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I Baked A Cake!!
Posted: 23 March 2009 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Some of you who have followed my posts know that cake is not my favorite food. Still I get certain urges sometimes. I have had a recurrent desire for maple cake with dark chocolate frosting. For a dinner party the other night I decided to have a go. Of course I had not prepared an ingredient list and I waited until the day of the dinner party so it had to be done with ingredients on hand. I went to the CB as my go to source but the only maple reference used maple sugar. I had maple syrup. I started searching for a recipe that used water thinking I would just substitute the maple syrup for the water. After a little thumbing I settled on page 64. Down Home Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake.  I figured leave out the cocoa, water, sugar and substitute maple syrup. The next problem was the recipe calls for two 8 inch pans. I have two 8 1/2 inch pans. Anyway this is the recipe I settled on…

4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup maple syrup grade B
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Mayonnaise
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

The butter was to replace the cocoa fat left out of the original recipe. I increased the amounts about 1/3 to compensate for the larger pans. Other than those small changes I owe it all to Rose.

Frosting was the next challenge. I follow most of the chatter on this site about egg whites and mousseline etc. Too much work and people seem to go to great lengths to make the frosting chocolaty enough. So another leap into the unknown (for me at least). This is what I settled on…

13 oz Guitard’s bittersweet chocolate
4 oz unsalted butter
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp salt
1 cup Karo syrup

I melted the chocolate then I added the butter and stirred gently until it incorporated. With a whisk I began adding the cream a little at a time while beating. The salt. Finally the syrup while beating.
As you can see in the pictures my decorating skills are primitive at best and the open time on my ‘invented’ frosting was limited. As it cooled it became too stiff to work with but whisking lightly restored it to workability quickly. Once on the cake however it didn’t want to be moved around very much.
The most delightful thing about this cake is that it very closely matched the dreams I had been having. The mayonnaise and maple created a delightful nutty counterpoint to the melt in your mouth dark intense chocolate. The frosting while not the fluffy stuff that ends up clinging to your moustache melted instantly on the tongue. The cakes baked into even flat layers and probably because of the all purpose flour had a moist substantial mouth feel that I liked. Anyway the group I presented the cake to consumed it with gusto.

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Posted: 23 March 2009 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well done!  Your cake looks very good to me and if it was enjoyed what more can you ask for?

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Posted: 23 March 2009 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What a brave foray into cakes- a substitution that turned out well, congratulations!  Love the photo of the whole cake, with the fruit and window light, very nice.

Living in New England, I also love using maple syrup in baking.  My favorite maple syrup substitution is to replace the molasses in Rose’s gingerbread cookie recipe with the darkest local syrup I can find.  Even people who don’t like gingerbread tell me they love them.

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Posted: 23 March 2009 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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looks great!! I never have had a maple cake and this one sounds so good!

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Posted: 23 March 2009 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well, for someone who doesn’t do cakes very often, yours sure looks “good enough to eat”. smile  Time for me to go raid the chocolate!

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Posted: 23 March 2009 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for the compliments. Hector’s beautiful staging inspired my fruit still life. Before seeing his pictures I would never have bothered.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Looks wonderful Gene. The crumb looks really fine and even, you are so good with the substitutions!
Despite your preference for making Bread/Pizza it seems like you are a natural cake creator!

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Posted: 24 March 2009 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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oh gene, I am honored!  so glad you adapted your own cake, looks delicious.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Beautiful cake! I’m so happy you were brave and made all these substitutions, tailoring the recipe to your tastes and what you had on-hand; too many people are scared to do so.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Gene, your cake looks absolutely delicious! You are a master at substitutions. Great job! Cool design on the cake. How intense was the maple flavour?

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Posted: 24 March 2009 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Difficult to quantify. It wasn’t maple cream (as in the center of a candy) strong but it was strong enough to not be overpowered by the chocolate. I always buy grade B maple syrup because I like the extra flavor. My biggest concern was the mustard in the mayonnaise. But, I decided to trust Rose and it actually seemed to complement the maple flavor.
By the way I like to think of the cake design as Devil’s Tower down the drain.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Gene - 24 March 2009 06:10 PM

Difficult to quantify. It wasn’t maple cream (as in the center of a candy) strong but it was strong enough to not be overpowered by the chocolate. I always buy grade B maple syrup because I like the extra flavor. My biggest concern was the mustard in the mayonnaise. But, I decided to trust Rose and it actually seemed to complement the maple flavor.
By the way I like to think of the cake design as Devil’s Tower down the drain.

You have mustard in your mayo?

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Posted: 24 March 2009 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks Gene. By the way, I tried your pizza dough recipe and it is awesome. My husband is not a fan of pizza but he ate this one and wanted more. Thank you for posting the recipe.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Indeed, mustard is one of the key ingredients of mayonnaise.
I am glad you enjoyed the pizza. We had our annual pizza party last month and it keeps getting larger each year. This year I used 12 pounds of flour and 8 pounds of cheese. Yikes!

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Posted: 24 March 2009 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I have to read the ingredient list on my bottle of mayo. I don’t think I’ve ever seen mustard listed on it. Very interesting!  confused

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Posted: 24 March 2009 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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That’s interesting… where do you live Gene?  Mayo in the US is made of oil and eggs.  You can buy a mustard/mayo combo, but traditional mayo doesn’t include the mustard.

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