Chocolate-covered Strawberry Cake
Posted: 14 June 2010 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was planning on posting this cake for the June Bake-Off - buttercream theme. The plan was to try RHC’s method of mousseline for the 1st time.

The plan failed.

I noticed something went wrong when the sugar never really dissolved in the water. Even when it reached 240 degrees it was grainy and looks more like sugar crystals. I incorporated it into the meringue anyway. When the meringue met the butter, it started melting, even though the butter temp was 67 degrees. I tried putting it in an ice bath, but the meringue continued melting.

So I grabbed my copy of TCB and made the mousseline using the method that I’ve used several times. It worked this time. The pink color comes from pureed frozen strawberries.

Next challenge was the chocolate frosting. I melted the chocolate and combined the light corn syrup. The frosting was not as flowing as I thought it would be. I poured it onto the cake, and it dripped down the side, and stopped. I tried to spread it out but it was all sticking together, and it was dragging the mousseline with it. So I gave up. I don’t know what I did wrong. I heard the frosting is very sticky but it was too sticky to work with. My guess is that I would probably have better luck spreading if I didn’t try to be creative by applying mousseline all over the cake (Rose didn’t say to do this in the recipe). But I had too much mousseline and it was so good that I couldn’t resist smile.

Though the cake didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped for - and I was so sad last night. I still want to share my story. The cake was delicious and the strawberry mousseline is to die for!

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Posted: 14 June 2010 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think it looks cool. Kind of like an ‘artsy’ kind of cake!!

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Posted: 14 June 2010 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You know, when I made my buttercream, I didn’t feel like the sugar ever really dissolved, either, even though I first ground it in the food processor.

When it was about to boil, I left it alone until the surface covered with bubbles and continued, the the buttercream was smooth, but I echo the non-dissolvement above.

Anyone else have any thoughts? 

Lovely cake.  Looks VERY tasty!

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Posted: 14 June 2010 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It looks delicious. I would be thrilled to make a cake like yours cool smile

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Posted: 14 June 2010 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Jenn, I like your cake very much, I never would have thought that you weren’t happy with it until you mentioned it.  I agree with Sweetness, it looks kind of artsy.  :) 

Regarding the sugar crystalizing while making the syrup- you need to make sure that it is totally dissolved just before it comes to a full boil.  This is why the directions say to stir until it boils, then stop.  When I make a sugar syrup, if it starts to boil around the edges and there are still any grains of sugar, I remove the pan from the heat and stir until dissolved, then continue with the boiling.

If any grains are left on the sides of the pan, that can also start crystallization, so I cover the pan once the sugar is dissolved so that the steam washes down the sides of the pan.  You can also do this with a pastry brush and water.

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Posted: 14 June 2010 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks a lot Sweetness, Anne, Missyjean, and Julie. It is true that we are our own worst critic. I never thought that my cake would look artsy. You’ve all made my day now grin.

Julie, thanks for the explanation on the sugar syrup. I realized that Rose’s instruction did say it has to fully dissolve, and when it didn’t, I didn’t know what to do. Never thought of taking it off the heat and continue stirring! Thanks a lot, now I know what to do next time, smile.

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Posted: 14 June 2010 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, thanks, Julie!  It never occurred to me to take it off the heat and continue stirring, either!  Luckily, the buttercream still came out super-smooth, but I fretted a bit, and now I have a workaround!  Much appreciated!

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Posted: 15 June 2010 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It’s always a little disappointing when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped they would, but that’s how we learn right?  And you’re helping us all learn by sharing what went wrong.  At least the next time you try it, you’ll be able to learn from your mistakes and learn from any advice that fellow bakers have shared. 

The most important thing is that it tasted good!  smile

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Posted: 15 June 2010 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Jenn, I really enjoyed reading your blog about this cake, and those of the other Heavenly Bakers.  It was so timely…I’d been asked to make a birthday cake for my MIL’s brother on June 26, and the one I picked out was the Strawberry Cake.  I feel like I am really benefitting from all of your experiences!  My American Spoon strawberry butter got here in the mail today.  Really looking forward to making this cake now!  Sounds like everyone really loved the flavor of the cake, especially the strawberry mousseline.  What did you think of the sticky chocolate frosting?  Does it really take the “patience of a craftsman” to work with it?

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Posted: 15 June 2010 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks sugaraddict for the nice words. What you said is very very true smile.

Loopy, I’m glad you enjoyed my blog cheese. The strawberry cake is really really good. I made it with frozen strawberries and it’s so tasty already. I’m sure with America Spoon Foods’ butter it would be even better!
Something went wrong with my chocolate frosting, so for me it is really sticky. But if you see everyone else’s pictures, their chocolate frosting seem to behave more normal. They seem to be able to pour it smoothly over the whole cake. I’d say go ahead, I know you can do it smile.

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