Saturday, April 25, 2009

Charlotte Bake off

Some fellow bloggers from to have a bake-off. Each person was to select one of the Charlottes from "The Cake Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum and then post about it.

A charlotte is made by lining a mold with a sponge-type cake in varying geometrical shapes and then filling the mold with an airy Bavarian or whipped cream. The nice thing about the charlotte is you can prepare it in advance and refrigerate it up to 3 days with no loss of texture or flavor.

I chose the Chocolate Chip Charlotte because it had an interesting look (well...and it had the least amount of components needed to assemble) All I needed was a Genoise (pronouced JenWAHZ), Chocolate Ganache, and Chocolate Chip Whipped Cream.

A Genoise is a European sponge-type cake containing butter and is leavened by stiffly beaten eggs. The ganache was made with equal amount of chocolate and cream and the Chocolate Chip Whipped Cream was made with heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, ground almonds and chocolate with enough powdered gelatin to stabilize it. I accidentally omitted the almonds. oops

I baked the genoise in a square pan, coated one side of it with half of the ganache then sliced it into thin strips. These strips were then placed in a bowl slightly overlapping each one. Once the bowl was lined with the cake strips, it was filled with the chocolate chip whip cream and refrigerated.

I was very surprised how easy it was. I'd definitely do it again.

To see pictures of the charlottes other made click here

Other blogs on Charlottes:
La Tartine Gourmande Strawberry and Raspberry
Zoe Bakes Chocolate
Happy Home Baking Mango and Peach
Cannelle et Vanille Summer Berry

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Frozen Buttercream Transfer

While in Wilton's Cake 1 class, we transferred a rainbow pattern to a frosted cake using gel and wax paper then filled in the design with buttercream and a star tip.

Frozen buttercream transfer is a method of transferring your art to your cake by making a buttercream plaque to apply to your cake. It can be used on small as well as very large cakes. There's only one caveat... you have to create the design in reverse.

I had the opportunity to try this technique tonight
while making a birthday cake for a retired Marine. I printed the Marines logo (below), traced the design on the back of the printed paper (so I'd have the logo in reverse), taped the reversed picture to a cake board, tape wax paper on top of it, and proceeded to trace and fill the logo using buttercream.

Once the buttercream Plaque was on the cake, I added the braided cord to the anchor

For my first time, I'm happy with the way the design came out.
In hind site, I'd outline the design in the same color as the frosted cake, use the bottom of one of my baking pans as my surface instead of a cake board (it chills super quick) and I'd use 1/2 cup of butter in place of shortening. (I think it would firm up faster and harder).

I can't wait to see Jerry's face when he sees his cake tomorrow.

Here are a couple of sites where you can read up on Frozen Buttercream Transfer if you decide you want to try it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

ButterYum's Juiciest Oven Roasted Chicken Ever & Chicken Stock

I've always wanted to make my own stocks but was a little intimidated about doing so. That was before I read ButterYum's posts on it. She made it sound so easy.

The first step for me was to make her "juiciest oven roasted chicken ever"
If you don't feel like baking your own chicken, pick up a roasted chicken at your local store to feed your family with and use the left over carcase from it.

Both recipes were easy to make and the house smelled wonderful.

I've used the stock to make soup and chicken pot pie and Wow! There is a big difference between homemade stock and store bought. Thanks for the encouragement to make my own ButterYum!

I removed most but not all of the fat before storing the stock. (I left about 1/3 of the fat.) I've stored the rest of the fat to use later. Nothing makes food taste better than a little fat. :-)

Please visit ButterYum's site for the recipes. (Take a look at some of her other recipes, too, not to mention her beautiful photos)

Try it. You'll like it. :-)

Other websites on making stocks to check out:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Peanut Butter Frostings

Captain Joe, our pastor at the Salvation Army Corp, likes chocolate and he likes peanut butter so for his birthday I decided to combine the two. I used my Mom's favorite chocolate cake recipe (recipe to follow) and frosted it with a Peanut Butter Mousseline Butter Cream then decorated it with a chocolate peanut butter frosting.

I don't know where this recipe originated. My Grandmother gave my Mom this recipe when I was six and it instantly became everyone's favorite.

Best of the Best Chocolate Fudge Cake

3 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 1/4 c sifted cake flour (I used 8.3 oz/236 grams)
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup of butter
2 1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 c sour cream
1 c boiling water

  1. Melt chocolate and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F
  3. Grease and flour two 9 x 1 1/2 cake pans (I used a 13 x 9 x 2)
  4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt onto waxed paper
  5. In a large bowl, (I used my KitchenAid) beat butter until soft.
  6. Add brown sugar and eggs to butter and beat with mixer until light and fluffy (3 mins on 4 or 6) 5 mins on high with a hand held mixer
  7. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate
  8. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with sour cream beating well with wooden spoon after each addition until batter is smooth (I used my KA on stir)
  9. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin.
  10. Pour at once into prepared pans
  11. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) until center springs back when gently touch in center. Everyone's oven is different so monitor closely. It took me 35 mins for 9" round, 50 for 10" and 13x9x2.
  12. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.

The Mousseline Frosting came from Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Cake Bible". I added a 1/2 cup of Peanut Butter and 1 T vanilla at the end. I'll use less peanut butter next time because on day 2 I noticed the frosting became softer.

For the Peanut Butter Ganache, I used:
226 grams of chocolate
256 grams of heavy cream
8 T Jif Peanut Butter
1 T corn syrup

I processed the chocolate in a food processor.

Heated all the other ingredients in a sauce pan to a boil, then poured it over the chocolate as the processor was running. As soon as all the liquid was added, I stopped the processor and poured the chocolate into a bowl to cool.

After the ganache cooled a bit, I stirred in 1 T Vanilla

On day 2, the ganache was too bitter for me. (I used half 53% and half 62% baking chocolate) So I beat in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. This changes it from a ganache to a frosting.

The frosting piped like a dream and made beautiful roses.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cookie Blues

This video was just too cute... I had to share it.

Warning: the ending is a little sad and creepy...