontario can safely be referred to as “cool room temperature.”

I started on the remaining component, caramel whipped cream, this morning, when it looked and sounded like the roads were icy enough that I wasn’t going anywhere today.

Making the caramel
Making the caramel

I love my Rose Caramel pot, which I picked up at Golda’s Kitchen a couple of years ago. We’re planning on a visit there next Sunday, so I can pick up Panettone baking molds, and we can also stop at Busy Bee Tools, which is conveniently located directly across the parking lot. We both get to shop when we make a trip to that part of Mississauga!

Cream mixed into caramelized sugar
Cream mixed into caramelized sugar

After the sugar mixture reached 369 Fahrenheit, I took it off the heat and added the hot cream.  Mix in the butter, then mix up some cream with some cocoa, and mix that in, too. Now you’ve got chocolate caramel. Mmm..

Adding the chocolate mixture
Adding the chocolate mixture

Since that wasn’t nearly enough cream, we’re going to add that to softly whipped cream, along with some more cream, and gelatin. 🙂

Putting together the caramel whipped cream
Putting together the caramel whipped cream

Now, we’ve got our cast of characters fully dressed and ready for the show.

Ready to assemble
Ready to assemble

Having taken advantage of a sneak preview from several of my baking buddies, I decided to split the cake in half, and fill the center with some of the whipped cream. I had no trouble at all with this, and it seems to have held up well, so far.

Split and filled with whipped cream
Split and filled with whipped cream

Since I’m not nearly adept enough at spreading ganache with an offset spatula, I piped the border around the top instead of trying to encourage it up above the sides by hand.

Ganached.
Ganached.

This makes a perfect cavity to fill with the caramel whipped cream… and voila!

Completed Cuddle Cake
Completed Cuddle Cake

Jay and I each had a small piece tonight. I think the best part was the caramel whipped cream. The ganache is nice and chocolatey and dark, which is perfect for me. I think my cake was a little dry, because I may have left it out bit too long yesterday afternoon, before I remembered it and covered it. That, or my drama with the flower nail and forgetting the timer resulted in a minor over-baking.  Still, a delicious cake, with a great combination of flavours, and relatively straightforward.  I think it would go nicely with a glass of milk, too!

I’m feeling a bit of sugar overload right now, and I haven’t been to the gym since last Monday, so I’m going to pawn the rest off on co-workers. 🙂 Hopefully they’re not all sugared out, too!

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Chocolate Cuddle Cake

  1. Hi Kristina: Yeah…where DID that name come from? I wondered that also! Great job on the cake! I cracked up over your story of losing the flower nail. Boy, can I ever relate to panic in the kitchen!! I had plenty of my own this assignment. If you get a chance, visit my blog at http://www.artfuloven.com to see my results. You did a beautiful job decorating it also!!

    Like

  2. What a beautiful cake! I wish I had great piping skills because I can see how piping could cover a multitude of sinsl I have a lot of leftover sweets in my house too, but I don’t want them–I want another piece of cuddle cake piled high with caramel whipped cream.

    Like

  3. I love your glass base springform pan! It’s so lovely and that you can see the bottom, so fun! 😀 I have gingerbread dough in my fridge and no time to make them yet..so maybe I might also be making gingerbread houses much later..lol! I also love how smooth your ganache is. You have so much whipped cream to be able to sandwich in between and also to place on top too?

    Like

  4. i love your piping! my cake looked a lot like yours before frosting. i’m with Marie; i would take another slice of cuddle cake with the caramel whipped cream over other sweets right now, too! i’m sure you’re coworkers will love it.

    Like

  5. Hi Kristina, Yes, I too am on sugar overload, and I find it hard to bake when there are so many sweets still laying around my kitchen. And Golda’s Kitchen is one of my favorite Canadian sites. Anyway, your caramel cream looks perfect. It was something special for me as well.

    Like

  6. Thanks, ladies!

    PS: My coworker Matt said this was “everything cake should be.”

    Also, it may be gilding the lily, but… the tiny bit of leftover caramel whipped cream is ridiculously good on the last piece of pecan pie. 😉

    Like

  7. Patricia, my coworkers loved it. They pretty much always do. 😉
    The whipped cream held up well, both as a filling and on top of the cake. I was a bit worried, because I assembled the day before, but it turned out fine.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s