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Rose's Alpha Bakers

TBB - Chocolate Cuddle Cake

Patricia Reitz

Mini Chocolate Cuddle Cake - ButterYum

Today Rose's Alpha Bakers share our 6th selection as we bake our way through The Baking Bible.  As a reminder, the recipes are not being shared, but I'll share my commentary about the recipe, followed by a full photo tutorial.  

This week's selection - Chocolate Cuddle Cake, a single layer of chocolate chiffon cake wrapped in chocolate ganache and topped with caramel whipped cream and chocolate curls.  

Special ingredients and/or equipment needed - Lyle's Golden Syrup, 9x3-inch springform pan, digital scaledigital instant read thermometer, heavy duty stand mixer.

Note:  if you don't have a 9x3-inch springform (12 cup capacity), you might have a 10x2.5-inch springform (12 cup capacity).   Also, half the recipe will fit in a 6x3-inch springform pan or four 4x1.75-inch mini springform pans.

How does it taste - Wow!  I think my 17 year old described it best when she declared it "EPIC".  

How does it look - Absolutely beautiful.      

Level of difficulty - This recipe is rather lengthy and consists of 3 components so I'm going to say the level of difficulty for this one is intermediate+.  

To breakup the workload a bit, the ganache can be made a couple of days in advance, the chiffon cake can be made a day in advance, and the caramel whipped cream can be made a few hours before assembly.   

Were the directions clear - For the most part, although there is one little word in the "make the batter" paragraph that could possibly be troublesome. I had made the chocolate ganache and had it resting out of the way on the counter. Then I began making the chiffon cake - I whisked together the cocoa powder and boiling water and set it aside to cool, and combined the dry ingredients in the bowl of my stand mixer.  Then the directions said, "add the chocolate mixture to the......"  Well, I had two separate mixtures sitting on the counter.  1) the chocolate ganache mixture, and 2) the cocoa/boiling water mixture.  Most experienced bakers would know the recipe was asking for the addition of the cocoa mixture, but a newbie might accidentally grab the bowl containing the chocolate ganache.  So I'd suggest changing the word chocolate and to cocoa, just to be on the safe side. 

What would I do differently next time - As far as the recipe is concerned, I wouldn't change a thing.  The title of the recipe is another story though - I just don't think "cuddle" does this elegant cake justice.  Maybe chocolate cloud or chocolate embrace would be more appropriate?  

Next up - Black and Blueberry Pie, Jan 12, 2015.  Since ripe summer berries are six months away, I'll be using frozen berries which are picked and flash frozen at their peak.  Can't wait to taste that summer flavor in the middle of this cold blustery January.

Okay, here's my photo tutorial.

This cake is composed of 3 separate components.  Let's start by making the chocolate ganache.

Chop chocolate.

Scald cream.

Pour cream over chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes.

Then whisk until all the chocolate is melted.

Continue whisking until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Add pure vanilla extract, mix well.

Mmmmmm - try to avoid the temptation of diving head first into the bowl.  

Time to make the cake.

Set aside to cool and for at least 3 hours.  

Rulers, calculators, paper cutters - just a few of the office supplies that have made appearances in my kitchen since joining Rose's Alpha Bakers. 

Okay, let's start by preparing 4x1.75-inch diameter springform pans.  Cut parchment paper into 13x2.25 inch strips.  

Use shortening to grease the sides of the pan only (do not grease the bottom of the pan). Press the parchment against the greased sides of the pan.  Use a dab of shortening to glue the overlapping parchment ends together.

It's okay if the parchment sticks up above the sides of the pan a little.  Set aside until needed.

Dutch processed cocoa makes me happy.

Add boiling water to the cocoa powder.

Whisk together to dissolve the cocoa and allow its flavor to "bloom".

Add the oil and egg yolk.

Whisk again until mixture is well combined.

Set aside to cool.  Cocoa mixture on left.  Chocolate ganache mixture on right.

If using a 3-inch tall pan, you'll need a 3-inch tall flower nail, but I'm using mini pans so my set of 2-inch tall heating cores by Ateco will work perfectly.

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer; add the cocoa mixture (not the chocolate ganache!!); mix as directed.   If you have a second bowl and beater to whip the egg whites, great.  Otherwise, wash the bowl and whip attachment very well to remove all traces of fat/oil.  

To be extra sure my bowl and whip are completely free of fats/oils, I like to wipe them down with a little white distilled vinegar, allowing any residual moisture to evaporate completely before proceeding with the recipe.

Use a hand held whisk to froth the egg whites a bit before letting the stand mixer take over.

Add the sugar and continue whipping the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Not quite there yet, but soon. 

Gently fold the chocolate cake batter together with the whipped egg whites.

Pour the batter into prepared pan(s).  Press upside down flower nail or Ateco heating cores into the center of the batter, pressing the flat head down completely so it sits flush against the bottom of the pan(s).

Bake until tops puff up and crack, and a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.  Note how the cake inside the cracks glistened and looked as though it wasn't quite done, but but looks can be deceiving.  It was baked perfectly. 

Let to cakes cool for a few minutes until the tops begin to shrink down a little.  You can see that the cake has deflated enough so that the tips of the heating cores are now visible.

Elevate a nonstick cooling rack to allow for ample air circulation while the cake cools.  If you don't have a nonstick cooling rack, spray a standard cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray.

Flip cake pan(s) upside down and place on rack.  Don't worry about the parchment that sticks up above the edges of the pan.

When the cake has cooled completely, remove the sides of the springform pan and gently peel the parchment paper away.

When the cake has cooled completely, remove the sides of the springform pan and gently peel the parchment paper away.

Carefully separate the chiffon cake from the base of the springform pan(s), then pull the heating core from the bottom of the cake. 

Carefully separate the chiffon cake from the base of the springform pan(s), then pull the heating core from the bottom of the cake. 

I used a little dab of chocolate ganache to glue the tiny cakes to 6-inch gold cake boards. Then I used an offset spatula to spread chocolate ganache onto the sides of the cakes.

I used a little dab of chocolate ganache to glue the tiny cakes to 6-inch gold cake boards. Then I used an offset spatula to spread chocolate ganache onto the sides of the cakes.

Leave the top of the cake naked.  It will host a cloud of caramel whipped cream eventually.

Leave the top of the cake naked.  It will host a cloud of caramel whipped cream eventually.

For some reason, the photos I took while making the caramel whipped cream were bad so if I ever make it again, I'll have to remember to retake the photos.  In the meantime, my friend Jenn posted perfect step-by-step pics of the process.  You can see them on her blog here

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links to more alpha baker photo tutorials