"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Batteries not included...

Wow! Very flattering to see so many admirers of my baking abilities. I can't take credit for the recipe, just the hard work it took to make the sucker. A few people asked for the recipe, which I will post at the end, so as not to bore everyone else.

Thursday night was a blast, as expected. Stacey bought many goodies for us to snack on (gummy bears...here and there and everywhere!), cheesy sticks, brie and crackers, and assorted other candies. I took over left over cake and made some artichoke spinach dip to fulfill the vegetable portion of our meal. I availed myself of the ball winder and swift, spinning up my Interlacements Toasty Toes and 2 skeins of Manos. Wanda came over after she was done with work, and we hunkered down for some TV action and fiber craft. I worked a bit on the tank, then watched the ER with complete attention. Goodbye Carter. You will be missed.

Sock action: I don't know if I completely grasped the concept of how to arrange the stitches on my needles, but I'm trucking along on sock #1. I'm just about to the decreases by the toes. Wanda knit at lightening speed on her nursing shawl for her sister (and finished!), while Stacey worked on her clap. She's gotta be so close to finishing, since she's on the decreases. I wonder how long it'll take her to cast on for bambootis after she finishes her giant beast of a clap.

I took the sock along to the wedding yesterday. The wedding was at a beautiful bed and breakfast in PINE. I had plenty of knitting time in the car. I took along my clapotis for evening warmth and got MANY compliments. And statements of disbelief that a) I made it, and b) that it was made of bamboo.

Sorry about the lack of pics. Camera dead.

Recipe (with some side notes from me)
From here.

Cake
2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Make cake:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Butter and flour two 10-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; line each with round of parchment paper or waxed paper. Combine first 5 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend well. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs and egg yolks in large bowl until very thick and heavy ribbon falls when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes. Add oil, sour cream and vanilla, then dry ingredients all at once to egg mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat at high speed until well blended, about 3 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips; divide batter between prepared pans (about 3 3/4 cups batter in each).

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Cover; let cakes stand at room temperature overnight.

notes: I bought one cake pan (the silicone floppy type) and used a springform pan that I already owned. They were slightly different sizes, but it worked out alright.

if you live at high altitude, i suggest finding out what the appropriate changes should be made. Otherwise, you'll end up with two 1 1/2" thick brownie type cakes. I cut off the uneven tops of both...ending with a 2 layer cake instead of 3 layers.

Ganache
3 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Make ganache:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer ganache to glass bowl. Let stand until thick enough to spread, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

notes: nothing different here. i used all bittersweet.

Mousse
4 1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Make mousse:
Using electric mixer, beat 3 1/3 cups cream in large bowl until peaks form; refrigerate. Combine remaining 1 cup cream and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan and bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted, smooth, and still warm to touch. Pour warm chocolate mixture directly onto whipped cream and fold in gently. Chill until mousse is set, at least 8 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

notes: the directions say to let the mousse set for 8 hours in the refrigerator. In hindsight, I wouldn't let it set so long. Maybe make the mousse 2 hours or so before assembly. Otherwise, it will need to sit on the counter to loosen up so it's spreadable. again, all bittersweet.


Assembly and serving
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

parchment or wax paper (for cake pans and two 4 1/2-inch-wide by 15 3/4-inch-long strips for chocolate decoration)

3/4 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

3 1/2-pint baskets raspberries
1/2 pound cherries
1 1-pint basket small strawberries
1 1/2-pint basket blueberries
1 1/2-pint basket blackberries

note: I used 1 quart of strawberries, 1 pint of blackberries, 1 pint of raspberries. Could've used more fruit.

Assemble and serve cake:
Cut around pan sides; turn out cakes. Peel off paper. Cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer, cut side up, on 9-inch cake board round. Place another layer, cut side up, on clean baking sheet. Spread each with 1/3 cup raspberry jam. Chill until jam sets, about 15 minutes

note: use a flat plate or cake platter if you have it. if you like, use more jam than called for...

If ganache is chilled, microwave on defrost setting in 15-second repetitions until just soft enough to spread, stirring occasionally. Drop 1 cup ganache by rounded teaspoonfuls over each jam layer. Using offset spatula (angled blade), gently spread ganache to cover jam. Drop 3 cups mousse by heaping spoonfuls onto each ganache layer; gently spread to cover. Refrigerate cake layers 30 minutes. Using large metal spatula, place cake layer from baking sheet, mousse side up, atop cake layer on cake board. Place third cake layer, cut side down, on cake (reserve remaining cake layer for another use). Spread 1 cup mousse over top of assembled cake. Using spatula, spread sides of assembled cake with enough ganache (about 1 1/2 cups) to fill gaps and make smooth surface. Transfer cake to platter.

Turn 1 large baking sheet upside down on work surface. Arrange two 20-inch-long pieces of foil on work surface. Cut two 4 1/2-inch-wide by 15 3/4-inch-long strips from parchment paper. Lay 1 parchment strip, onto each sheet of foil. Place chocolate in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Stir until chocolate is smooth and very warm to touch (about 115°F). Remove bowl from over water.

Pour thick ribbon of melted chocolate (about 2/3 cup) onto 1 parchment strip. Using long offset spatula (angled blade), spread chocolate evenly over parchment strip, covering completely (chocolate will run over sides of strip). Lift edge of chocolate-coated strip with tip of knife. Slide hands between parchment strip and foil, lift entire parchment strip and place it, chocolate side up, on inverted baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate on strip is set and loses gloss but is still flexible (do not let chocolate become too firm), about 1 1/2 minutes. Using fingertips, lift chocolate-coated strip and attach, chocolate side in, to side of cake. Press strip to seal chocolate to side of cake (strip will stand about 1 inch above top edge of cake).

note: i had to let the chocolate ribbons set for far longer (about 4 minutes) b/c i made them a TAD thicker. DO NOT overlap the parchment paper, b/c when the chocolate sets, you can't get the parchment off the inside layer of ribbon (duh!).


Coat remaining parchment strip with chocolate, transfer to inverted baking sheet; chill until set but still flexible. Arrange 1 end of second strip against (but not overlapping) 1 end of first strip. Press second strip to seal chocolate to side of cake (both strips will just encircle cake). Refrigerate cake until chocolate strips are firm, about 30 minutes.
Carefully peel parchment paper off chocolate strips. Chill cake at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Mound fruit atop cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Cake can be assembled up to 8 hours ahead.)

note: let cake sit out about 20 minutes before serving. Use a large SHARP knife. Run hot water over the blade of the knife, then wipe dry to help the knife cut through the ribbon. Make slices as small as you can, b/c the cake is the richest, densest cake i've ever had. it serves TWENTY!

5 Comments:

Blogger Cathi said...

Holy crap, if it took me that long to read the recipe, I can only imagine you slaving over it. :) I'm glad that you had a great weekend, can't wait to see your progress on the socks. Then you can teach me how to make them.

5/22/05, 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Cordelia said...

Thanks for posting your comments on the recipe; I'm not a big baker so it helps to get more details than what the recipe writer feels is absolutely necessary. What a lot of work, but it definitely looks worth it!

5/23/05, 10:00 AM  
Blogger Wanda said...

All I can say is I had the cake and it was delicious! oh boy. And Cyn cuts a huge piece for both of us and I could only make it halfway through. I had the rest of it on Saturday and M liked it too. Can't wait to see how those socks turn out. Any probs with turning the heel and picking up sts for the heel flap?

5/23/05, 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

Holy crap! You are almost done with the first sock! I remember hearing something about knitting these socks at the same time, and/or you were going to set them aside for a while...what up? You crazy knitter you! By the way, that cake was just as good the second, and third times I ate it!

5/23/05, 4:13 PM  
Blogger celia said...

Great work on the cake!

Thanks for the recipe. I am going to have to gather the courage to try it one of these days.

Bf's birthday is about a week and a bit away. I will ocnsider making it for him - dependent on whether i feel he deserves it ;)

celia

5/24/05, 8:39 PM  

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