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Dried Tart Cherries
Posted: 07 April 2011 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I was thinking of making the Devil’s Food Cake with Midnight Ganache, and the cherries are supposed to be dried tart cherries.  The only dried tart cherries I can find are also infused with sugar.  Is this what I’m supposed to use?  Or are the tart cherries supposed to have no sugar added?  Thanks!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The cherries are sweetened, but the variety is a tart cherry, as opposed to a bing cherry.  Ok to make these well in advance to give the booze some time to mellow (or if you don’t like cognac, cut back a bit).

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Posted: 07 April 2011 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks, Julie! That’s exactly what I needed to know!!!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Anne, I’m excited to hear that you’re going to make this. I’m currently contemplating making it for the 2nd time - I’ve been craving it. Will probably go the cupcake route this time.

Btw, when are you going to give genoise a try?  wink

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Posted: 07 April 2011 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I made it once before, but my midnight ganache didn’t set.  This is before I knew of the extended waiting/refrigerating/whipping (last resort) tips—although my husband suggested them all—so I’m really looking forward to it.  Had recently pulled a small frozen container of the leftover midnight ganache from the last time (a year ago) to taste.  Really good!!!  And, of course, plenty thick!

Genoise…..it’s now possible.  I don’t have a stand mixer, but I now have an extension cord so the ‘at least 10 minutes with a hand mixer’ won’t drive my poor hub crazy in the apartment because I can mix in the laundry with the door shut.  Not sure if I can take all that noise, either, for that long!!  However, maybe I’ll borrow his iPod to drown out the sound.  Of course, then there’s the REAL danger of me singing along, a capella ... LOUD!!!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Anne, you’re really funny LOL. Singing a capella - that made me laugh!

I did not realize you don’t own a stand mixer. Stand mixer is louder than hand mixer (at least the ones I have), so 5 mins with stand mixer vs. 10 mins with hand mixer might be comparably noisy! So I understand your predicament smile.

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Posted: 07 April 2011 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Jenn,

Oooh, good to know re the stand mixer.  That will help me continue to resist buying one!  Appreciated!

Hey, Jenn, am I correct that you once mentioned using an alternate mixing method for the cake part than what’s in the book?  I think Rose revised for a less tender cake, perhaps?  I don’t like to make the same cake twice (except Chestnut sand), so I thought this alternate mixing would be good to try!

Jenn!!!!!  How could you possibly have made ANY cake twice and still have baked as much as you have through the book????? I am tripping!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Anne,
Here is the post for the alternative mixing method for the Devil’s Food Cake. This is one of my favorite’s from RHC.
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2009/11/devils_food_cake_on_page_99_of.html 
Darlene

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Posted: 07 April 2011 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Anne in NC - 07 April 2011 06:15 PM

Hey, Jenn, am I correct that you once mentioned using an alternate mixing method for the cake part than what’s in the book?  I think Rose revised for a less tender cake, perhaps?

Yes I did the alternate mixing methog as Rose specified on her blog. She modified it because she felt the original recipe is too tender. My cake turned out to be a bit dense - denser than I’d like them to be. It taste good but I think I’d prefer a fluffier cake.

However, all the other Heavenly Cake Bakers who made this cake use the method in the book and I don’t really hear any complaints.

One of the bakers, Hanaa, actually came up with a modified mixing method that seem to produce a somewhere in between texture (not as tender as the book but not as dense as the blog’s). Here’s the link to her post:
http://hanaaskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/03/hcb-devils-food-cake-with-midnight.html

Her reasoning for her change makes sense and I’m very intrigued with her method and want to try it for next time. Oh I should also mention that both Marie and Woody tried her cake and they loved the texture as well.

Anne in NC - 07 April 2011 06:15 PM

Jenn!!!!!  How could you possibly have made ANY cake twice and still have baked as much as you have through the book????? I am tripping!

Anne, LOL, keep in mind that I barely bake anything else from other books. I’ve only made 6 cakes from TCB, 7 if you count that I made the Black Forest twice. From PP&B I’ve made very few as well. And let’s not talk about other authors - though I own other cookbooks I haven’t made anything from them. Also another thing is I pretty much bake every weekend since October 2009. From RHC, here are the list of repetitions:
Upside Down Apple Cake - 3 times
Almond Shamah Chiffon - 2 times
Chocolate Butter Cupcakes - 2 times
Lemon Poppy-Seed Sour Cream Cake - 2 times
Genoise Rose - 3 times (twice failed, 3rd attempt was successful)
Hungarian Jansci Torta - 2 times

I do want to repeat the Apple Charlotte, Saint Honore Trifle, and Marionberry Shortcakes again sometime this summer. They were so good and among the top ranked in the house.

I wish I can make more from TCB, PP&B. Especially now I own Rose’s Christmas Cookies and just purchased Rose’s Celebration. But they all have to wait as I want to finish RHC. I have 23 cakes left, Anne! 23!! So exciting!!! If I count the weekends (minus a couple of weekends that I’m out of town), I should be done by the end of September - marking 2 whole years, smile.

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Posted: 07 April 2011 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Jenn

Well, after reading Hanna’s blog, she obviously knows much more than me.  However, I am going to forgo her changes.

Here’s why:

> The Perfect All American Chocolate Torte uses all egg yolks and no whites and is not ‘tender’ at all.
> I’m always unlikely to use oil instead of butter in any quantity.  That’s just the kind of hairpin I am (as Cagney says in “The Strawberry Blonde”)
> I like mixing the cocoa with hot water for the more chocolatey effect.  Even if it is a pain to get off the sides of the bowl.
> I am a failure at the creaming method because sugar and butter NEVER get ‘light and fluffy.’  It confuses me and makes me nervous.

My guess is most of her results came from the 1/2 AP flour substitution, because that alone will make a denser cake.  But again, only a guess.

So there.  LOL  But I really enjoyed it reading it, and WOW! is her cake gorgeous!  And no doubt, delicious.  And I still concede I know nothing compared to her, but I still won’t do it!!!!!

Maybe I should use the Domingo or the Chocolate Fudge Cake instead? 

Jenn, I cook from no other books (except TCB) either.  You are a whirlwind!! 

Dar

Thanks! I will scope and consider!!!!!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Anne in NC - 07 April 2011 05:19 PM

I made it once before, but my midnight ganache didn’t set.

Anne, make sure you are using a rich heavy cream and make sure your cocoa powder is the full-fat variety.  Less fat in a ganache means a softer texture.  If you need to use a low-fat cocoa, use 75% cocoa and 25% unsweetened chocolate, by weight (I like Scharffenberger unsweetened).  Even when properly made, this ganache is on the soft side so it doesn’t take much to push it over the edge.

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Posted: 07 April 2011 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Many thanks, Julie!

I use Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream (http://www.organicvalley.coop/products/cream/heavy-whipping-cream/).  They say they’re 40%.  Unfortunately, I can’t get non-UHT here.
For cocoa powder, I use E. Guittard Rouge Red—mmmmmm!!

Do you think adding the cognac to the ganache could push it over?  Should I use a tad less water?

Last time, I only let it sit for the recipe-recommended minimum of six (I think) hours.  I know now I can let it sit overnight.  The container from my freezer is now—well, gone, but was until yesterday a perfect consistency!!  I’ll be making the ganache this weekend, but the cake next weekend, so it will have plenty of time to chill and thicken in the fridge!!

Does all that seem workable?  If you didn’t see Hanaa’s cake, definitely look at Jenn’s link!!!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anne, Hanaa used 3 eggs instead of 2 eggs and 2 yolks, so she actually used less yolks. I agree with you regarding the cocoa powder, mixing it with water is probably best. Have to be honest that I forgo the details of Hanaa’s post, only remembered that she mixed differently and that she used half bleached AP). I think you’re right that the flour change is probably the factor that contribute the most to the cake structure - though I do like Hanaa’s explanation of the butter and how the timing of its incorporation impacts the coating of flour.

Julie - if you have a chance to read Hanaa’s changes to the cakes, I’d be curious to hear what you think as well!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Anne in NC - 07 April 2011 07:40 PM

Maybe I should use the Domingo or the Chocolate Fudge Cake instead? 

Jenn, I cook from no other books (except TCB) either.  You are a whirlwind!!

No! You should try the alternate mixing method or do the 1/2 cake flour 1/2 AP substitution like Hanaa. And thanks for the whirlwhind comment smile.

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Posted: 07 April 2011 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Jenn,

Well, you got me.  I’ll definitely use the Devil’s Food Cake, either as is or with one of the modifications!  Maybe I’ll try mixing the 1/2 cake + 1/2 AP.  That seems like a good compromise! 

BTW, I hope you know my comments to Hanaa’s were not critical but just in fun.  I think it’s fabulous when people try different things!  I’d be interested in Julie’s thoughts, also, as she sure knows more than I do, even though I’m probably more opinionated!  (LOL!) 

My point about the Perfect All American Chocolate Torte is that that has LOTS of (as in ALL) yolks but isn’t tender, so I don’t think lessening yolks is necessary to reduce tenderness—plus I LOVE my yolks!!!!!!! 

Really looking forward to the baking, and it’s so nice to have such fun people to toss around ideas with!!!

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Posted: 07 April 2011 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Oh Anne, don’t worry, it never once crossed my mind that you were being critical. I always feel like we’re discussing and brain storming. That’s what this all is. I do not know much about baking theory/chemistry - less than you or Julie. So am definitely interested in learning about whether a change would work or not.

I’ve exchanged emails with Hanaa about her DFC modification and she told me that if I try her changes to let her know if I produce the same results. We actually had a deal with each other that whoever try the DFC as cupcakes has to tell the other LOL.

And yes it’s so fun to be in such good company with fellow bakers - where we can share our successes and failures and toss ideas around. Baking wouldn’t be as fun without an outlet to show/discuss the results, smile.

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