Monday, June 22, 2015
Double Damage Oblivion
I don't think I've ever made (or eaten) a cake filled with another cake. It seems like the dessert equivalent of a Turducken. And since the Chocolate Oblivion is very rich on its own, I wasn't sure about the concept of making it richer. But it was Woody's idea, and Woody's ideas are not usually totally off the wall, I figured I'd give it a try.
This pretty much says it all. Chocolate. And this is by no means all the chocolate that went into the cake.
Melt butter and chocolate together. They have a natural affinity for each other, don't they?
Eggs beaten with the whisk attachment for five minutes. Presumably you could do this by hand, but I wouldn't want to try it.
The batter poured into a 9-inch springform pan which is snuggled into a silicone cake pan, then placed in another pan, and surrounded by hot water. After a few minutes, the springform pan gets covered by a cake pan or lid. For something that turns out quite elegant, the process has a certain makeshift jury-rigged quality.
After it bakes for just 14 minutes (or so say the instructions--mine took twice that to get up to 170 degrees). Then it went into the refrigerator overnight, and was easily removed from the pan much later, when it looked like this:
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. First I had to make the other chocolate cake--the Deep Chocolate Passion. Since I was serving it for dinner, I started baking it in the morning. Oblivion, Passion, Damage....it all sounds quite sinful.
This chocolate cake gets its flavor from cocoa, not from actual chocolate, and it's much lighter in texture, but not in color.
The cocoa and boiling water turn into a rich, chocolatey, buttery looking mixture, even though there's no butter in the mix.
Mixing this cake up is fast. One minute I was admiring the cocoa mixture, the next I was taking it out of the oven. The hardest part of the whole Double Damage process is slicing the cake in half, a process that is almost an aside in 5 pages of instructions: "Cut the Deep Chocolate Passion into two even layers." I once bought a gadget that was supposed to make this an easy step, but 1) I couldn't find it and 2) as I recall, the gadget had a few problems with execution, chief among them that there was no way to set it up so that it cut two equal-sized layers.
I used the old toothpick trick, which worked pretty well.
I wanted to have another flavor other than chocolate in the cake, and I was going to use some kind of fruit preserves, but when Woody left, he reminded me that there was some vanilla buttercream left from when we made Woody's Brownies, which I will write about whenever it comes up on the schedule. I thought that was a good suggestion (as I said, Woody's ideas are usually pretty good, and sometimes they're brilliant).
I can't call this idea brilliant, although I'll admit that part of the problem lay in my execution. I didn't even try to make the buttercream look pretty because, after all, its only purpose is to glue the layers together. What didn't occur to me was that, because the buttercream is white, any sloppy execution is very noticeable whereas chocolate ganache/cement wouldn't be. Even raspberry preserves wouldn't be visible. But vanilla buttercream? Very, very visible.
You can see what I mean. Have you heard of the restaurants where you eat in the dark? Maybe I could get a job as pastry chef in one of those. Because this cake tasted very good, and the vanilla buttercream was a nice counterpoint to all the chocolate. It just wasn't very pretty.
Also, I think that my 9-inch springform is slightly larger than my 9-inch cake pan, because it was impossible to line up all three layers evenly. Fortunately, the people I was serving this cake to are very polite, and they would never say, "That cake looks weird." They said it looked amazing and tasted delicious, and they seemed genuinely pleased to have it for dessert. (I have no idea what they said in the privacy of their own home, which is just as well).
Jim and I were quite taken with the cake ourselves, and it turned out not to be too much chocolate after all. Still, I think that the people who halved the recipe were probably very smart because I still have a lot of cake left, and I'm trying to abide by my one-piece rule. Jim is usually happy to have dessert on hand every day, but I'm not sure what he'll think when he sees that he has eight pieces of chocolate cake that must be eaten soon. Happy Father's Day!