Apr 11, 2011

Miette's Tomboy

I want this to become my signature cake. I don't want anyone to think of it as "Miette's Tomboy," (sorry Miette), but as "that chocolate cake that Marie makes." This is, I think, the best chocolate cake in the book so far, and if anyone complains that it's dry, I'll think that they live in an alternative universe where "dry" means "moist and delicious."

In most of Rose's chocolate cake recipes, the chocolate taste comes from cocoa melted in water. In this recipe, there's cocoa, but it's mixed in with the other dry ingredients, and an additional shot of chocolate comes from semisweet chocolate melted in water, and added to the egg, oil (no butter in this cake) and buttermilk.

Everything mixes up into a thick, shiny, glossy batter.

And the finished cakes are also dark and glossy. I used two 6 x 2-inch pans, mostly because I couldn't find a  pan that was three inches deep. I was very pleased to have two layers and not to have to cut the thick cake into three layers, so I was just as happy my search hadn't been successful.

After the cakes cooled, there were no more excuses for putting off making the mousseline. There are plenty of bad things that can happen when you make mousseline, and I'm proud to say that I've now been baking cakes long enough that most of them have happened to me: curdling, separating, texture too thin, texture too thick, etc.

None of those things happened today, perhaps because I actually used my Thermapen to make sure everything was around 70 degrees.

Butter softened (and refrigerated until it was 70 degrees).

Egg whites beaten to stiff-peak stage.

Sugar syrup heated to 248 degrees and poured into the meringue. I was explaining this frosting to someone, and she asked if I was making candy or frosting. It's hard to explain this whole hoo-ha over buttercream to a non-baker. Anyway, every step went smoothly--smoothly enough that I was inspired to get my cake decorating kit, such as it is, to attempt the decoration.

I didn't have a #26 tip, but I figured what I had was good enough. This prompted Jim to start his ode to Hanaa's cake decorating abilities: "You should have seen her, Sarah. She really knows what she's doing. She's so fast and and skillful--it's just fun to watch her." Sarah said, "Uh, dad, maybe you should tell mom she's doing a good job." "Oh right, great job, Marie. Like I was saying about Hanaa...." Sarah kicked Jim under the table and he quieted down. I was baking the cake for her birthday, and I think she saw her happy family gathering deteriorating before her eyes.

I'll be the first (maybe the second) to say my piping's not as good as Hanaa's, but remember this is my first attempt. And if you looked at the cake at just the right angle (unfortunately not the angle that any pictures were taken at), you'd say it didn't look half bad.

With a pink candle and a pink rose, it was enough to make Sarah happy, and that was good enough for me.


Sarah: "So good. The vanilla adds a fantastic flavor to the icing. One of the best cakes I've ever had, and I'm saying that without hyperbole."

Jim: "I love the nice deep chocolate flavor and color of the cake."


Monica said...

Marie! You need to stop saying you have no piping skills! because that cake looks AWESOME.. totally cute and lust like the one in the book!

I'm making this one on our next Free Choice... I was out of town and got lured by the America Pie Festival in Orlando... so there, I was surrounded by pie instead of chocolate and mousseline!

Jenn said...

Marie, I think your piping looks fabulous (Jim - shame on you! ^_^)
The cake is so cute, looks just like the book. Love the pink rose in the middle.

And I also thought this is the best chocolate cake in the book.

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

PS: you could rename this to be "Marie's Tomboy." I doubt anyone would complain!

Vicki said...

Very pretty cake Marie and very pretty daughter. I thought it was a lovely flavored cake, what smidgen I wrestled away from the baby and kids at the party.

inthekitchen said...

Gorgeous, Marie!

Katya said...

looks gorgeous. mine's in the oven...

doughadear said...

This cake looks wonderful and easy to make (except for maybe the mousseline) and with your rave reviews I may just make this for my hubby's birthday in June. Btw, your piping looks pretty good to me.

Marie said...

Surrounded by pie! That sounds pretty good.

I loved that little pink rose in the center of the cake--I was definitely not ready to try making a frosting rose.

Thank you!

I hope you love it.

Let me know if you like it--I really like the six-inch layer cake concept for a family of two.

Thanks on both counts.

evil cake lady said...

Yes, Marie, your piping looks great! Sarah looks pretty happy with her birthday cake so I say job well done. This is a great cake (I'm enjoying mine for breakfast)!

Marie said...

Sometimes I suspect that every cake is on your "Cakes Good for Breakfast" list.

HanaĆ¢ said...

Marie, your cake looks beautiful. I love the pretty rose on top and the ruffled frosting edges on the cake. Your “lack of piping skills” claim, or excuse :o), has officially been voided :o) Happy belated birthday to Sarah! She looks very happy with her cake. With so many HCB-ers stating this is their favorite chocolate cake in the book, I can’t wait to try it (hopefully in 2 weeks). I have to admit the (modified) Devil’s Food Cake ranked pretty high with me :o)

Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

i'm stunned by the beauty of everyone's cake and how each one is deliciously different!

Low Conviction said...

I think your cake looks fantastic - much better than "not half bad". I am pretty sure that when I make this cake there will be no piping and no gorgeous pink rose to top it off.

I am definitely making this cake this weekend for my free choice. I may even blog about it! I made the Karmel Cake, but didn't blog - it was eaten before I could take a photo!

Jim's raving about Hanaa made me laugh - don't you just love the male sensitivity! (Though his photos may make up for any shortfall in sensitivity).

BTW thank for making me Baker of the week a few weeks ago. Rude of me not to thank you earlier.

Enjoy your trip to France. The weather has been stunning, so I hope it continues for you!

Nicola said...

BTW Low conviction is really Nicola... attention to detail needs work. Hence why I will not be piping!!