Mom’s Chocolate Cake
Posted: 08 July 2013 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]
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After reading many posts that sang the praises of Mom’s Chocolate Cake, I decided to take the chance and make this cake.  I opted to use Lindt 99% chocolate (which is $3.00/50g—ouch!!!) as the only other available unsweetened chocolate is really gritty.  My thoughts:

1.  First of all, I am incredibly spoiled by Rose’s recipes.  My first reservation with making the cake was—how much flour do I use?  There is no indication in the recipe of how the flour is measured.  CRenee had posted she uses about 114g per cup for this recipe.  I think I would use more—probably around 121g in addition to the full 1 Tbsp of cocoa I added.  Also, the recipe says to cool slightly after adding sugar syrup to chocolate and butter.  A temperature would be useful. 

2.  It seemed like a lot of batter for the 9 x 2” pans when I scaled up accordingly, so I reserved a couple of cupcakes to bake later—it would have been fine to use it in the pans.  I’ve had batter overflow a pan before, so less is ALWAYS better than too much.  I still ended up with 1.5” high cakes. 

3.  The cake is very moist…I’d almost call it a pudding like texture from a saucy pudding cake.  I’m not sure if I’m totally sold.  I think I prefer DCP.

4.  It is a bit sweet for my tastes—both the cake and frosting, but in particular the frosting.  If I made it again, I’d definitely just do a 60% ganache for the frosting.  Easier and smoother in texture than the frosting recipe that went with the recipe and it would be way less sweet.  I used about 284 g (or 10 oz.) of unsweetened chocolate and 600g sugar in the suggested frosting.  I did serve it slightly chilled and this helped to temper the sweetneess - the cake was moist even out of the fridge.

The cake is ok, the frosting didn’t do it for me. I would consider making it again with some of the modifications I suggested above.  However, given the cost of the 99% chocolate, I would likely not make it because of the expense.  I baked the cake with strips and I found it took a long time to bake and it was hard to tell when it was done.  It never really sprung back and when I used a toothpick it came out smeared with cake but no crumbs.  I eventually pulled it because it was between 190F and 200 F.

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Posted: 08 July 2013 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’d probably substitute 50% cocoa and 50% butter for the unsweetened chocolate and bloom it in boiling water.

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Posted: 08 July 2013 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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CharlesT - 09 July 2013 01:11 AM

I’d probably substitute 50% cocoa and 50% butter for the unsweetened chocolate and bloom it in boiling water.

I thought about making a substitution but thought for the first go I’d make it mostly as written.  Also wondering if the cocoa butter has any specific advantage in this case (help firm the cake since it is quite moist?).

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Posted: 09 July 2013 12:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sherrie - 09 July 2013 02:38 AM

Also wondering if the cocoa butter has any specific advantage in this case (help firm the cake since it is quite moist?).

I’m skeptical that most recipe writers carefully select the optimal ingredients the way Rose does. Sherry Yard chose to use unsweetened chocolate because she asserted that it provided a stronger chocolate flavor than cocoa, which is contrary to everyone else’s experience. I replaced her unsweetened chocolate with cocoa (bloomed in hot water) and the cocoa flavor was much more pronounced and darker in color. She couldn’t have actually tested both.

I really like standardization and don’t want to have to keep supplies of unsweetened chocolate along with cocoa powder. I feel that, in general, I can recreate any sort of chocolate by using cocoa, vanilla, butter, and sugar.

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Posted: 09 July 2013 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The cocoa butter in chocolate will be harder at room temp than butter, so it will give a firmer texture to a baked good.  It also has more of a chocolate bar flavor (as opposed to a cocoa flavor) and for a given quantity, is milder.  However, these are small considerations and I think Charles’ substitution should work very, very well.  Perhaps even better if you love the flavor of cocoa + butter in a baked good (I do!). 

Melted bar chocolate is simpler, but I would be interested to try Charles’ substitution for the RHC marbled cake to see if I like the flavor better. smile

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Posted: 09 July 2013 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi.  Where can I find the recipe for Mom’s chocolate cake?  Thanks.

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Posted: 09 July 2013 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Kathy1 - 09 July 2013 03:39 PM

Hi.  Where can I find the recipe for Mom’s chocolate cake?  Thanks.

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/moms-chocolate-cake

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Posted: 09 July 2013 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thank you, Sherrie for all of the detail.  It will be very useful to me.  It is the moistness that I like so much in this cake.  And, the last time I made it, I also add cocoa powder I have the same issue as you re: not knowing the temperature the choc mixture should be when adding the flour.  I now bake DCP about as much as Mom’s.  And, like you I, as my tastes have evoved I often use a different frosting (one of Rose’s ganache). 

Thank you also Charles for the formula on cocoa.  I will try what you suggest.  These tips will also be useful as I examine other chocolate cake recipes.  Yes, that remains on my to do (bucket) list. 

Thank you, Julie, that is useful information.

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Posted: 13 July 2013 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sherrie, forgot to say thanks for the recipe review, very useful! smile

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