Monday, June 07, 2010

Exciting Frontiers in Baking - The Sequel in Chocolate

Yes, I tried the rolled cake (the fancy name is "roulade") again this weekend, this time with chocolate. It takes a lousy picture (the lighting in my kitchen is not flattering) but it tasted wonderful.

The details: I have a 17 inch pan which is larger than my recipe calls for (so far I've found 3 different sizes of jelly roll pans. I don't have room for 3 pans.) so I got ambitious and increased the recipe a bit -- 6 eggs instead of 4, 1/2 cup flour instead of 1/3 -- and it seemed to work ok. The cake came out soft and spongy. Filling -- chocolate cream cheese and Nutella. I also made my first ganache to cover the cake. Ganache is EASY! It is also delicious. I must be very careful with this new knowledge.

The final touch was chopped hazelnuts.

It didn't come out too sweet, which did concern me. There's no added sugar in the ganache, just what's in the baker's chocolate and the tablespoon of cognac. I didn't get quite enough sugar in the cream cheese according to some critics, but the cake itself has a lot of sweetness, plus the Nutella is sweet, so I think maybe a few more tablespoons into the cream cheese will do the trick. It's a lovely balance of dark and light chocolates and very satisfying.

It's also a lot of beating. I'm serious. First the yolks must be beaten creamy, then the whites must be beaten stiff, then there's folding and sprinkling flour and floodling around. The ganache is all about the beating (food processor!) and the cream cheese is beaten and mixed.

The one sad occurrence in this success is the slowly encroaching decrepitude of my Cuisinart multi-mixer. The mixer bowl, cheap plastic that it is, doesn't want to stay on the mixer, which means the steel blade won't stay seated unless I press hard down on the lid. Thus resulted in one good, solid splash of half mixed chocolate across the kitchen as the processor tried to launch itself into orbit. With our limited storage space, another multi-use machine is the obvious choice, but maybe not the lowest end version . We've had this one for maybe 5 years now, and the blender pieces all work fine, but I don't think we can get replacements for the mixer parts.

Oh, The Husband and I also visited one of those lovely cookery boutique stores (not William-Sonoma, but a locally owned store) to lust for the LeCreuset pans we want and to get a new iron skillet. We don't fry food much, so I hadn't really missed our old skillet when it wandered off. Now that we are trying to cook more of what we eat, I realized I know how to make corn bread, and it's better in an iron skillet than in a Pyrex pan.

Ironic, isn't it? When we had a big kitchen, we rarely used it or what we had in it. Now that we are exploring the real joys of cooking, we are in a mini-kitchen. Where once I dreamed of travel, I now daydream about kitchens.

1 comment:

Nina May said...

Where once I dreamed of travel, I now daydream about kitchens.

Well, adventures come in all shapes and sizes. The trick is to take them. The bonus of kitchen adventures is that you (usually) have delicious things as a result! Hooray!