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Tiny Chocolate cake
Posted: 11 February 2010 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m invited to a small dinner tonight (4 people).  I asked if I could bring dessert…these people know me too well…the response was: “don’t bring a big cake…we don’t want any left overs”.  (middle ages is catching up with everyones waist-line).  So…since my other half (the chocolate hater) will not be able to attend this dinner…I went chocolate…really really chocolate.  I baked 1/4 recipe of chocolate fudge cake in a 7” Pan.  I split the layer and filled it with ganache that had a tiny bit of cognac in it and frosted it with “Bill’s Buttercream”.  I had exactly 4 ounces of dark chocolate in the house…and it was just enough.  2 ounces for the buttercream (1/4 recipe of mousseline) and 2 ounce for the ganache.  The cake looks big in the pic…but it is just enough for 4 people.

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Posted: 11 February 2010 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Oh…and a note on Vhalrona cocoa powder (Spelling?).  The supermarkets in my neighborhood, unfortunately, don’t carry a good stock of baking supplies.  I was lucky in that I could always find Droste dutch processed cocoa…and sometimes Green and Blacks.  Recently, both of the supermarkets in my neighborhood, have had only Vhalrona Dutch processed ... they have had other brands of Natural cocoa, but for dutch…that was it.  I tried it…and didn’t like it.  I had posted about it, and Rose agreed.  When I baked this cake…I didn’t have the energy to travel to another store just for the cocoa…so I bought the vhalrona.  In the buttercream…it was delicious.  (Doesn’t work as well in the cake, though)

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Posted: 11 February 2010 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Another lovely, lovely cake, Bill!  Chocolate combined with cognac is my absolute favorite.  Pure heaven.

I find the whole subject of cocoa powders very interesting.  The fat (cocoa butter) content ranges from 10-24%, which makes a big diffference in cake texture, especially if you are weighing it.  And as you report, I find big differences in suitability- i.e., some cocoa powders are great spooned into my morning coffee but terrible in cakes (Ghiradelli).  Some taste perfectly fabulous all by themselves (Green & Black’s), but are very mild when baked into a cake.  Others (Valrhona) are horrible on their own, but have the power to cut through other flavors when baked.  I find myself obsessing, but perhaps you can relate…

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Posted: 11 February 2010 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What?  ME?  Obsesses?  Perish the thought LOL

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Posted: 11 February 2010 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Once again, a lovely cake. Bill, are you sure you are not in the wrong profession.

As far as cocoa goes, I am torn between the G&B and Valrhona. I like them both. I use G&B in chocolate cakes all the time and I think it gives that perfect chocolate flavor with a sprising twist—there’s a fruity quality in the G&B that I’ve noticed are only in organic chocolates. This makes it a wonderful choice for chocolate cakes that are paired with Rasberries. I use the Valrhona in my red velvet cakes because it increases the chocolate flavor in that cake which calls for just a little cocoa. Over all I think G&B wins out, but it’s a close tie for me.

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Posted: 11 February 2010 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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If I could start a bakery, and be sure of it’s success, and not have to work a million hours…I would definitely switch.  Since none of that is guaranteed…I’ll stay safe for now.

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Posted: 11 February 2010 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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LOL, for your friends as you describe, i would have made a 3 inch cake!  that is what i did when i made the golden dream wedding cake.  we only ate the top tier which was only 3 inch after everyone complained why the hell i had to make a tiered wedding cake for our one day event.  it cut perfectly into 4 little orange wedge pieces!

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Posted: 11 February 2010 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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LOL…they will eat this tonight…trust me, if there were left overs…they’d eat that too

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Posted: 11 February 2010 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Bill - 11 February 2010 02:53 PM

What?  ME?  Obsesses?  Perish the thought LOL

Hahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!

Er, uh… did I just laugh out loud uncontrollably???
so sorry wink

Great cake Bill.  I love the idea of downsizing this into a smaller portion.

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Posted: 11 February 2010 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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definitely a culture thing, italians believe in REAL food and small portions, americans believe in NO-FOODS and big portions.  don’t know what the rest of the world believes though.

my american friend likes no fat, no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no everything (even he isn’t food intolerant to anything).  instead he likes protein shakes, big portions of chicken, 6 egg white omelets loaded with lean bacon, whole wheat pizza loaded with fat free mozzarella and chicken, low fat sourcream, fat free cream cheese.  he always eats until the belly is full an explodes.

my italian friend likes full fat, real sugar, dairy galore, daily non-whole wheat pasta, yes real food.  he detests protein shakes, chicken, he eats only 1 egg a day or less, bacon only for carbonara, full fat creme fraiche.  he eats in moderation, never till full.

p.s.  one time i asked my american friend to make me his signature 3-egg omelet but using only the yolks and not the whites, because if you think of it, whites also have calories, and till this day he thinks my 3 egg yolk omelet is less healthy than a 3 whole egg one.

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Posted: 11 February 2010 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hector: 
Apparently, we americans like things Big BIG BIG BIG.  Big is good.  And if we eat “real food…cream, bacon, etc” in BIG quantities…we will be enormously fat (Americans apparently like everything BIG except their waist-lines).

A quick story on this point:  I have a friend who works in a lovely little China Shop in Brooklyn.  She got samples for a new China Pattern from Limoge (Spelling?).  She was to put the sample on display for orders. She unpacked the box, there was a Dinner plate, a salad plate, a dessert plate, a cup and saucer and a little bowl.  She wasn’t sure what the bowl was to be used for.  She called the manufacturer in France.  “I received the sample of the new china…what is this little bowl supposed to be used for?”  The Response was “It is a soup bowl….Americans eat too much”

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Posted: 11 February 2010 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Haha… that’s a funny story Bill. 

Hector - I’ve never heard of an egg yolk omelet.  I’d have to agree with your friend, an egg white omelet seems healthier than an egg yolk one - more protein, less cholesterol.

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Posted: 11 February 2010 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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how funny!!!  love it Bill, Patrincia.

i do like the fact that the Chinese soup spoon (those white ceramic ones that stand on their own) are much larger than an American soup spoon!

and regarding the omelet question:  which version has more calories?  an omelet made with 3 egg yolks or the same omelet made with 3 whole eggs?

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Posted: 11 February 2010 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I’ve been to France and over there I think it’s very similar to Italy - portion size is small - quality is more important than quantity. I think in Asia it’s the same thing. A funny comparison, if I go to parties/potluck hosted by American friends, there is usually lots of alcohol, and as far as food goes there are only appetizer for nibbles - not really things to fill someone up. When I go to potluck hosted by Asian friends, there’s only food, no alcohol and sometimes only water and tea for drinks.
Another funny story, when I brought a cake to work (6 inch moist chocolate genoise with vanilla mousseline), a coworker (who I’ve overheard in the past saying she eats low fat) asked me if it’s healthy. I responded saying: “if by healthy you mean low fat, the answer is no.”

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Posted: 11 February 2010 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Bill - your cake is gorgeous as always. It looks pretty big - and it’s only 1/4 recipe baked in 1 pan. Impressive!

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Posted: 11 February 2010 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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hectorwong - 11 February 2010 08:04 PM

how funny!!!  love it Bill, Patrincia.

i do like the fact that the Chinese soup spoon (those white ceramic ones that stand on their own) are much larger than an American soup spoon!

and regarding the omelet question:  which version has more calories?  an omelet made with 3 egg yolks or the same omelet made with 3 whole eggs?

I miss understood - I thought you were comparing an all egg yolk omelet against an all egg white omelet.  Sorry.

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