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September Bake-Off
Posted: 01 October 2009 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Looks really good Silke. I love the way you decorated it. Funny how the rushed jobs are the ones that turn out the best.  cool smile

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Posted: 01 October 2009 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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Looks very pretty Silke. That’s a good idea to bake in a smaller pan - I’ve been thinking about doing that too.

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Posted: 01 October 2009 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Oh my… the flavor combo sounds scrumptious!

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Posted: 01 October 2009 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Really like the black and whilte combo - and sounds delicious.

Annie

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Posted: 01 October 2009 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Thanks everybody. This is fun! I’m already plotting for the October bake-off!

Had to stop my husband from polishing it off - a friend wanted to try some as well. Almost had to pry it out of his mouth!

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Posted: 02 October 2009 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Silke, it’s lovely!  I just love “black and white” cakes, they’re so beautiful.  And it sounds delicous.  Funny about having to pry it away from your husband. 

The cake I had planned for this month’s Bake Off was designed with my husband in mind.  I’m trying four new components.  I’m not sure how it will turn out, the first two, Sybil’s pecan torte from RHC and the dark chocolate modeling paste from TCB, have had problems.  I’ve had to start over twice with the modeling paste, hence the delay- it takes multiple days for each attempt…  And the pecan torte rose well above the pan rim, which made cooling upside down problematic.  I’m going to go now and check my springform pan volume.

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Posted: 06 October 2009 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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Well, I could call this cake a beautiful example of spare modernity… or, I could (more honestly) call it a feeble attempt to salvage a project ravaged by the fearsome gods of chocolate. 

I didn’t follow one of Rose’s tried-and-true pairings, so I only have myself to blame.  When I first received Heavenly Cakes, I told my daughter and husband that they could each pick out whatever they liked and I would make it for them, figuring it was probably best to get them excited about the book so they would be a little more understanding about the obsession that would certainly develop…

My daughter’s pick was the whoopie pie, which she loved and I thought was amazingly good and grown-up tasting for such a funny little cake (pic on far right). 

My husband, who loves deep, dark chocolate (he eats the 85% stuff straight- very manly), asked for something “chocolate- not sweet.”  He’s from the South, so the cake is Sybil’s pecan torte, minus the coffee flavoring, which he does not like.  I used a version of ganache with his favorite 85% chocolate, brown sugar and bourbon.  And that shiny glaze, couldn’t resist. 

I did have a problem with the pecan torte rising higher than the sides of the pan, so when I went to cool it upside down I couldn’t use a rack.  I tried to prop the edges up on coffee mugs, but it fell off, yikes!  I did measure my pan and it was large enough according to the book (9” x 2.5” interior), and I did weigh both yolks and whites, so I’m not really sure what happened there.

Originally, I was going to top the shiny cake with a shiny rose, a dark chocolate version of the chocolate modeling paste roses on the cover of TCB.  But after two weeks of trying, I gave up on those.  I’ve learned several pointers for my next try:
- you really do need all the corn syrup (had to throw out the first batch, which was a rock that could not be salvaged by remelting and adding more syrup)
- the paste is easier to knead and roll at warmer room temp, but easier to cut and form flowers at cooler room temp.
- the petals have to be very thin, or else they need a lot longer to dry (many, many more days).  I made some leaves which would not glaze properly, despite drying for 6 days.  If the rose ever dries, I’ll try glazing it.

Then, I thought I might try some white chocolate leaves, but chose the wrong leaves- too delicate- and they wouldn’t peel off in one piece.

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Posted: 06 October 2009 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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Julie, the shiny cake is beautiful! Can I have a piece? Right now, with my coffee? Did the shiny glaze work as advertised? It looks quite easy to make, but that can be deceptive.

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Posted: 06 October 2009 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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Julie - great job on the glaze. It looks so shiny and smooth. I hear you on the chocolate leaves - I still want to try again and see if it works. What type of leaves did you use?

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Posted: 06 October 2009 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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The glazed cake and rose look wonderful! Thanks for sharing your mishap with us so we can all learn from them. Glad your daughter liked the Whoopie pie. I must try it soon for my kids. Did your husband like his cake?

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Posted: 06 October 2009 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Julie, your glaze looks perfect!  It is so satisfying when it turns out so good isn’t it?  I felt so proud of mine!  Your chocolate rose looks good to me too, why do you say it was a disappointment?  I’d be proud of that too! smile

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Posted: 06 October 2009 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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Here’s a picture of the sliced cake- it turned out incredibly well, considering it dropped on the counter (well, partly on the counter, partly with a coffee mug stuck into one side).  It was wonderfully soft and moist, with a lovely taste from the pecans.  I’m not sure it is strongly enough flavored to balance the bittersweet ganache, but it was fun to try a “southern” ganache.  This was so much more moist than most sponge cakes, and far less sweet than most (only 20% sugar, versus about 24-25% for Rose’s butter cakes). 

Silke, Jenn, Rozanne and Jeanette, thanks so much for the kind words!  They are especially soothing when things didn’t all turn out as I’d hoped.

Silke, the glaze works well as written and directed- it does help to have a smooth, level cake underneath, but it doesn’t have to be completely perfect, the glaze will forgive little flaws.  And you can do a few small touch ups for maybe five minutes or so, before it starts to set.

Jenn, these were black raspberry leaves, very prettily detailed, but too thin and the backs weren’t smooth enough- even when I did manage to get all the leaf off they were too matte.  I chose them because they were in my yard, so I knew they weren’t sprayed, and I knew they weren’t toxic- my daughter loves to eat decorations and I knew she would be eating most, if not all, of them.

Rozanne, yes, my husband did like the cake- he had nearly finished his piece by the time I finished cutting and sat down with mine!

Jeanette, I like my flower (the little bud was made by my daughter- she ate it shortly after the picture was taken), but my idea had been that it would be as shiny as the glaze, and the petals were too thick to dry properly (given a week) for glazing.  I also made leaves to go with the flower and tried to glaze them, but it didn’t work.  The glaze made the leaves soft/droopy and didn’t take evenly and little drops of oil floated to the surface of the corn syrup.  Based on what happened to the leaves, I couldn’t glaze the flower yet, and I didn’t want to put a matte flower on a shiny cake, so, I’ll stow it away somewhere for a later project.

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Posted: 06 October 2009 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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Julie - 06 October 2009 11:56 PM

the little bud was made by my daughter

Wow! Julie she is talented (like her mom). You’ll have an experienced helper in the kitchen soon.

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Posted: 07 October 2009 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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Hmmm, wish MY failed cakes and roses would look that good!!!

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Posted: 07 October 2009 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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Rozanne - 07 October 2009 01:24 AM
Julie - 06 October 2009 11:56 PM

the little bud was made by my daughter

Wow! Julie she is talented (like her mom). You’ll have an experienced helper in the kitchen soon.

Rozanne, she is already able to do so much, but she has a mind of her own!  We seem to fit well together, I’m more of a baker/thinker and she’s more of a decorator/talker.

Little Island, thanks!

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