Jan 2, 2011

Chocolate Bull's-Eye Cakes

These cakes may be small in size, but they're anything but small in flavor. Especially the chocolate filling--smooth and suave, it's a very grown-up pudding that makes you want to lick the bowl just like you did when you were a kid.
I liked these so much that I made them twice. I said I'd provide the dessert for a meeting at a friend's house. That meeting had to be rescheduled because of a blizzard (which are becoming all too familiar this year), and I made it again for the rescheduled date.


Like many of the other sponge cakes in the book, this one started with beurre noisette (now as familiar as blizzards but much more likable). This picture is just beurre before it gets to the noisette stage.


This recipe made me very glad I'd sprung for the Mary Ann pans. I bought them months ago and used them for Coffee Chiffonlets. Who knew they'd be so versatile?


We could probably all make sponge cakes in our sleep by now--except that it would be a little hard to fall asleep with the KitchenAid whirring at high speed for five minutes. Sometimes I think I should be wearing protective ear plugs at this stage. I'd rather be running my KitchenAid than a leaf blower. I hate leaf blowers.


Oddly, I didn't have any vanilla Cognac in my now well-stocked liquor cabinet. The first time I made the cakes, I just used a little extra vanilla in the syrup; the second time, I added vanilla and apricot brandy. For the delicious apricot glaze, I added just a teaspoon of apricot brandy to the strained apricot preserves.
Oh, by the way, remember the Chambord that we bought for a cake a while back? A friend of mine told me to mix it with Champagne for a festive cocktail, and that's exactly what I did on New Year's Eve. Very pretty and it tasted good too. Thanks, Suzanne!


The glaze not only added an unexpected touch of fruitiness to the cake; it also made it shiny and attractive. If you like fruit with your chocolate, you'll like this. You might still like it even if you don't because it's not at all overwhelming.


But my very favorite part of this cake is the non-cake cream filling. I was glad no one was in the kitchen with me when I made it the second time. I usually taste whatever is in the bowl, and I mean "taste"--a dainty, ladylike tip of a teaspoon full. I ate my usual taste, and then I licked the bowl clean. One of othe best chocolate experiences ever.  The chocolate glaze, which I drizzled (dribbled is more like it) on with a plastic bag was good too, but not as delicious as the filling.

The highest compliment I can pay these Bull's-Eye cakes is this: it is the only cake so far that I've made twice. And I'm already hankering for a third time.

TASTING PANEL

Susan: "Out of this world. The chocolate was so creamy. Not only delicious to eat but beautiful to look at."
Becky: "I feel like I'm eating something that I got at a fancy French patisserie."
Jim: "Love the combination of flavors. The cake is really nice and moist."
Rosemary: "It's delicious, and the cake is so moist. The chocolate filling is wonderful."

21 comments:

Monica said...

Ohhh they look so cute Marie.. and yummy, all nice and shiny... I cannot wait to taste them.

Once more, I'm feeling cake pan envy... I look all over for these and not found them anywhere ... I went another route... cake is on the rack cooking off as I write this...

Then off to make the syrup and the glaze... if I feel like it I will make the chocolate and finish off today, if not, I see myself in the future (tomorrow) finishing this off.

Monica said...

Ohhh they look so cute Marie.. and yummy, all nice and shiny... I cannot wait to taste them.

Once more, I'm feeling cake pan envy... I look all over for these and not found them anywhere ... I went another route... cake is on the rack cooking off as I write this...

Then off to make the syrup and the glaze... if I feel like it I will make the chocolate and finish off today, if not, I see myself in the future (tomorrow) finishing this off.

Monica said...

Opps.. I double posted the comment! my bad! How appropriate that my word verification for this was "holygoli"!

Mendy said...

ב''ה

Looks great Marie!

I would rather run a kitchen aid over a leaf blower any day. :)

Baking Sorceress' Apprentice said...

How gorgeous they look, Marie. When I looked at the glaze, I realized I had glazed the outside and not the bottoms - duh. Oh well, next time - and I will make them again. Right now they are awaiting drizzle and then posting tomorrow.

Marie said...

Monica,
I'm pretty sure I ordered the pans from Amazon--so much easier than scouring all the stores. (Safer too--when I go in Wms-Sonoma or Sur le Table, I always come out with more than one thing).

Mendy,
Me too.

Joan,
Looking forward to seeing your post!

faithy, the baker said...

i was wondering what mary ann pan was..now i know. I'll see if i can bake these tonight..:D Been so busy!

Lois B said...

Perfect with the Mary Ann pans.

Jenn said...

Marie, you made it twice already? Wow! I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about the combo of this cake with the chocolate - as I love the marionberry version so much. But this cake works too. Proof that it's versatile!

Vicki said...

Beautiful little cakes! I covet your Mary Ann pan. I covet much.

Hanaâ said...

Those cakes look really cute in those mini MaryAnn pans. Since I didn't have that pan, I decided "a big momma" MaryAnn-ish pan would do the trick, and it did. The cake was enjoyed by everyone who tried it.

Sarah the Bear said...

These look amazingly decadent! Yours turned out beautifully. I'm going to get to mine later today. Happy 2011!

evil cake lady said...

after reading your experience with the chocolate cream, i can't wait to make mine! one of the best things about being the baker is licking the bowl clean. i like to call it a "pre-rinse." i would also prefer a KA to a leaf-blower any day.

Marie said...

Faithy,
I hope you got them made.

Lois,
Yes, the Mary Ann pans really put these little cakes over the top.

Hanaa,
When I was looking for my little Mary Ann pans, I found that I had a big one too. Who knows where that came from?

Vicki,
I hope the Mary Ann pan makers enjoy a sudden surge in sales.

Sarah,
"Decadent" is a good word for them.

ECL,
Ha--I love the pre-rinse concept.

Anonymous said...

Hello.
I, too, enjoyed the Chambord with Champagne. it's a real drink from france, "Kir Royale." And what a beautiful pink it becomes! I made these cakes a few months back--they were perfect and made me feel like a real baker! Happy new year, love your blog.
lisa

Andrea said...

Those look so good! I have the book sitting open to that page, but I've been so busy baking birthday cakes the last few days that I may have to hold off on making these until the next free choice.

Maja said...

I love it Monica: cake pan envy! I am all over that one. I love how these turned out. Great job everyone!

Anonymous said...

Aren't they darling! What a delicious dessert to serve.
I like to lick the bowl in private, too. I mutate back to age 5.

My thoughts on leaf blowers. A rake is much more friendly.

This is from Melinda... the silly google thingy is not working properly and would not let me post.

Marie said...

Lisa,
Glad to know the drink has a name, and I like Kir Royale better than Champagne with Chambord.

Andrea,
Free choice is coming up soon!

Maria,
Hope you get a chance to try these yourself.

Melinda,
I hate it when google thingies don't work. It probably knows you haven't blogged for months and no longer recognizes your name. But I do.

Melinda said...

Was that a political comment on the state of my non blogging laziness? I'm still baking.
Why I even made a cake today. It was delicious and I didn't take a picture of it. It used 5 cups of shredded apples. Perfect for the bowlful of soft and slightly shrivelled apples I couldn't bear to throw away!

Marie said...

Melinda,
I LOVE reading your blogs--even when they're about shrivelled apples.