Friday, June 19, 2009
Baking a Cake
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.
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...)
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
All carefully folded together
Out of the Oven
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.
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.