Monday, January 05, 2015

The Baking Bible: Chocolate Cuddle Cake

I mentioned in my Frozen Pecan Tart post that I was sad we were baking a tart, and it came out in the comments that it was because I'd rather bake a cake. I mean, cake is my thing. Hence my name.

So here we are, baking a cake, and I was grumpy about it. Is there no pleasing me?

PS: The cake is really good, so I am not complaining anymore.

December 31, 2014
Name of Cake: New Year's Eve Cake!
Occasion: NYE!
Constituents: 9x3 inch chocolate chiffon cake, sides frosted in midnight ganache and top frosted with caramel whipped cream

PS: the whipped cream is amazing. Just make that, if you don't want to make anything else.

First up, I made some modifications. There is an actual recipe for a ganache to frost the sides of this cake, but I decided I wasn't in the mood to make ganache. I defrosted some Midnight Ganache and YOU GUYS, I had almost forgotten how much I love Midnight Ganache. It really is the chocolate frosting of my dreams.

Also, I decided I wasn't in the mood to stabilize the whipped cream with gelatin, so I skipped all that bit. I was worried the resulting whipped cream would water out on me, but it never did. So I shrug my shoulders, and may never stabilize this whipped cream in the future.

Also, I have a 9 inch springform pan that I have been wanting to replace for years, and this recipe has finally made me do it for reals. My springform is only 2.5 inches high on the inside due to the way the bottom part of the pan fits inside the sides, which means for this recipe it wouldn't hold all the batter. Also, the pan is dark colored so the oven needs to be turned down 25 degreees to prevent overbaking. Which I always forget to do. Including this time. The cake sunk towards the end of the minimum bake time, and as Rose warns not to disturb the cake until the minimum bake time has passed, I just sat there watching my cake sink lower than the sides of the pan as well as in towards itself. Mark tried to find encouraging words about the cake when he saw it. Something about how it looked like a blood cell or a volcano.

However! The cake, despite being a tad bit rubbery due to overbaking, was still really delicious. So we ate it happily and with gusto. It was New Year's day, after all.

So on to the process pictures.

Whenever a recipe calls for blooming the cocoa powder in boiling water I do it in a jam jar. Instead of whisking, I screw the lid on tightly and shake like crazy. This time I forgot I was going to be adding oil and egg yolks to the mix (once the cocoa paste cooled) so the jar I chose was too small. More dirty dishes.

Egg yolks and vanilla. I think I needed one more egg yolk than the minimum called for to get the proper weight.

Egg whites for the meringue. I think I had one egg white too many, as usual.

Here are the two components of the chiffon cake, about to be folded together. Meringue and yolks/cocoa paste/flour. I find the best tool for the job of folding in whites to be the whisk attachment from the KitchenAid.

Batter in the prepared pan, with the rose nail sticking out the center. This is how Rose figured out how to bake a chiffon cake as a layer cake.

Since my pan wasn't tall enough I only poured in enough batter to fill the pan half full, like the recipe says. The rest of the batter I baked in two little cake pans I have.

Here is the baked chiffon cake, suspended upside down on a cooling rack. This kind of made me nervous since the last time I tried anything like this back in the Heavenly Cakes days it was a total mess.

The two cakelettes, looking a bit shaggy since I didn't grease the pans they were in.

These guys were totally overbaked because I baked them in the oven with the main cake, forgetting the oven door couldn't be opened until the minimum bake time was done. They were dry. But a liberal coating of caramel whipped cream made it so you could almost forget they were dry. We ate the little tube pan shaped cakelette around midnight then went to bed. Happy New Year!

So that Caramel Whipped Cream. I didn't take any decent photos of the making of it, but let me try to explain why it is so damn good. First you make a caramel. You only need 1/2 a cup so if there's extra, save it for a rainy day. I had maybe a spoonful extra and I saved it for a few minutes later when it was cool enough to eat. To this caramel you add some cocoa powder and cream. This made the caramel taste suspiciously like an Oreo cookie, which I would like to investigate further. Then you whip up the cream and sugar (if you follow the recipe there's a gelatin to be made, but as I said earlier I skipped that whole shenanigan) and whisk in the caramel and voila! Some of the most delicious stuff ever is now in a bowl right in front of you.

The next morning. So much sunshine!

And here you can see how my cuddle cake sunk. Less of a cuddle and more of a huddle, har har!

Happy 2015! This will be my TENTH year blogging! Wishing you all lots of cuddles and chocolate in the coming year.


  1. Jen, you did such a wonderful amazing job your cake looks great and so does the caramel cream lovely blog. next time I will give it a try the caramel whipped cream I had a problem with it actually.

    1. hello Jen ,and about the caramel whipped cream I presume you know that it killed on me I don't understand why but this never happened before but I will be trying it later on during the week sometime.

  2. Wow, Jen, you did a great job! I saw your Orange Glow Chiffon experience--live and learn...which you certainly did!! You're right, that whipped cream is fantastic! I love your little glass beakers, BTW. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

  3. I love how all of the pictures of us baking has one common theme - the KA bowls, the phone or iPad, the book, a ruler (or measuring tape), a pen/pencil near .. and dirty dishes somewhere near - every time. I look at those pictures I feel better that the other 22 of us are doing the same thing - talk about baking comfort.

    I'm sorry the cake gave you some issues... I had decided to skip it, but you all are pulling me in and in a bit will head to my kitchen to give it a go. Re-reading all the instructions AGAIN to make sure this will be a easy bake.

  4. If that caramel whipped cream isn't a religious experience, I don't know what is. My cake sunk in the center too, but for different reasons. So I tore my sunken cake in half, ate it shamelessly with my fingers, and made another one. Who cares really. This cake can do no wrong, no matter what it looks like.

  5. Your cakes looks good and since it sunk down a bit, there was more room for whipped cream!

  6. They turned out really nice. Love the jam jar idea for blooming chocolate. I'm so glad you posted early. I don't do gelatin and wondered what was going to happen so now I feel better! Guess I can face making the caramel and whipping cream now.

  7. Looks great Jen. I loved this cake as well. Now, remember, I am the grumpy one in this group. All complaints usually come from me. LOL

  8. The caramel whipped cream does taste great, and I'm glad almost everyone's looks bad--I was concerned I'd missed something....

  9. Great post ECL. For someone who's not in a mood of baking and in the mood of skipping things, you accomplish a lot of stuff. I would like to submit a request to hear more about the oreo-tasting-caramel investigation that will happen in the near future (hopefully). I love your trick of using jars to mix the cocoa mixture! Beats having to scrape cocoa from a small whisk.

  10. I love your cackles! So cute! and your beakers! Reminds me of school days. :) You are so smart to bloom chocolate in jar..i love that idea! Next time i will steal this idea! :) As long as it taste great, who cares if it sinks in the centre right? More room for the whipped cream!

  11. Your mini cakes are adorable - everything is better as a mini :) Your midnight ganache is gorgeous too. Looks so dark and pretty against the whipped cream. I've got to try that whipped cream recipe - it looks so good and everyone is raving about it.

  12. Okay, let me start by saying the photos of your midnight ganache post have completely captured my heart! I haven't tried that recipe yet, but it's going on my short list.

    Now for your cuddle cake. huddle - lol. Funny post. Wow, 10 years blogging? I'm in awe. Have a great week.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  13. ב''ה

    Love the last couple photos. Looks great. I will also skip the stabilizing next time, I think. Jam jar is a good idea.

  14. Happy blog-aversary!! I like that your cake has more room for that luscious whipped cream :) So good!!

  15. Forgot to mention that I to LOVE the midnight ganache. Thanks for the reminder!!