Chocolate Ingots

Do any of you watch “How I met your Mother”? We just finished catching up on old episodes tonight, and while watching the episode from two weeks ago, I recognized a particular cake on the back of a book on the shelf at Victoria’s bakery. I got up and walked to the other room, and my husband said, “Where are you going?” and paused the show. When I came back, I pointed at the screen, which had the camera on Ted and the bookshelf in the background, and I held up my copy of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and said “Hey, look! I knew I recognized it!” Someone in the crew has good taste in baking books. 🙂

This week, I baked the last of the ingots, since I’ve already made angel food cake. It’s my second-to-last recipe from the baby cakes chapter, since I’ve made all of the various cupcakes numerous times (just haven’t blogged about those recipes individually).

For this recipe, you start by caramelizing cocoa nibs. Luckily, when I’d ordered vanilla beans from the vanilla food company, I picked up some cocoa nibs, too, because they sounded interesting. I haven’t really had reason to pull them out until now, though.

Cocoa Nibs

I can’t really say I ended up with what I would call caramelized cocoa nibs. It was more some caramelized sugar and toasted cocoa nibs. For some reason the sugar didn’t seem to want to stick to the cocoa. I’m not really sure if that made much difference.

Next was the batter, which is primarily an almond meal batter, with beurre noisette slowly beaten into the mix. Then mix in a few teaspoons of the cocoa nibs, and distribute the batter in your chosen vessel. I’m still confused as to whether you’re expected to let this batter rest for an hour, because the wording in the recipe’s a bit odd, but I stashed it in the fridge anyway. After sprinkling on more cocoa nibs, you’re ready to bake.

Ready for Baking

These came out of the oven looking really weird, and I’m not sure why. My theory is either the butter wasn’t properly emulsified, and kinda sank out of the batter, or the bits of caramelized sugar that came with the nibs did something weird. My ingots were all crater-y.

Chocolate Round Ingots

I think I’ve finally figured out, now that I’ve baked all of the ingot recipes, that I’m just not a big fan. They’re almost too buttery for me. The first time I made one of these recipes, I thought it was just due to the tiny size I’d made them, and figured that the ratio of surface area to batter made my baking spray make them all greasy, which is why I decided to make them in a larger size this time. As it turns out, they’re just really full of butter. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice and moist, and the tops are kind of a neat texture, but the flavour’s underwhelming. I guess I was just expecting a bit more of a chocolate punch with these.

By the way, I’m probably going to be sitting out the next two weeks. I might bake and write something up next weekend for the 17th, but the weekend after, we’re going to be in Jasper, Alberta, for our fifth anniversary! We leave from Toronto by train next Tuesday. 🙂

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Hungarian Jansci Torta (and Deep Chocolate Cupcakes)

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve baked anything from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. Since that needs fixing, I made 2 cakes this weekend, in a failed attempt to catch back up with the group. I realized when I looked at my list of cakes that I only had one cake left in the flourless cakes chapter. Since the rest of the group is doing something from that chapter this weekend, I figured I would too. I made the Ginger Cheesecake back on June 21, 2010, and if the title of that post was anything to go by, it looks like I was playing catch up then, too. I think I tend to do that in the summer. The other one I baked this weekend was the deep chocolate rosebuds (or, in my case, cupcakes), which the rest of the group baked last weekend. Anyway, I don’t know why I put the Torta off for so long, but I’m glad I finally baked it.

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Chocolate Raspberry Trifle

Hello? Is anyone out there? I’m usually on the tail end of the weekly posters for the heavenly cake bakers group, but it looks like I’m only the second one to post this week’s cake. I guess I’ll chalk it up to Memorial day festivities in the US, since the only other poster so far also lives outside the US, in Canberra. This week, we’re working on the Chocolate Raspberry Trifle, leaving only a handful of cakes from the sponge cake chapter unbaked. For me, they are White Gold Passion Génoise, Red Fruit Shortcake, and Catalan Salt Pinch cake, which I skipped the first time around. I decided to make this trifle in a casserole dish, for several reasons. The first is the most important: I don’t own a trifle dish (shock! horror!). The second reason is because I thought it would be a pretty convenient way to carry it to work.

Mmm.. so pink!

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Zach’s La Bomba

Well, it’s finally here. The last cake of the official heavenly cake bakers project. Despite the weekend* we had around here, I just didn’t feel right missing out on baking this one with the rest of my baking buddies. We picked up some black currant herbal tea at Teaopia. The rest of the ingredients were easy: chocolate, cream and regular pantry items. The cake has a lot of components, but none struck me as particularly challenging (ok, my arm got a bit tired with the Sabayon). I tried to clean up the dishes as I went, but by the end of it, I still had just about a full load in the dishwasher, and several big bowls on the counter. Oh well. Let’s bake!

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Moist Chocolate Raspberry Génoise

I’m feeling less than talkative today, so I’m going to do one of my infamous “let the pictures do the talking” posts. I’ve got a cold, and it seems the more stuffed up my head is, the less my brain functions. Strange, no? Makes trying to debug code at work rather challenging. Anyway, this week’s choice from Rose’s heavenly cakes is the moist chocolate raspberry génoise. As I was sitting frosting it, my husband pointed out that this shouldn’t be a cake book, it should be a chocolate book. He’s right, there is a lot of chocolate in this book, but there’s a goodly amount of non-chocolate too. I wonder if maybe I’m just biased towards chocolate cakes. I don’t think I’ve missed one yet, but I have missed some others. 😉

Moist Chocolate Raspberry Génoise

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Marble Velvet Cake

This week is free choice week with the heavenly cake bakers, and once again, I let my husband choose the cake. It’s a bit of a cop-out on my part, to be honest, because I just don’t like making decisions. I point him at the list of cakes and tell him to pick something that has a link on the left hand side, but no link next to it. This week, he picked the Marble Velvet Cake, which is one of the cakes Marie made before the rest of the group joined up. I also made the quail egg indulgence cake, only with chicken eggs… but it wasn’t very photogenic, and I don’t really have a lot to say about it. To me, it was just a basic pound cake, maybe a little more rich/moist, but otherwise nothing special.

Marble Velvet Cake

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Mud Turtle Cupcakes (and some catch-up)

Yes, that’s catch-up, not ketchup, thank goodness. I don’t think ketchup would be very good with mud turtle cupcakes. I had a single lonesome banana turning brown that I had to use up, so I took the opportunity to knock another cake from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes off my “to bake” list: Chocolate Banana (stud) Cake. The cake component turned out beautifully.

Isn't that cake gorgeous?

I almost feel like I ruined it a bit with my sloppy frosting job, but the taste of that ganache, with a touch of banana liqueur was so totally worth it.

Chocolate Banana (no) stud cake

I didn’t bother with the chocolate chip “studs” because I remembered a few of my fellow bakers saying the chips detracted from the soft texture of the cake. The rest of the Heavenly Cake Bakers’ group baked this cake last summer while I was in the middle of kitchen renovations.

Anyway, enough about catching up… What was this week’s cake selection? It was the mud turtle cupcakes. I asked my husband how he felt about turtle chocolates this weekend and he said “I don’t think I’ve ever had one. Remember, I didn’t really have a sweet tooth growing up.” Ah, well, we’ll fix that. 😉

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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

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Chocolate Featherbed

This week is another free choice week, with the Heavenly Cake Bakers group. I’ve been using some of these free choice weeks to catch up with cakes I missed while our kitchen was out of commission. This week is one of those. The chocolate featherbed cake looks really fussy, and not at all like the sort of cake I normally expect to enjoy (not the sort of thing I’d order at a restaurant, for example), but when I looked at the components, and Rose’s description of it, I couldn’t imagine it not being good. And it is. Good, that is. Not not good.

Chocolate Featherbed

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