Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good Charlotte, An Angel

Well, as usual, it all begins with the next recipe in the Cake Bible. This time, it started on page 120 the Genoise Classique. Boy that sounded pretty. The most complicated thing about this recipe was learning how to pronounce "beurre noisette" (according to dictionary.com: bur nwah-zet" . I can't get the midwestern out of my voice for the first word.

From the Genoise Classique, we move on to CB pg 179 and the Chocolate Chip Charlotte. This is photographed in the book, which I find is a great help. Sorta like a puzzle box having the picture on it so I know what I'm supposed to be making. Unlike a puzzle, I rarely get it exactly right in baking. But looking at the picture at the top, you have to say it looks mighty fine.
We also have to make one of our favorite frostings: Ganache (pg 279). This is so easy. Chop the chocolate and add it to warmed cream. Stir. Damn, it's easy and it's good!

We make a syrup, it's a part of the original Genoise recipe. Then, the fun whipped cream with nuts, chopped chocolate (in our case, mini morsels) and a touch of gelatin.

Nothing in any of these recipes was difficult, and all of the instructions up to the 6th step of the Charlotte were easy to follow.

At step 6, Houston we had a problem. Ok, it wasn't nearly as bad as being trapped in space until you possibly burn upon rentry. But there was a moment when I thought, "How the Hell does this actually work?"

After J cut the edges to form a point to keep the top from being a wad of cake dough, I was "supposed" to lay them in the bowl with the chocolate facing out and the points all meeting at the bottom of the bowl. I have to say that I'm more of a bull in the China shop sort. I barrelled on through, hoping that at some point, it would all make sense.
The trouble is I can't barrel through and chat and when J said, "It's gotten quiet in here, it's starting to be work." I realized she was right and all that was missing was my tongue sticking out as I tried to write. Growing up I always thought of myself as Charlie Brown. It seemed to me that everyone was so mean to him, especially when he tried to do something good and bring home that sad under loved Christmas tree. Then, when Linus gets up and recites the real meaning of Christmas... I need a hanky.

The Chocolate Charlotte was not, however, hanky inducing. It came together with a bit of
barreling through and a pause, and a bit of a redo, but it turned out quite nice. About half way through (ok, about an hour into our 3.5 hour baking session), we thought we'd not finish the charlotte until next week. So, we made the Chocolate Lover's Angel Food Cake (pg 160). J had made it before and thought it would be a quick one to whip up and that way we'd have something to show for our day's work.

Well, here it is....
Somehow, we spent the next hour and a half (while the Angel Food cake cooled and the ganache cooled on the genoise) looking at blogs. Thanks everyone for your comments on the Lemon Meringue Pie entry. This Daring Bakers thing could get awfully addictive. We looked at pictures from J's Mom and her homemade Twinkies, made from an actual Twinkie baking kit, complete with a plastic Twinkie the Kid!

We got to look at J's dad's wonderful baguettes. Ok, that sounds a bit dirty, (you can stop giggling now). There is something about seeing someone create a thing of beauty, whether it be a Twinkie, a baguette, or variations on a theme like the lemon meringue pies to inspire you. John's photos inspired us so much that when we get back together in two weeks, we are going to make those baguettes. They are from the latest Fine Cooking issue, to which we all three subscribe. The link takes you to a picture and a video of how to shape the loaves, although the recipe is available only through a subscription. An additional subscription even for those of us who pay dearly for a hard copy subscription every year. No, we didn't have our complaint fall on deaf ears at Taunton Publishing or anything, really. Don't get us started.

I am away next week on baking day, heading to North Carolina for to meet with folks at a salon outside of Charlotte. I can hardly wait, I've never been to Charlotte. (Seemed fitting to bring up since we made a Charlotte and I'm going to Charlotte.)

See you soon.


MrsPresley said...

wow, what a beautiful cake! i love to bake, but cake maker i am not! =P

i just joined the DB this month too, just checking out everyone else's blogs, wanted to say hello :)

Julius said...

Okay, between that swan cake and this charlotte, you two are now my official role models!