Friday, May 23, 2008

Well they all can't be winners!

Fudgy Genoise Jeffrey (pg 136) with the Perfect Whipped Cream, Mocha variation, (pg 253)

When last we met, we were extolling the virtues of this section of genoise cakes. This genoise went a bit haywire.

For this cake, you whip the egg yolks, add the melted chocolate, add the whipped egg whites and bake. Straightforward enough, but here's where it veered off course:

* The yolk/chocolate mixture was so thick, almost gloppy, that we worried that we may have over beaten the egg yolks. A bit of heat thinned it out enough for us to add the egg whites. But it always seemed a bit stiff.
* The "crisp, meringue-like crust" fell off when we turned the cakes out onto the cooling racks.
* The edges were a bit over done -- almost burnt.
* The middle part was a bit doughy/gooey.
* The texture wasn't fudgy in any way, it was actually a bit dry.

We thought it we could have over cooked it -- it wouldn't be the first time, but the almost un-done interior made us think that wasn't the case. Yes, it was dry and undercooked! Bizarre.

Sometimes we assume operator error, and figure that we'll give it a try again some time. But too much was wrong with this particular cake. There just weren't any redeeming qualities.

And, most sadly to me, somehow, I cracked the cake plate that J & K & John got me for my birthday.

The one thing that did go well was the perfect whipped cream. It was amazing. The inclusion of the tablespoon of cocoa and the teaspoon of instant espresso was wonderful. Both of us expected it to be gritty and granular, but it was smooth and a beautiful tan color. And, let me tell you, it tasted divine. We highly recommend the mocha whipped cream.

One of the things that we've learned together is that sometimes fixing a mistake is what baking is all about. In this case, we removed the crust (top, bottom and sides), cut the cake horizontally and created the rustic napoleon type cake you see here.

We had such high hopes for this cake. Perhaps it was those expectations that made this cake seem not so good? No, this one just didn't work.

Sometimes, I feel like Paula Abdul, I have to find something nice to say about what we baked. Often, the journey is more important than the finished product. This is one of those times where we got to hang out while the cakes baked and chat, eat lunch and enjoy the sun.

(But, I can say that the whipped cream was a thing of beauty.)

Bake through

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