Friday, July 20, 2007

it's peanut butter zetta time

Zetta turned a year older not too long ago, and as always I agreed to make her her favorite birthday cake: german chocolate with the goopy goop.

I finally got around to doing it tonight so that I can bring it into work tomorrow. We work together on Fridays.

July 19, 2007
Name of Cake: Zetta's Goopy Chocolate Cake
Occasion: Zetta is one year older
Constituents: Chocolate Butter Cake filled and frosted with Coconut Pecan Goop

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of photographs. Stinky has my camera. And he knows I was being REALLY REALLY nice to him, letting him borrow it.

So you'll all just have to use your imaginations on this one. Sorry.

I have been using Green and Black's cocoa powder for a little while now, with not so enthused results, surprisingly enough. I freaking love their chocolate bars, why wouldn't I love their cocoa powder? I haven't had great results with it--at least not as great as I've had in the past with Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder. That shit rocks my world. It is so chocolatly and dark and lovely. I am shocked to say that Green and Black's just hasn't measured up.

Crazy, huh?

So for this cake, I decided to go back to my favorite cocoa powder. And I am sitting right next to the cakes as they cool and let me tell you, I want to eat them right now.

As you know, there is always cake trauma in the ECL baking experience. Tonight, nothing so bad has happened yet, but there was pre-trauma. See, I'm not so good at the coconut-pecan goop. Two years ago I made a decent goop, but there was a lot of cooked egg yolk in the frosting that I didn't sieve out. So last year, I decided to cook the condensed milk, butter and eggs really slowly for a longer time. In this way I hoped to not curdle the yolks and still get a nicely browned bowl of goop. It didn't work out so well. I got tired of constantly stirring. The frosting thickened but it never caramelized which I found unsatisfactory. VERY unsatisfactory.

So this time, I decided to keep the heat up around medium, stir like crazy, and sieve out any cooked yolk.

The recipe says to cook the goop until it bubbles. Last year, I just stopped when it thickened. This year, I persisted in stirring and stirring and stirring until it really began to bubble. The magic of food chemistry really can be experienced when you are standing over a pot, constantly stirring, looking for changes. The goop thickened before it bubbled, so that right before it began to bubble it swelled up like a balloon about to pop. It got easier to stir at this point and you could practically feel all the molecules straining their bonds as the heat pumped all this energy into them. Then, gloppy bubbles began to burst right under the spoon, and maybe 4 minutes later there were little gloppy bursts all over the top of the goop. The color steadily changed from a creamy yellow to a beige-ish brown. I realised that the foundation of the goop is really like a dulche de leche--caramelized milk that you add a bunch of shit to.

I sieved the goop, which I am glad I did as there was quite a bit of cooked yolk hanging around. I mean, nobody likes scrambled egg coconut pecan goop.

The goop was quite tasty, and I didn't hesitate to eat a spoonful of the leftover frosting after I filled and frosted the cake.

This isn't an easy frosting to frost--it's all chunky and goopy and doesn't spread all nice and smoothly. I tore at the cake a few times when I pressed a pecan chunk too deeply as I smoothed.

But that's small potatoes compared to the finished product as a whole. The cake is now resting and cooling in the refrigerator, all layered and gooped up and ready for Zetta to eat tomorrow. I hope she likes.

Happy Birthday, lovely Zetta! May your birthday year bring you happiness, abundance, and laughter!


  1. VERY excited about this cake!!
    Thank you, ECL, for being the kind of friend who makes birthday cakes.

  2. Well,I do miss seeing a good picture.
    I hope the boyfriend will not keep your camera forever.
    But it is even nicer to see a blog post from you. I've never made this goopy goop you talk about. It sounds interesting how it really wants to be scrambled eggs! But you have tamed the goop now.
    Happy Birthday Zetta! You have a lovely 'mysterious woman' type name.

  3. Zetta, you are very welcome!!

    Melinda, Stinky knows I want my camera back as soon as he is done using it. Unfortunately, he loves carrying around a camera as much as I do so "done using it" could be never!

    I posted the recipe for the coconut pecan goop in last year's post about this cake--if you click on recipe under my ingredients list you'll find the post and the recipe. And my complaints about the recipe. RLB will have a German Chocolate Cake recipe (and I'm assuming the goop too, since it's the only time it gets used) in her new cake book and I am very excited about that!