I’m back in school and back to baking now, so that’s about all I’ve been doing. I have time for other things but I’ve had horrific allergies lately so I’ve been dealing with headaches every day that are so bad I can’t stand to even look at the computer. So here’s what I’ve been cooking.
This is a flourless chocolate torte. It is super rich and moist and fudgy. I love it. If you want to make it, I put the recipe right here. We made a Creme Anglaise sauce to go with it and that really cut the richness of the cake, the sauce made it a lot easier to eat. This cake is super, super rich.
In my breads class last Friday we made (clockwise, from top left) cheddar biscuits, plain biscuits, lemon cream scones, and white chocolate macadamia nut cream scones. The scones disappeared as soon as I got home and I made some white gravy and had some biscuits and gravy over the weekend. Tomorrow we’re starting on yeast breads in that class.
Along with the flourless chocolate cake, last week in my pastry class we made Sacher Tortes. This is a chocolate cake with apricot glaze in between the layers and covering the top, and then a chocolate glaze is poured to completely cover it. I decorated mine with some white chocolate. As you can see, my decorating skills are lacking, it’s a little messy, but in my defense the chocolate started hardening up in my piping bag so I couldn’t get it to come out evenly. All the white chocolate slid off the top on my way home from class anyway, my glaze hadn’t set up all the way. This cake was about twice as rich as the flourless cake. The chocolate glaze was just insanely rich and I put some amaretto in it, that didn’t help a bit. It was really good, though.
The week before last, we made Chestnut Puzzle Cakes. This looks like it was harder to put together than it actually was. The cake itself is a chocolate and white chiffon sponge cake and the frosting is chocolate and chestnut Swiss meringue buttercream. The whole trick is in how the cake is put together. I can’t explain it good, but it really isn’t hard. You can see my whole decorated cake here. I fell in love with Swiss meringue buttercream after making this cake. It’s a bit more time consuming than regular buttercream, but it has such a light, fluffy texture and it’s not overly sweet. It just tastes so much better than any other frosting I’ve had. Next time I make a cake for myself, I’m making this frosting.
The frosting really isn’t that hard to make. You just take some egg whites (we used 2 cups, but we made about 3 pounds of frosting) and sugar (1 pound, 4 oz in our recipe) you mix the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over boiling water and heat it to 140°F, whisking the whole time. Then you take it off the heat and whip it until stiff peaks have formed (we used our big Hobart stand mixers). Then you make the frosting. We used two pounds of butter, ten ounces of margarine, the Swiss meringue from before, and two teaspoons of vanilla. You mix the butter and margarine and hold at room temp. Once the meringue is whipped and lukewarm, you lower the mixer speed and add the vanilla and then gradually add the butter and margarine mix. And that’s it. It takes a while but the frosting is so good when it’s done that it’s worth the trouble.
We made muffins, too, in my bread class. I ended up with about four dozen muffins, blueberry, chocolate cherry, carrot cake, and cornbread. They were all really tasty, especially the chocolate cherry.
Tonight I’m back to my pastry class and we’ll be making a fruit tart and a frangipane tart. It will be really nice to have something that isn’t super rich chocolate to eat. Not that I’m complaining, the chocolate is good, but I’m ready for something different and I’ve never had a frangipane tart before.