Moist Chocolate Genoise - A complete and utter failure!
Posted: 19 December 2010 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m not going to even post a picture of it.  It is so sad looking, only a half of an inch high.  It is so pathetic looking.  Hopefully someone can help me.

I followed the directions in TCB for melting the chocolate and the water on the stove until it is of a pudding consistency.  Now all the puddings that I have seen are quite thick, so that is what the stage I cooked it to.  Then I was reading on the blog about the way Matthew incorporates the flour into the chocolate and then that mixture is folded into the whipped eggs.  By the way, the eggs whipped up fine, at least quadrupled in volume and nice and billowy.  The chocolate cooled down to 100 degrees and I tried to incorporate the flour, which ended up looking like fudge almost.  It certainly didn’t look like the pictures Rose posted on her blog. LOL  I had to added twice the amount of the whipped eggs into it so I could atleast incorporate it into the remaining whipped eggs.  I folded it into the eggs very quickly and poured it into the pans quickly.  The batter didn’t come close to 2/3 full.  Well, I knew by that point it wasn’t going to work but baked them anyways.  The cakes taste pretty good, but dense, and no pellets in the batter.  My kids are enjoying my failure very much by the way.

I think my problem was that I cooked the chocolate mixture too much.  But like I said before, to me puddings are quite thick.  So
I am really confused as to how long and how thick I have to cook it.

I’m afraid to try it again.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Liza - 19 December 2010 05:23 PM

But like I said before, to me puddings are quite thick.

I also thought this direction was unclear.  Puddings don’t achieve a pudding-like consistency until they are chilled, so I wasn’t sure whether this stuff was supposed to look like pudding does before chilling, or after chilling.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree Charles.  That direction was unclear to me too.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Liza, I’m so sorry it didn’t work out (even if your kids are happy!). 

If you like, you could PM Matthew, who developed the technique. 

I don’t make this cake as often as I do the gen au chocolate.  The last time I made it, I did use Matthew’s updated “no pellets” technique and it seemed to work, but I was not following the quantity (I scaled down), so I can’t comment on the height of my layer.  I used it for a plum/caramel upsidedown cake.  Also, I used unsweetened chocolate (reduced to get the same cocoa mass), and it seemed to thicken almost instantly when I simmered it, so I didn’t continue to boil.  All in, I would say that it worked, but I made so many changes I can’t be sure, or even very helpful, I’m afraid.

When I made the triple chocolate cake, I used the classic directions and had no trouble, I do think I have a tendency to stop the simmering before the full five minutes is up, as the mixture seems to thicken earlier, maybe around four minutes.  I’ve never had too much trouble with pellets, maybe a few but they always congregate down at the bottom, so they can be trimmed without too much problem when removing the crust.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Julie, when you simmer the chocolate, do you bring it to a full rolling boil?  I don’t think mine came to full rolling boil, but I know I stirred it alot longer than 5 minutes, probably closer to 20 minutes to get a real thick consistency.  That is why I think I probably cooked it too long.  I will try it again maybe tomorrow.

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Posted: 19 December 2010 10:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Liza,
Matthew and I discussed his technique as we tweaked it with my testing it several times. The chocolate should be cooked to a pudding like consistency, which will pool thickly when a little is dropped on the surface as stated in the Cake Bible and Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. In the May 20, 2010 blog posting, Pellets Be Gone (which we revised the technique for making the batter), Rose and I also restated the consistency to be porridge, to avoid people’s interpretation on how thick is pudding.
It also helps to have an instant read thermometer to know when the chocolate has cooled to 100 F. If it cools to room temperature it can become too thick after adding the flour, which will not incorporate well with the egg foam. We posted several of Matthew’s and my pictures to show the stages.
Please try making it again with hopefully successful results.

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Posted: 20 December 2010 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Liza, sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you! As a few posters have already mentioned, I also stop cooking the chocolate mixture when it starts to mound on the surface when dropped from the spoon. I could see that if you cooked it too long, you might have lost too much of the moisture content, and then my modification of the recipe wouldn’t have worked very well. I hope you’ll give it another shot in the future!

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Posted: 20 December 2010 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Liza - 19 December 2010 09:41 PM

Julie, when you simmer the chocolate, do you bring it to a full rolling boil?  I don’t think mine came to full rolling boil, but I know I stirred it alot longer than 5 minutes, probably closer to 20 minutes to get a real thick consistency.  That is why I think I probably cooked it too long.  I will try it again maybe tomorrow.

In addition to Matthew and woody’s advice, I’ll chime in that the mixture should come to a boil, then remain at a simmer until it pools on the surface.  Good luck!

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