Monday, September 27, 2010

Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache and Campbell's Soup Contest

 What a coincidence! Heavenly Cake Bakers made Rose's Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache containing Campbell's soup and this was on Cake Wrecks.  Considering Campbell's makes 237 kinds of soups, it got me to thinking.  Which soup would I choose to put in a cake for a corporate commission?  It could only be tomato


But wait!  Campbell's Soup is having a big contest.

Rose's cake reminded me of Playmobil's toy fort. It would be fun to replicate this for a little boy's birthday.

It also brought back fond childhood.memories when my mother got wind of the latest cake fad.  Naturally, she and the other neighborhood ladies had a go at it.  We kids were aghast.  Tomatoes or no tomatoes, we couldn't let chocolate cake pass us by and to our amazement, there wasn't any tomato flavor at all.   One of my all time favorite cook books, White Trash Cooking, lists Mater Cake which is, I suppose, code for tomato-soup-in-cake-but-no one-will-suspect-a-thing.

My daughter remembered her American Girl Cookbook explained the use of tomato soup in baked goods.  Molly, the doll representing World War II era, had a recipe using tomato soup in brown bread with the explanation bakers added it for extra nutrients.  Rose's cake gives new definition to Healthy Request!

Campbell's has a manufacturing plant  in my hometown.  When the delta breeze kicks in, we can tell which soup is being stirred up.

This was without a doubt, one of the easier cakes to make in Rose's Heavenly Cakes.  The hardest part was  fending off the grandkids from wanting "just one more" Piroette cookie.   I haven't bought any in years and the price increase gave me a bit of sticker shock.

The batter is the fluffiest to date.  I weighed half into a cake pan and turned the rest into cupcakes.

The ganache was made with Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips and Raymond's One Bowl Method.  It worked perfectly.  I could not add the tomato soup.  I rationalized, reasoned and generally chastised myself then compromised with a tablespoon.  I think Nancy B was a guardian angel.

The cupcakes were done in thirty minutes.  The cake took a long time to bake.

Frosting with the ganache and spackling the cookies to the side was a breeze.  I cut the cookies in half and got away with just one can.  Waste not want not, or in my case eat the left overs, I scattered the bits and pieces over the top.

There is absolutely no trace of tomato flavor in this cake or ganache.  It's moist and light.  The Piroettes are ultra flaky and to my surprise, doesn't compete with the texture.  So far everyone likes it.  No one guessed correctly the "mystery" ingredient.

"This is wonderful!"

Even a new generation of kids think it's a really good chocolate cake.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple Caramel Charlotte

Apple Caramel Charlotte from Rose's Heavenly Cakes is an amazing dessert.  Light, creamy with caramel undertones and apples to offset too much sweetness.
Pink Pearl apples.  

                                       Apples poaching in sugar syrup with vanilla bean.

                                                  Which turned into magenta applesauce.

Re-poaching Granny Smiths with Pink Pearl skin added for color.


                           What to do with leftover poaching liquid?  Any ideas ? 


Rolling the parchment from underneath the sponge cake was much easier than flipping the cake.


                               Measuring the cake into strips.

Blast!  How did this one get left behind?  It was supposed to be brushed with apricot jam and layered with the others in the freezer. 

Cooling caramel custard over ice cubes. I used agar instead of gelatin, which made for a less dense texture. 


Mixing together whipped cream, caramel custard and the Italian meringue.

At this point I thought about chucking the whole lot.  I had a terrible time getting the sliced cake pieces to stand upright against the side of the spring form pan. 


Since the Pink Pearl apples made gorgeous apple sauce,  I took a bit of liberty and spread it over the finished custard then sparingly arranged the apple slices.  The center rose is poached apple skin.  Painting the apple slices with arrowroot and poaching syrup was a bit of welcome fun.

This definitely is not the type of dessert we typically have in our house.  I wasn't sure if any of us would like it.  I am pleased to say it received high marks which is nice because it is going to take me a week to recover. This innocent dessert took two days to make and loads of dish washing.  I could have used a pair of nurses shoes to help with the hours of standing.  When it was finally finished and chilling in the frig, I have to admit it gave me an enormous sense of accomplishment. 


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apple Dipping and Salty Caramel Video


I always thought McDonald's had gone round the bend offering Apple Dippers in kids Happy Meals, but they were spot on.  Simply Recipes caramel sauce is exquisite with Honey Crisp Apples.

Three ingredients, sugar, butter and heavy whipping cream mix together easily.  The instructions offered the choice of adding water, which I did, because liquid sugar sounded just plain scary and fraught with the possibility of smoke inhalation.

Evidently Elise, the creator of Simply Recipes, is also a fan of Ginger Elizabeth's  chocolate and linked this great video of Ginger making her very popular Salty Caramels.  This  of course, instigated encouraged me  to pilfer through the Dove baking chocolate stash in the cupboard, drizzle this golden deliciousness over a square or two or five, and faintly sprinkle sea salt.  Okay, they may have made their way onto a pumpkin pancake as well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barcelona Brownie Bars

Barcelona Brownie Bars was the only recipe left to get me in the starting gate lineup when Heavenly Cake Bakers officially started.  I'm happy to say last night the Barcelona Brownies brought me up to speed.  That still leaves 18 free choice cakes.

When I read Rose's instructions that these brownies could be made in a Madeleine pan, I ran to the store for MORE CHOCOLATE.  Madeliene cookies are my favorite.  I bought a Madeleine pan years and years ago.  It's among my most treasured possessions.

This brownie is full of chocolate, roasted pecans and more chocolate in the form of ganache.  It's a simple recipe and judging how quickly they disappeared, will go on the Please Make Again list.

The recipe had enough batter to fill five mini tart pans as well.  Mini tart pans make everything cuter.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hungarian Jancsi Sorta Torta Trifle

Free bake list week + birthday= Birthday hubby's choice
After much deliberation he chose the Hungarian Jancsi Torta. 

When I received Rose's Heavenly Cakes in the mail nearly a year ago, I was relieved it didn't arrive in time to bake this cake with the HCB'ers.  The name alone sounded complicated.  I felt lucky to jump on board with the Apple Upside Down Cake. 

Amazing the difference one year can make baking from Rose's book. Mixing together the batter of roasted walnuts, chocolate, egg whites and sugar was really easy. The Janci went into the oven. I left to run an errand with directions to remove and let it cool.  

The Janci mistakenly burned during a telephone call.  When it was rescued, Hubby tried to free it from the spring form pan not realizing it was too delicate.  It was just one of those crazy chaotic days.

This was the perfect opportunity to try out my trifle theory.  The inside was salvaged then layered with apricot jam and whipped cream, following Rose's decor suggestions.    

 It turned out well after all.  Everyone enjoyed the Sorta Torta Trifle, especially the birthday boy.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

All American Chocolate Cake with Divinity Frosting and Milk Chocolate Paint

Flo Braker is one talented lady to come up with this incredible cake.  The cake crumb is the perfect combination of light and moist.  The divinity frosting a total surprise.  And painting with milk chocolate?  Well, that was just plain fun! Joining the ABC bakers has expanded my horizon.

My quality control inspector made a surprise visit, just in time to commandeer the spatula.  Both girls pleaded  for mercy for the chocolate cake.

"Pleeeeease don't put that meringue stuff on it."

I compromised and frosted half with frozen canned vanilla frosting left over from a Betty Crocker's Rainbow  Chip Cake. Of course it simply had to have a dose of sprinkles. And let me say, this chocolate cake is so yummy it made the canned frosting taste good.

I was dreading the divinity frosting.  It sounded too meringue-y for my taste and cooked sugar syrups fill me with apprehension.  I'm learning not to give them any special attention and they seem to behave better.  Flo has a neat trick of keeping a pastry brush and cold water close by to remove any crystals forming inside the pan.  It worked!

The frosting floored me.  Pouring the hot syrup into the beaten egg white and watching the Kitchen Aid turn them into puffy marshmallow bliss caught me off guard.  The fact that it tasted good was an even bigger surprise.

Since it was only half a cake, I opted to frost the top, leaving the sides exposed, making for a greater cake to frosting ratio.  It was a hot day and cranking up the air conditioning didn't help it set enough.  I crossed my fingers and put it in the freezer while melting the chocolate and butter for the "paint".    After painting on the chocolate it had another quick turn in the freezer to set the chocolate wash.

And then we couldn't wait any longer!  Rave reviews!  For a cake that seemed very complicated it turned out to be easy.  Most of all, it's simply delicious.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gold Ingots Financiers Classiques

A specialty of France, financiers are not well known in the U.S. which is a shame.  Made with a few simple ingredients; ground almonds, sugar, vanilla, egg whites, beurre noissette and ultra light flour, the flavor is wonderful.  These little Gold Ingots from Rose's Heavenly Cakes didn't last long in my house.

I had unexpected helping hands in the kitchen with me.  After spraying the pans with bakers Pam, we used the pastry brush to "paint"   every nook and cranny of the miniature tart pans.  The girls each took a turn piping in batter. This was great fun!  I just love when simple baking steps provide a chance for them to genuinely help and learn a helpful skill along the way.

Financiers are traditionally oblong.  The baking store carried only round pans in miniature size which worked perfectly.

I was afraid the beurre noisette (that's it in the cup) passed the proper browning point.  The aroma and flavor were surprisingly wonderful and most importantly, the smoke alarm didn't go off.  I pulled them out slightly underbaked.  Cooled for five minutes in the pans, they finished baking and turned out easily.  The texture was lovely.  I have better luck using plain aluminum pans.

We had a little impromptu outdoor tea party with these gems.  I can safely say they will be on the make again and again and again list.