Photo by Kim
The Finer Cookie
Since this was the second big, chocolatey layer cake that we made in a period of three weeks, I was curious to find out what people did with all this cake. I was also curious to see whether everyone used instant lemon tea. Kim took her cake to her friend's lake cottage "on a clear tranquil frozen lake" and "served it over a game of cards, which we all played very sloppily because we indulged in the cocktails too much." They indulged in the cake, tea, but not too much because "how often does someong bring you a beautiful chocolate genoise with a black tea syrup and a citrusy chocolate ganache?" Is that a rhetorical question. Otherwise, my answer is "not very often." Her ganache was laden with 33 grams of instant lemon tea because the person who in theory should check for typos didn't do it. No complaints from anyone, though.
Faithy remembered that she had made this cake a while ago and decided she'd just find the pictures. She discovered that it was over a year ago that she baked it, and that it was so "sensational" that she wanted to eat the whole thing herself, but she "shared it with her church gathering," where everyone said it was "such a great cake." Other than that, she just remembered that it "had some liquor in it." Okay, a boozy cake that everyone loves. That's something you should keep, both for when you're feeling generous and when you want to eat a whole chocolate cake by yourself. Faithy doesn't mention the infamous instant tea, but I can see it in a shot of the ganache in process.
No word on what people got to sample Rachel's cake, but she was unhappy about a few things, so maybe her cake just stayed home. Happily, Rachel got to watch the eggs and sugar "balloon up in the mixing bowl," a process she'd never seen before. Sadly, Rachel got to watch the "eggs deflate" as she added the chocolate mixture to them. Perspicaciously, she thought "this can't be good." The other little fly in the chocolate cake ointment was the cognac, that is, the bourbon. Somehow, at the liquor store, she thought "brandy," but bought "bourbon." And this was even after she asked herself if it wasn't true that she didn't like whiskey. Still, the ganache was "shiny and chocolatey and yummy." And made without instant tea, "because we never use [it] so I skipped it." An admirably practical solution to the problem that paralyzed me for days: should I buy a big bottle of something that I'm only going to use once?
Catherine, who noted that this cake is made with "acres of chocolate," gave hers away to the whole 10th floor of her office building, since Catherine's team has moved to another floor and the poor 10th floor will no longer be the beneficiaries of Catherine's baking largesse. As Catherine said, "they've been very appreciative Alpha Baker testers over the last year and this cake was no exception. It doesn't matter how many people are on diets, when you bring out a chocolate cake, all objections are somehow forgotten." And Catherine also decided against using the powdered tea, apparently without an ounce of worry.
Rosa gave away some of her chocolate cake to her neighbors. (There is a photo of a very happy-looking neighbor on Rosa's blog). And she really outdid herself. She made the cake in 8-inch pans so it would be tall enough to cut each layer in half. She used lemon oil in the batter, and lemon liquor for the syrup and the ganache (she also made her own creme fraiche for the ganache, using directions from The Cake Bible). After frosting the cake, she covered it with dark and white chocolate curls and topped it all off with a sprinkling of gold dust. She really outdid herself!
I know that Vicki and Jen are working on or have already baked their cakes, and I'm sorry to miss them, but it's almost Friday! Check out their blogs tomorrow if you want to read their always-entertaining renditions.
Next week: Hungarian Raisin Walnut Tartlets. I checked and there are no errata in this recipe. And there's not an ounce of chocolate in it!