Jul 26, 2010

Designer Chocolate Baby Grands

Last year at this time, I probably would have groaned when I looked at this recipe and saw the three different components. When I'm down to just 35 more cakes to go, however, the three-component cake seems as easy as 1-2-3.
The Cake
The cupcakes are basically Rose's German Chocolate cake in cupcake form. We've made these before, so I won't go into great detail. They're richly chocolate because of the cocoa dissolved in boiling water technique. I've made a big dent in my new, rich Italian cocoa, and I'm not disappointed in it.
Then we just add egg yolks and oil, the dry ingredients, and, finally, the egg whites. It makes a rich, chocolatey batter.
I have better luck when I weigh the batter as I fill the cupcake pans. Then I have evenly sized cupcakes. I tried to sort of count the blips of batter as they went into the cups, but blip-counting is apparently not completely accurate.
These little babies only take about fifteen minutes to bake, which is a plus on a hot nearly-August morning.

The Ganache Syrup
When I first started this project, Woody and I bought some bulk chocolate. I bought lots of dark chocolate, a lesser amount of white chocolate, and just a little milk chocolate. The dark and white chocolates are gone, but I still have some milk chocolate left. I guess we don't use milk chocolate that much. I loved the ganache in these cupcakes; they added a nice all-American quality to the cakes.
I'm very fond of poking holes in cakes and watching the ganache soak into them. I do understand that if someone asks you what you did all day, and you say you watched ganache soak into cakes, most people will not say, "Wow, that sounds like fun!" In fact, I would not recommend that you tell anyone that this is your idea of a good time. I find that while people are perfectly willing to eat any cake that you might produce, their eyes glaze over if you go into the details.

The Glaze
And, speaking of glazing over, this is the third time we've done this fantastic glaze, and I think it was my shiniest rendition so far, despite the fact that I forgot to add the cream before I brought the mixture to the boil. So I just heated the cream and added it after I strained it.
I thought I had the correct cupcake liners, which are foil with a thin white paper inner liner. But when I tried to detach the paper liner from the foil, I just couldn't do it. Jim tried too, and he finally said, "There is no inner liner." He was right--it was just a thick foil liner. So I had two choices: I could simply pour the glaze over the cupcake while it was still in the liner or I could remove the cupcakes from the foil, and then put them back in new foil liners after the glaze was dry. I chose option #2 even though (or maybe because) it was the more complicated option.
I'm glad I did because the glaze was pretty runny, and they would have been a big sticky mess if I'd done the whole process in the liner.
As it was, I let the glaze dry for a few hours (it didn't dry, but it got tacky and a little more solid), and then I transferred the cakes into clean foil liners. Of course, the foil liners no longer hugged the cupcakes, and I wished I would have had some very charming cupcake wrappers, which I didn't buy. You have to draw the line somewhere.
As I said before, we shouldn't have done another chocolate cake this week. I try to alternate because, although I love chocolate as much as the next person, I think that the non-chocolate cakes are often more interesting. I wouldn't want to say no to a serious blast of chocolate, but it's often just that--a blast. I liked this cake because it had the three different tastes of chocolate; it was the perfect size--big enough to satisfy your sweet tooth but not so big you wished you hadn't eaten it; and the texture was lovely. But I'm really looking forward to the plum and blueberry upside down torte which has nary a drop of chocolate in it.

Jim: "Excellent chocolate taste. These might be a little bit sweeter than usual, but not too sweet."
Karen: "Nice texture. I like the ganache and the glaze together."
Gabe: "I love chocolate!"


Jenn said...

Great write up Marie! I love the 1st picture of the eaten cupcake. Also love your sectional post (the cake, the syrup, the glaze). Very nice!
I'm with you that 2 chocolate cake in a row is a bit much, but these babies turn out to be little chocolate heaven so we're loving it.

Monica said...

Yummy, these were so good. I think there is like 4 left over from the original 12... or maybe less, because I know that Tom went home for lunch.

And like Jenn, mention, great post (as always), Love the liner comment, because sometimg similar happen at my house when I was reading the recipe and looking at the cupcake liner I was using...something did not mash!

lola said...

A great post Marie. I wondered about the wrappers. I will try this another week - time just got away from me.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I had to chuckle at your foil line/paper liner incident. That was so funny. However, I'm a bit puzzled by your decision to choose option 2 - very interesting.

I agree with Jenn - love the way you divide the post into sections. Very easy to follow.


Marie said...

Next we'll have two non-chocolate cakes in a row, so we'll be all ready for the chocolate feather bed cake!

I just gave my last four away--they were way too tempting to have around.

Time has a way of doing that!

Yes, once I'd taken the liners off, there was probably no need to put the cupcakes back inside something, but my brain had become fixated on the idea of serving them in the foil wrappers.

Jenn said...

Marie - I'm so looking forward to the lemon meringue. Though it is kinda scary to bake Italian meringue. I've heard stories of the thing completely dissolving in the oven, yikes! I'd better have extra egg whites de-frosted :)).

By the way, I realized from your post that my cupcake liners has no paper liners! No wonder I couldn't separate them! LOL!

HanaĆ¢ said...

Great job, Marie. They look super cute and super delicious! I wish I had time to make these with all of you, but alas... no such luck. I too am looking forward to the plum/blueberry upside down cake.

faithy said...

Looks really yummy and i too love the photo how you pour the glaze over!

Actually I did made the cupcakes for church last week without the glaze but i forgot to take any photos..so nevermind..i'll skip this week's post.

Alpha Baker Joan said...

Marie - Your cakes look wonderful! I baked the all-occasion downy yellow butter cake this week to test my oven, glazed with some ganache from the freezer. I wrote the post and took a few pictures but haven't posted it. I must say, like many others, I am really on chocolate-overkill at the moment, and look forward to the lemon meringue.

Katya said...

It's funny, I've never seen a recipe that made use of the paper liners before. I usually think they're wasteful, so I separate them and use both the foil and the liners for cupcakes. In this case, I had neither, so things got a bit messy.

Julie said...

A couple of Heavenly Bakers reported problems with an overly thick cocoa-boiling water paste, here's a thread that may help: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/2518/

Also, when I made the plum-blueberry upsidedown cake, it was much better the day after making it (if you can wait that long!).

evil cake lady said...

Great post and photos Marie! I used to have tons of those foil/paper liners but I couldn't find them when I baked these. Oh well! I am also looking forward to the chocolate break, especially in the name of fresh summer fruit!

Marie said...

I had no idea how tricky Italian meringue was. I'm a little worried about the final product now.

Me too!

I think you're allowed to do the occasional post without photos.

I love that yellow cake!

I don't think anyone used the liners as directed, did they?

Thanks. If I'm remembering correctly, there's no "Plan Ahead" note on the upside-down cake, but somewhere in the body of the recipe, Rose says to wait 24 hours. I think I'll have a piece immediately and then have one 24 hours later. And maybe another one 24 hours after that.

I ordered them specially for these cupcakes because I couldn't find them in the grocery store, but then they turned out not to have the paper liners after all. I wonder what the actual purpose of the paper liners is.

Melinda said...

Lovely little cakes. They would have made a tasty birthday treat. So sad.