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The Chocolate Pavarotti
Posted: 19 June 2012 10:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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CRenee:

In looking at the “Mom’s” cake recipe, some things strike me:

1)  There is a huge amount of liquid in the cake compared with Rose’s.
2)  There is much less fat.
3)  There is slightly less chocolate
4)  There is a lot more sugar.

To me, that implies a lighter cake, both in texture and in richness, a bit less chocolate intensity, and a lot sweeter.  How does the cake sensory experience square with that prediction? 

I also wonder if the extra sugar contributes to the moistness of the cake.

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Posted: 19 June 2012 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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CharlesT - 20 June 2012 01:01 AM

CRenee:

In looking at the “Mom’s” cake recipe, some things strike me:

1)  There is a huge amount of liquid in the cake compared with Rose’s.
2)  There is much less fat.
3)  There is slightly less chocolate
4)  There is a lot more sugar.

To me, that implies a lighter cake, both in texture and in richness, a bit less chocolate intensity, and a lot sweeter.  How does the cake sensory experience square with that prediction? 

I also wonder if the extra sugar contributes to the moistness of the cake.

I do not know…. I just like that it is moist.  There is a lot of sugar but that is likely due to the 99% chocolate.  I do not like dry choc cake.  I just know I like it better than any other chocolate cake except one.  I never recall thinking that the cake is too sweet.  I do also like the deep choc passion.  The one cake I like as much was a chocolate cake I had in Thailand had a restaurant that I know used spelt flour in the cake and had a menu geared toward blood type.  I really do intend to go through the rest of Rose’s chocolate cakes and some of the others I see on Food and Wine.

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Posted: 20 June 2012 12:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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CRenee - 20 June 2012 01:11 AM

I really do intend to go through the rest of Rose?s chocolate cakes and some of the others I see on Food and Wine.

Have you tried the CI recipe where they make a sort of a pudding to be mixed with the cake? They claimed it provided a huge increase in moistness.

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Posted: 20 June 2012 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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CharlesT - 20 June 2012 03:28 AM
CRenee - 20 June 2012 01:11 AM

I really do intend to go through the rest of Rose?s chocolate cakes and some of the others I see on Food and Wine.

Have you tried the CI recipe where they make a sort of a pudding to be mixed with the cake? They claimed it provided a huge increase in moistness.

Which one.  I looked at a few and did not find it yet.  I will be baking choc cakes forever!

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Posted: 20 June 2012 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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CRenee - 20 June 2012 12:56 PM

Which one.  I looked at a few and did not find it yet.  I will be baking choc cakes forever!

It’s a little bit confusing because they call it “Old Fashioned Layer Cake”, but the recipe provided for it seems to vary.  The one in the “Best Recipes” cookbook doesn’t make a big deal of the pudding, not even sure it mentions it, but the recipe in the “Spring Entertaining 2010” goes into great detail.  And this one includes buttermilk, whereas the the one in the Best Recipes only includes milk, and the accompanying article bashes the idea of buttermilk in a chocolate cake.  I think the original recipe for this cake appeared in 2006, which is before I started getting the magazine.  In some ways, the pudding resembles the syrup in the cake you like, but the butter isn’t melted into it.

i can send you a PDF of the recipe if you’re interested, although the “salesmanship” of the recipe isn’t part of the recipe itself.  If you were to devote the rest of your life to baking chocolate cakes, well, there are worse ways to spend your time here on earth.  wink

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Posted: 20 June 2012 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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CharlesT - 20 June 2012 01:46 PM
CRenee - 20 June 2012 12:56 PM

Which one.  I looked at a few and did not find it yet.  I will be baking choc cakes forever!

It’s a little bit confusing because they call it “Old Fashioned Layer Cake”, but the recipe provided for it seems to vary.  The one in the “Best Recipes” cookbook doesn’t make a big deal of the pudding, not even sure it mentions it, but the recipe in the “Spring Entertaining 2010” goes into great detail.  And this one includes buttermilk, whereas the the one in the Best Recipes only includes milk, and the accompanying article bashes the idea of buttermilk in a chocolate cake.  I think the original recipe for this cake appeared in 2006, which is before I started getting the magazine.  In some ways, the pudding resembles the syrup in the cake you like, but the butter isn’t melted into it.

i can send you a PDF of the recipe if you’re interested, although the “salesmanship” of the recipe isn’t part of the recipe itself.  If you were to devote the rest of your life to baking chocolate cakes, well, there are worse ways to spend your time here on earth.  wink

Thank you, I found it… I do not get mags but I have online subscription.

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Posted: 20 June 2012 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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CRenee - 20 June 2012 04:08 PM

Thank you, I found it… I do not get mags but I have online subscription.

The online version corresponds to the original recipe…i.e., it contains buttermilk.  I wonder if they changed the recipe later when they discovered that buttermilk suppresses the chocolate flavor?

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Posted: 20 June 2012 02:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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CharlesT - 20 June 2012 05:03 PM
CRenee - 20 June 2012 04:08 PM

Thank you, I found it… I do not get mags but I have online subscription.

The online version corresponds to the original recipe…i.e., it contains buttermilk.  I wonder if they changed the recipe later when they discovered that buttermilk suppresses the chocolate flavor?

So I will use milk and see what happens

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Posted: 20 June 2012 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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re: boiled sugar syrups in cakes- boiling creates invert sugars which attract moisture better than regular sugar.  I remember Shirley Corriher saying in Bakewise that the dissolved sugar method of mixing a cake was her favorite- I don’t have the book here, but I wonder now if a sugar syrup is a part of that method.

re: moist chocolate cakes, one factor is the type of fat. Oil is liquid at eating temp and has a more moist mouth feel, but also produces a more open crumb. Cocoa butter is highly saturated and has a firm mouthfeel, which to me seems drier, though it produces a finer crumb.  You may prefer cakes like the deep choc passion that have some oil over those like the pavarotti which have higher cocoa butter content.  Maybe that will help you narrow down your choices!

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Posted: 20 June 2012 10:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Julie - 20 June 2012 09:04 PM

re: boiled sugar syrups in cakes- boiling creates invert sugars which attract moisture better than regular sugar.  I remember Shirley Corriher saying in Bakewise that the dissolved sugar method of mixing a cake was her favorite- I don’t have the book here, but I wonder now if a sugar syrup is a part of that method.

re: moist chocolate cakes, one factor is the type of fat. Oil is liquid at eating temp and has a more moist mouth feel, but also produces a more open crumb. Cocoa butter is highly saturated and has a firm mouthfeel, which to me seems drier, though it produces a finer crumb.  You may prefer cakes like the deep choc passion that have some oil over those like the pavarotti which have higher cocoa butter content.  Maybe that will help you narrow down your choices!

Thank you, Julie, this does help narrow down the choices.  Of course, the Rose RHC and TCB recipes I have not tried will receive priority.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Julie - 20 June 2012 09:04 PM

re: boiled sugar syrups in cakes- boiling creates invert sugars which attract moisture better than regular sugar.


Thank you Julie.  It does open up some interesting ideas.  I wonder how far this can be taken?  Can one add some acid to the sugar syrup to increase the percentage of invert sugar?  I also wonder if this method could be adapted to Rose’s cakes.  When blooming the cocoa, one might could add the sugar to that instead of the dry ingredients.

Brown sugar would probably also increase the moistness of the cake, with its liquid and more invert sugars.  I’m also pondering potato flakes (not starch), which works well in bread.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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CharlesT - 21 June 2012 04:43 AM
Julie - 20 June 2012 09:04 PM

re: boiled sugar syrups in cakes- boiling creates invert sugars which attract moisture better than regular sugar.

I’m also pondering potato flakes (not starch), which works well in bread.

That reminds me I have a cookbook with a recipe for Farmhouse Chocolate cake that includes mashed potatoes.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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CRenee - 21 June 2012 12:53 PM

Farmhouse Chocolate cake that includes mashed potatoes.

There you go!  I think they’re quite tasteless in reasonable quantities.  No one has ever detected potato in my dinner rolls.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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CharlesT - 21 June 2012 04:16 PM
CRenee - 21 June 2012 12:53 PM

Farmhouse Chocolate cake that includes mashed potatoes.

There you go!  I think they’re quite tasteless in reasonable quantities.  No one has ever detected potato in my dinner rolls.

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Posted: 24 June 2012 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I made a version of Mom’s Chocolate Cake.  I made a lot of changes, so this comment really shouldn’t apply to the original recipe but the cake flavor seemed a bit…watery.  Can a cake be too moist?

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