Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Double Chocolate Cake



So, I may have cheated a little bit in making this cake.  First off, I watched Rose's video with Dede Wilson.  I praise Rose's patience in having Dede as her helper!  I don't think I would be nearly so calm and collected with someone assertively helping me... yes, I know it is TV and it isn't real, but still.  So help me, I wanted to slap Dede's hand.  And then I never got around to making it in time for the big VD day.  Not sure what I was too busy doing, other than procrastinating.  By the time Monday morning rolled around, the usual suspects had posted, so I may have done a little spying search for inspiration.  Thanks to Mendy's first attempt, I made doubly sure that the cocoa and water weighed the full amount before mixing. I also opted out of cupcakes and for the standard 9 inch round. 

I can truthfully say that this is the first time ever that a two step method cake has actually worked for me.  Previously I ended up with depressed circles of rubberised meh masquerading as cake.  I may actually be converted to this 2 step method.  So quick and easy.  The only issue I had was the final mix in of egg resulted in the batter separating a little.  See how it is a little grainy?  I read somewhere (TCB maybe) that this doesn't impact on the final cake taste... wiser palates may know better.

 

This cake domed a little in the middle as it baked, but then settled to pretty much flat after cooling.  As I stabbed the top with holes I noticed that it looked a little dry and a bit delicate.  Perhaps it could have done with about two fewer minutes in the oven?  At any rate, it smelled amazing.


Once the top was stabbed, I brushed over the thin ganache.  My only tip here is that the ganache should be relatively warm and that you shouldn't be too eager in your application - it is cake after all and not concrete.  I may have been a bit eager, but as a veteran HCB'er, I have learned how to cover my tracks.


At this stage I was racing the clock.  I had a telephone interview for a job at 2.00pm and I think I took this photo at about 1.50pm.  Fortunately there was no video link in, so a couple of smears of chocolate on my face were fine!  I didn't use this cake as an example of my ability to work to deadline and multitask - somehow I didn't think it that appropriate.

 

And this photo was at 1.57pm just as I was perusing my preparatory notes and trying not be distracted by how amazing this cake smells.  No cracks.  It held together and sucked up that ganache without any issue.  In fact, I think I probably could have got another four tablespoons at least into that cake.

The interview went well and it would appear that I am more than likely to be re-entering the workforce.  A little bit exciting really!  I am now in a frantic search to find a nanny for the Little Assistant.  So my days of spending hours at the park, playing with my little boy, and reading loads of blogs are very numbered.


 

As amazing as all those fresh raspberries looked atop the many versions of this cake, I opted for a raspberry mascarpone topping with a raspberry drizzle/splodge.  And it worked.  I think this cake definitely needs some creamy topping/side.  This cake was a little strange.  It was quite dry to cut and I expected it to be quite dry in the mouth also, but the plugs of ganache lend it a subtle fudginess, that offsets that dryness.  The chocolate flavour is really balanced and it is not overwhelmingly rich (you can definitely eat more than one slice per sitting and not feel like throwing up).  As with most of Rose's cakes, the sweetness is just right, and would have been even more "right" with the tartness of the fresh raspberries.  This is not a moist wet chocolate cake, but I think that its fudginess (how do you spell that made up word - with an i or with a y?) and chocolate flavour make it a chocolate cake that I will frequent more than those moist, cloyingly rich versions.

Next week is free bake week, I am going to attempt the German Chocolate Cake or maybe the tiramisu or maybe the... you get the drift.  I may be a little undecided at this stage and with no real chance to spy and prepare prior next weeks post.  Also, I have a second interview on Monday in the City, where I have to get properly dressed and talk about things other than cake and my little assistant and give them reason to throw wads of cash at me.  So I will have to be organised and post on Sunday night.  Maybe, just maybe beating Raymond out of pole position.  I will keep baking and posting regardless of my employment status!

14 comments:

  1. Good luck with your interview, friend. I love having my "little" helpers in the kitchen too.

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  2. Nicola.. good luck with your interview... can we switch places? You can go out to the world and work and I can sit at home reading blogs, and go play in the park (do we have parks were I live I wonder???). Your cake looks yummy (and we know that it is!)

    Like you I'm on the fence with the FREE choice as well.. I have no clue which one to bake, I want to take the easy way out and choose a fast cake, but then what would be the point right?

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  3. Your cake looks very good! Good luck with your interview! LOL! i agree with Monica, i too want to switch places with you...

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  4. Ha! No one needs to swap places with me, you can just come and work for me in London from asap until mid June! Because apparently London nannies are better paid than London teachers!

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  5. Nicola, best of luck witht he interview! I'll keep my fingers crossed from here. I know how nervewracking it can be - I just switched job recently. In response to your comment on my blog, my cake is a bit dry. I never really noticed it until Mendy and you mentioned it.

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  6. I hope the interview went well. Loved your line about concrete - haha.

    In my opinion, anything with a schmere of mascarpone is good, very good!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  7. good luck at your interview! what a great idea to go with mascarpone instead of whipped cream. yum!

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  8. Wow, that looks delicious! Good luck with your job interview.

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  9. OMG Nicola!!! I am ROTFLMAO!!! This is the best giggle I've had in days and days.
    But I have to say, "mascarpone topping with a raspberry drizzle/splodge" sounds delicious.
    Just think, you'll have a whole new cast of taste testers in The City. I can envision it now, you in your smart business frock and heels, heels, chic belted trench, Kate Moss style hat and umbrella, whilst carrying the infamous indestructible Tupperware on The Tube!

    And if I wasn't nannying my own randdaughters I'd hop the red eye and be your new au pair!

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  10. ב''ה

    As amazing as raspberries are I they go bad pretty fast. I might have opted for the splodge... :)

    Glad the ganache plugs off set the dryness for you.

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  11. Hmmm...marscapone. Another great idea. And I'm also reflecting after reading your post that perhaps I needed a larger diameter "poker", to get that ganache down into the middle of the cake. Oh, well, there are other cakes to bake!

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  12. Hope your interviews go very well!

    You are the epitomy of decorum and self-control. I'm afraid I would have been sampling the cake during the phone interview.

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  13. I miss you and your cakes!!! But I am very happy for you, that you have enjoyed your wonderful time as a full-time mama and cake-baker, and now are heading back into the paid workforce too - you are a star!

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  14. Wishing you all the best with your prospective new job. Sending positive thoughts your way!!
    Your cake looks great. I like the picture of the sliced cake that shows the ganache plugs. Great idea to use raspberry mascarpone. Yum! I thought the cake was a bit dry too, and next time will use Rose's All American Choc Cake recipe for the cake instead.
    For next week (it's so hard to pick), I might make golden almond lemon cake and the choc streusel cake (half recipe each). We'll see.

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