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March Bake-off
Posted: 29 March 2010 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Thank you Rosanne, Silke, Julie and Jenn….

That is what is good about this forum—everyone is so kind.  The cake was a non-rose cake.  Old fashioned chocolate cake from a 1988 Food and Wine (I recently found the original mag).  The roses are the first I did a couple of months ago… I was too lazy to give it another shot.  For the fondant, it was not as elastic as I think it needed to be.  It was brittle but not too dry, perhas I should have rolled it thinner or kneaded it more in the first place.  I kept adding things - water, shortening, corn, syrup—and microwaving it to get something I could pick up.  I will do it again at some point. 

I wanted to make my original chocolate cake close enough to making another of Rose’s to compare.  I already believe I like mine better than the chocolate layer cake from TCB.  I have made Deep Pass choc.  and I know I like it..but do I like it more?

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Posted: 29 March 2010 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Congratulations Jeannette,  on the anniversary.  50 years is super special!  I think the cake looks great.  I cannot figure out why you would not want to stack again.  I do agree that smoothing is really a challenge.

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Posted: 30 March 2010 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Here’s my almost-late entry for the March bake-off.  It’s a combination of different recipes - and books.  The cake is the German Chocolate from RHC and I syruped it with Amaretto syrup.  Filling and frosting is the chocolate-praline Silk Meringue butter-cream from TCB.  Then I made caramelized sugar shards for the top similar to the Copper Topper in Rose’s Melting Pot.  The challenge was the SMBC and I was especially keen to try to make praline myself.  I did make it - took 15 minutes in the Robot Coupe - and when finished it did have a fairly grainy texture.  However, when it is combined with the SMBC and all that melted chocolate, the result is very smooth with just s slight textured feel - I suspect from the nuts.  This is a truly amazing, smooth butter-cream and I don’t think I’ll ever be allowed to make Bill’s Mousseline again (sorry Bill).

BTW, for the cake I used the full recipe but made a 6” cake and 16 cup cakes.  Then I piped the remaining BC on the cup cakes and got rave feed-back for them too.

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Posted: 30 March 2010 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Jeannette, your cake looks amazing and I’m sure it was delicious.  What a wonderful way to celebrate - making your own, beautiful cake.  Do you have a photo of a slice?  And Congratulations on your Golden Wedding - it couldn’t happen to a lovelier couple!

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Posted: 30 March 2010 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Absolutely gorgeous Annie! I love the look with the sugar shards. Would you mind sharing where the recipe comes from? It looks like edible stained glass grin - sorry for the comparison to glass but that’s exactly what I thought when I saw it. What a dedication too making your own praline, smbc, and all those cakes. Did you do all this in 1 day?

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Posted: 30 March 2010 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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That looks good Annie, now I want to add the choc-praline SMBC to my list and Rose’s Melting Pot.

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Posted: 30 March 2010 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Annie, lovely, gorgeous cake!  I hadn’t realized that you syruped it with Amaretto, that sounds amazing.  Did the syrup penetrate the cake? Did you need to poke holes, like for the ganache syrup?

I must try that buttercream soon, I’ve made the praline, but never the chocolate praline.

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Posted: 30 March 2010 10:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Annie, your cake looks and sounds divine! Love the sugar shards.

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Posted: 31 March 2010 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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A gorgeous looking cake Annie, my favourite, a chocolate one!  I love the way you’ve done the sides, I should have tried that method on my cake, it looks nice.  I bet it tasted nice too.

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Posted: 31 March 2010 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Thanks guys, it was a wonderful cake.

Julie, I did poke some holes in the cup-cakes with a bamboo skewer, but not the cake itself.

Jenn and CRenee, I made a mistake, the recipe for the caramel sugar is in Rose’s Celebrations, not Melting Pot.  But essentially you just dissolve some sugar in water giving it a stir, then when it boils, leave alone until it starts to colour around the edges.  Swoosh it around in the pan until just past golden, and then pour onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking tray until it sets.

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Posted: 31 March 2010 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Thanks for sharing the technique Annie. Will have to try this someday, it looks so pretty. I love that you use “swoosh” - sounds very british and cute!

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Posted: 31 March 2010 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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March is going out like a lamb here in Victoria. Hope it’s the same for everyone else. I wonder if some last-minute baking and tasting notes are being done. Sorry, not by me. Had hoped the latter half of the month would see a little window open up, but life hasn’t cooperated. Not to worry, my project will likely fit in with the April theme as well.

Meanwhile, what a wonderful month of challenges met and mastered! Linda, your mother-in-law’s birthday cake was charming. The roses - amazing! The piping and lettering were both lovely, too. Along with others, I’m curious whether it was poured or rolled fondant that you used. Either way, it looked terrific. You’re certain to do a good job for the wedding with all the practice you’re doing.

CRenee, your chocolate fondant looked delicious. It really is like an upscale Tootsie Roll, isn’t it? So tasty! It’s been a long time since I made it, so I can’t offer any useful advice on the concerns you expressed. But truly, I couldn’t see anything but a pretty cake. If you have any of it left over btw, it makes a handy medium for all sorts of decorative touches. I had some left over in the freezer for the longest time, and that’s how it got used up. For example, it was perfect once for rose “stems.”

Jeannette, what can I say to our Golden Girl with her beautiful cake and her wonderful occasion? You know just how brave I think you were to do your first stacked cake for your anniversary?! We bakers do sometimes waltz in where angels fear to tread, don’t we? And look at the result! It’s perfect. My very best wishes to you and your dear husband for all the years ahead. May they bring every possible blessing!

Another first-timer with a stacked cake! Annie, if I didn’t know how true-blue and honest you and Jeanette are, I’d think you were having us on. Your tiered cake last month was equally beautiful, and now you’ve added the SMBC along with chocolate-praline paste to your repertoire. Well done!

Looking forward to next month, and also to any last-minute entries here. Thanks Julie for an excellent theme!

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Posted: 31 March 2010 10:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Annie, your cake is gorgeous! I love the caramel shards on top! Beautiful! And thanks for the report on the buttercream. I need to get baking soon!

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Posted: 02 April 2010 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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I am crying in joy to see CR’s version of la porcelaine, Jeanette’s and Linda’s version of the golden dream, and Annie’s version of the copper topper.  Makes me want to make these cakes again and again.  You are all so AWESOME.  And last but no least, Jenn’s triple chocolate cake with lattice band is such great idea!

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Posted: 02 April 2010 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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hectorwong - 02 April 2010 09:08 AM

I am crying in joy to see CR’s version of la porcelaine, Jeanette’s and Linda’s version of the golden dream, and Annie’s version of the copper topper.  Makes me want to make these cakes again and again.  You are all so AWESOME.  And last but no least, Jenn’s triple chocolate cake with lattice band is such great idea!

Hector, in addition to being inspiration, you are so encouraging.

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