Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh, yeah....we forgot something...what was it?????

As we are currently in the "butter cakes" section of the Cake Bible, we are certainly using up the butter supply in the Northern Westcester area. Buy butter stock now.

Figuring that we will have to spend more time on the frosted, pretty cakes later on, we decided to cook two recipes today: 1. Chocolate Bread and 2. White Spice Pound Cake.

The Chocolate Bread recipe -- really, it's not a bread at all, it just looks like bread -- is Janet's mom's favorite from the book. A dense and velvety cake, it does look like a loaf of bread when it comes out of the oven. I guess anything could look like a loaf of bread if you bake it in a loaf pan.

Ms. Beranbaum gives an option of slicing the top of the loaf. It sounded interesting, but I think that I'd have preferred it to "crack" on its own.

One of the things about doing two cakes, or variations, is that you can't help but to compare the two that you have in front of you. The Chocolate Bread looked a bit over cooked, but when we took it out at the right time, it was a bit oily and the wooden skewer wasn't clean, so we put it in only for a bit longer. But, that wasn't something we noticed until we had taken out the White Spice Cake.

Taste wise, the choclate cake wasn't our favorite. As Janet said, "The chocolate cake suffers in this comparison."

We took pictures today on Janet's camera. Hopefully, we'll have them to show you. The Spice cake was the best I've ever seen a cake come out of a bundt pan (or any pan for that matter). It was perfectly golden and crisp on the edges. I almost preferred the edges to the cake. There was something comforting in that crunch.

One thing we noticed was the chocolate in the spice cake. It was a weird addition to us. We found in the tasting that it acts kinda like salt, bringing out the flavors of the other spices -- you don't taste the chocolate at all. The cloves were extremely nice in the mix. Giving the cake a rich, warm aroma. It reminded us of Egg Nog -- a perfect holiday cake. An extra splash of brandy didn't hurt at all.

That great combination of cinnamon and crunch, reminded me of cinnamon toast I used to have growing up, the brandy gives it that adult twist. Served with cinnamon or pumpkin ice cream it'll make someone very happy. It was just really yummy (I realize it's bad food critique to use the word really, but really it's the only way to describe it.)

Janet and I have this down to a science -- sort of....

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot what we forgot. Way back in the Chocolate bread recipe I said, "It looks like chocolate mousse." and proceeded to take a taste of it. It was floury, flat and didn't have any spark. It was a reminder of what Chemistry teachers say throughout high school chem labs, "don't taste your experiments." That particular phrase is my second favorite chemistry teacher quote. Number 1 is "If you do this right, it won't blow up." Luckily Janet and I haven't had to worry about explosions. Yet.

Well, we finished the mixing of the rest of the chocolate mixture. Janet tasted it off the beater after she poured it in the loaf pan. "Why is there so little of it?" She was right, of course. It barely come up the side of the pan half way. And trying to spread it out, was a nightmare.

"Did we include everything?" she asked. This is when we realized that we had "superfined" the sugar in the food processor and hadn't included it!

So, what we basically had was butter, flour, eggs and chocolate. Can you say chocolate pastry dough, sort of?

Just so you all know, you can mix up the entire cake, leaving out the sugar, pour it into a prepared pan and place in the preheated oven for 1 minute then add the sugar and put back into a new prepared pan.

What did we learn today?

Mise en place, people, mise en place!


lisae68 said...

Thanks you two, now I'm hungry...at 11pm. It's good to hear you both seem to be enjoying the baking adventure. And you described it perfectly, I can practically taste it!

Lisa<----Who lives in the Boonies, ROTFLMAO!

BellaJack said...

At least you remembered the sugar before it was too late!

B-java Coffee, Tea, and Art said...

You have cake I have coffee.....
We really need to get together!