Monday, August 27, 2007

Belts & Suspenders

Ok...last Tuesday (August 21, 2007 - almost 7 days ago) we made the Bittersweet Royale Torte (pg 198).

It includes a 1/2 recipe of chocolate buttercream. We used our Milk Chocolate Butter cream from 5.17.7 and 6.5.7. Thank God for freezers and zip top bags! As you may recall, it was a big hit when we used it last time. This time it whipped up quite nicely.

It also includes:
A Perfect All-American Chocolate Torte (pg 56).
Chocolate Cream Glaze (pg 271)
20 or so chocolate Rose leaves (pg 385).

The Torte mixes up just like all of the other butter cakes.

Honestly, this was not our favorite cake. It was a bit too dense and really, really crumbly. It almost seemed more like a kitchen sponge to me. Dickey, one of our tasters, said that it was really good with milk in a bowl. I thought it would be good with a big scoop of ice cream.

Originally we thought it was because of the fact that you have to refrigerate the cake before you can pour the glaze on and then again after you pour on the glaze -- this was a bit of a discussion for us. We both read the directions and initially thought it was that way, the reason we did it that way. Then after reading it again, I thought it shouldn't have needed to be refrigerated and J thought it did. With that in mind, I left the cake out all evening so that when Michael got home it would be room temp. It still had a crumbly texture and a stiff, almost chewy consistency.

The butter cream was quite nice. Leftovers are your friend!

The glaze. As it's written, and this time we did follow the directions exactly, the glaze wasn't pourable. There just wasn't enough cream to make it drizzly. We added more cream and it eventually got to a place that worked, but really, it was stiff and gloppy and eventually J had to frost it. Luckily, we had cooled it in the fridge after we buttercreamed it, so the "glaze" would actually work a little bit as a frosting. Too bad it wasn't the smooth as glass top we had expected. Really, not our favorite. At some point, after we've been away from Butter Cakes for a very long time, I'd like to make "our version" of this cake which would have a nice moist chocolate layer (think flourless) a bittersweet buttercream and ganache poured over. On paper, it sounds just delicious.

The rose leaves.....well, it's a lovely idea if you can peel them off in a walk in freezer. We found that after you painted to chocolate with a light coat, the chocolate tore. If you did a heavy coat, the chocolate tore. If you did two layers, the chocolate tore. Honestly, we couldn't figure out how to get this to work efficiently. The ones that turned out were absolutely stunning. This might be one technique we enjoy trying again in the winter when room temperature is likely to be more favorable.

The photo turned out kind of blah, our attitude had soured more than usual by that point. But we put a couple of geranium petals in the center on the top and it looked decent.

We took our bite at the end, with our separate forks, on the same plate and both looked at each other. J said, "I don't understand, she's the belts and suspenders lady. There are so many fail safes in this book, yet this didn't come together at any point....what's up with that?"

Really, she's right. What is up with that?

And, even though it might not always work out, Bake through anyway.....


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