Friday, June 19, 2009

Baking a Cake

cake pan

Dutch and I were at Sur la Table snooping around their sale racks, and he found these, on the cheap. Heretofore, baking a cake had never occured to me. I simply didn't have all of the stuff, and if I needed something sweet there were plenty of goodies to be had at the store. Once we had these, all of a sudden, cake was a potential reality. I had my trusty Mark Bittman cookbook, and all the ingredients, and no money to spend (and entertain myself other ways), so I thought to myself, why not? Its worth a try.

One of my friend's moms recommended this flour to me years ago. She has since passed away, but I think of her every time I see this package.

I don't think the town of Crockett has yet recovered from the C&H factory closure.

I bought this chocolate in the Mission, at a grocery that specialized in South American products. This is from Columbia, and is quickly becoming my favorite baking chocolate. Dutch likes eating it straight.

milk and baking powder

I separated the eggs, I greased the cake pans, I preheated the oven. I measured, I poured, beat, I folded, I mashed... I am now much more aware of verbs since Dutch and I have been listening to German Language CDs. German verbs give me a weird synethesia-- they appear lime-green, so a two verbed German sentence (second and last words are verbs) looks like Korean BBQ-- meat all wrapped in lettuce.

Pestle (pesto, pestilence...)
mortar and pestle

I used my granite pestle to pulverize the baking chocolate, which is always a treat. I keep thinking I should pick up a food processor, but this thing is so handy for working through frustration and has the added bonus of lacking plastic objects to clean, that buying a food processor just seems like overkill.

The directions called for separated eggs. The yolks got mixed with the buttersugar combo, and then the whites were whipped and folded in at the very end. Thank Seaweed Girl for the gift of the electric mixer, otherwise none of this would have happened.

Fluffy Egg Albumen
folding in the egg whites

All carefully folded together

Out of the Oven
right out of the oven

baked cakes

They look like cow pies, but taste much better. They popped out of the cake pans without any problems. I made ganache and I accidentally used the Luker, which is totally unsugared, instead of the bittersweet that was called for. The texture is lovely (nothing like heavy cream) but the taste is quite bitter (which intensified when I had to add some chocolate powder at the end when I realized I didn't have enough Luker) at first, then blossoms into a very lovely chocolate taste, but it is so intense, next time I'll add a little sugar.

finished cake

The cake itself turned out quite nice. Dutch described it as "chocolate bread" which I don't think is fair, as it is much moister, sweeter and crumblier than bread. I think we are going to eat it with what is left of the raspberry Chambourd.


H said...


The Nikkster said...

I second that Yum, and raise it to a Yummy!

rosa said...

One of the reasons for reaging 327 Market (besides the friend factor) is that a post about baking a chocolate cake involves such incongruous bedfellows as German verbs, synesthesia, Korean BBQ and cow pies. So satisfying!

My maiden name initials were CMH and growing up, the only teasy nickname that my schoolmates could come up with was to sing 'C-M-H pure cane sugar, that's the one."
They were a bit thick. I could have come up with better taunts than that easily, but since I was the object, I didn't want to help them.

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