Deep Choco Passion Cakes and Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Posted: 05 May 2013 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Our stores had the first rhubarb of the season this weekend, and it got me so excited about the approaching pie season that I couldn’t resist making a strawberry-rhubarb tart.  It had been my favorite of the rhubarb pies that I made last year.  This one was made with the cream cheese flaky crust, according to the recipe in the Pie/Pastry Bible.

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Posted: 05 May 2013 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Next photo is a basic but delicious 10” Deep Chocolate Passion cake syruped with dark chocolate/half and half and frosted with white chocolate mousseline.  It was very moist and very well received.

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Posted: 05 May 2013 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Last photo is the tiered version of the DCP, this is a 6-8-10 frosted in white chocolate mousseline and syruped with the milk chocolate syrup from RHC.  The polka dots are Rose’s chocolate fondant.  I wasn’t able to get a picture of a slice (all gone!), but it was filled with caramel creme mousseline from The Art of the Cake.  It is basically a pastry cream with extra starch and butter, which gets whipped until light and fluffy.  This was a cake for a kids event and they seemed to like it a lot.  Many came back for seconds, thirds, etc.

This was my first try with fondant, and I found it harder to work with than I had anticipated.  I think next time I might just go with tempered chocolate or plastic chocolate.  I was able to freeze this cake with the dots already attached.  They did get condensation on them during thawing but once the cake was fully up to room temp it had evaporated and they were fine.  The kids all seemed to like eating the polka dots but I found them too sweet.

My first batch of chocolate fondant was made with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, and it turned out black, there was no color difference between the black fondant and my black counter top.  You can see the color difference between it and the second batch (made with Ghiradelli) in the second photo.  The black color was not appetizing for this cake but could be useful for some designs.  The music note was supposed to be the cake topper, but it was too tall/heavy for the little 6” cake to support so I had to leave it off.

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Posted: 06 May 2013 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I love them all, Julie—but I must say the tart is really calling my name….I love your decoration on the Single tier cake and the 3-tiered cake is super cute—the caramel creme mouselline sounds intriguing.  Did you have a favourite?

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Posted: 06 May 2013 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Your tart and cakes are stunning as usual, Julie. The polka dot decoration on the tiered cake is so much fun…perfect for a children’s event.

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Posted: 06 May 2013 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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@Sophia, thanks so much for the kind words!

@Sherrie, thank you!  My favorite was the tart- I hadn’t made a pie in a while and there’s just something about the first few tarts/pies of summer.  Plus I love anything strawberry. smile 

The DCP cakes were good, but they were made to cater to kids’ tastes rather than my own, so my goal was to make them moist, not too intense on the chocolate, and with easy-to-like complementary flavors (white chocolate and caramel).  They also needed to be nut-free, liquor-free and caffeine-free, which pretty much rules out all my favorite chocolate combinations, lol.

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Posted: 06 May 2013 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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All gorgeous Julie. The tart I want to dive into. What you called basic cake had very beautiful and even piping! And the tiered cake, I’m speechless.

Also, gotta say, I see big improvements in your photos. You are photographing with natural light now! Very nicely done.

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Posted: 06 May 2013 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Julie, your pies are always so professional (and delicious) looking.  I love the decoration on the cake….. and again, your piping is so perfect looking.  I am sorry you had issues with the chocolate fondant.  I will have to give it a try soon….. close enough to the time of also trying the plastic choc to see the diff.  I just love DCP and really like your pairing (filling) descriptions.

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Posted: 06 May 2013 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Beautiful job on both!
I love the rhubarb tart myself; I can eat the filling all alone wink We are just starting to get rhubarb here in the markets and I cannot wait to have some this Mother’s Day!

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Posted: 06 May 2013 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I have to agree with everyone else,  they all look gorgeous, and very professional.  ( As always smile  )  I can definitely tell that alot of work went into these

I love your tiered cake.  The kids must have been thrilled!  Your icing is so smooth, and I am very intrigued with your filling How would you describe the taste.  ( I’m always looking for new and different fillings for cakes and cupcakes ) 

What did you think of the taste of the fondant.  I think that it tastes like a tootsie roll.  When I made it a couple years ago it was so dry and cracked.  How did it handle for you,  I think that next time
if I make it, I won’t use all of the powdered sugar called for in the recipe.

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Posted: 07 May 2013 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes everything looks like something I would see in a magazine ! Beautiful !

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Posted: 07 May 2013 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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@Jenn, wow, thank you!  Got a new camera a while back, so I’m no longer borrowing my daughter’s electronics for photos.  And for natural light photography, turns out all I had to do was turn off my kitchen lights.  It isn’t very brightly lit but takes better pictures smile


@CRenee, thank you, too.  The one good thing about fondant vs. tempered chocolate or plastic chocolate is that you can slice through it pretty easily, so it worked for the larger polka dots.  If I had used hard chocolate, I would have needed to keep the dots small. 

@Jeanne, thanks for the comments, it means a lot coming from a pro like you smile  Hope someone makes you some rhubarb soon!


@SweetNess, thanks so much!


@Liza, you’re very kind.  The taste of the caramel cream filling is a lot like vanilla pastry cream made with caramelized sugar.  It is just more airy in texture from the extra whipping, and also a bit more firm, so I wasn’t worried about it compressing too much or anything like that.  However, the extra starch/flour makes it a touch grainy, so I wouldn’t use it as an exterior frosting (not perfectly smooth).  But you don’t notice that at all when it’s a filling.

The taste of the chocolate fondant, well, it seems overly sweet to me, but the kids all seem to love it, some of them were coming up and asking to peel dots off the cake.  The texture is like a tootsie roll, the flavor is similar to a tootsie roll but not quite the same.

re: dryness and cracking, my first (black) batch I made with a low fat cocoa (Hershey’s Special Dark), plus it has been unusually dry weather here so ingredients like sugar are probably affected by that.  I had to work in a tablespoon more water to get it to come together and maybe almost that much more shortening when rolling just to get it to roll out without crumbling to pieces.  The second batch was also made with a low fat cocoa (Ghiradelli), but I used 5% less than was called for (190g vs. 200g) and it all came together much better.  It still had a tendency to crack when handled- I found that rolling on greased plastic wrap helped a lot because it was so easy to peel the wrap off the pieces rather than trying to scrape them up off the counter. 

I also found that the pieces were much more pliable and bendable when they were protected from drying even a few minutes.  I needed some of the dots to extend over the upper edge of the cakes, and at first I tried to do it with dots that had sat around for a bit (maybe 20 minutes?) while I finished cutting and smoothing a whole batch.  Those would not bend and had to be cut into two pieces to go over the edge.  But then I tried again with some fondant that hadn’t been allowed to sit out or dry at all, just a quick roll-out, cut, and then immediately put it on the cake.  With those moister dots I was able to bend them so that they would drape over the edge.

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