tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal


cake, rhymes with steak

Hi J - G thinks "cake rhymes with steak" is incredible silly, but it made me laugh.

To celebrate the Double Rainbows, I made N's request - plain chocolate cake, no infusion, no layer of anything, just chocolate. He did allow a red velvet variant. So I went for it - Red Velvet Cake.

IMAG0188cake cutting

Many years ago, I made red velvet cake for the first time for GD and Sh's Mardi Gras party. It was quite a hit. The recipe I used is a modified version from Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook. I used trusty Valrhona chocolate powder - two tablespoons, instead of two teaspoons called for in the recipe. I also substituted my favorite whipped cream cream cheese frosting instead of the one-stick-butter frosting, and 1/4 cup of yogurt for equal amount of buttermilk. (Previous times, I used sour cream. But I had yogurt on hand.) Lastly, I was very light on sugar in the frosting and just a little light in the cake. The cake turned out more sour than I anticipated.

IMAG0169mmm, un-natural color for food

For no reason, I did not use parchment circles for the bottom of the cake, and two of the layer's centers stuck to the pan. Doh, the centers were glued back on with frosting.  I was surprised how much N likes the cake. But come to think of it, his favorite ice cream is chocolate, and we like sour tart acidic food, a lot.

IMAG0189frosting fixes everything

I was very happy N had a second slice, judgement on the cake.

And ...

to supplement N's request, I made some canelés to go with your morning coffee. There are endless articles, recipes, and lore on the Interweb for this confection. Canelés is fussy. I made them the first time from a recipe in a Martha Stewart Living issue over a decade ago. I bought the budget aluminum version of the mold at Sur La Table and coated the molds with butter timidly. They were tasty but most of the pastry stuck to the molds. Super fail. Then I had them at Essential Bakery in Fremont many years ago.  Mmm. I have not seen them there the last few times I was there.

I attempted them a couple of year ago, with more commitment to the butter and sugar coating. I remember N really liking them, and you recently made a "try it again!" comment. So ....

I stw to see what I can learn. I found one very helpful extensive write up Canelés (Cannelés) de Bordeaux – the recipe, the madness, the method and also How to make (almost) perfect canelés using silicone molds.

I was happy to find Sur La Table carry the molds again. These molds are a little shorter and just slightly different shape.  I also went all in and bought beewax (and silicon molds to try). Following the recipe, a side by side of silicon and aluminum mold trial we did. I learned a few things: the crust on the side was light but the top (bottom) was dark. The silicon mold, while easy, produced only a passable crust. Too thick of the beewax/butter coating negatively affect the crust, and I had a real difficult time coating the silicon mold.

When I made them your batch, I kept the temperature high, covered the top (bottom) with foil when they are golden,  and extended the cooking time to 1/5 hrs.

IMAG0183hi, we are getting ready to go to N & J's house

IMAG0178this one poofed weirdly and was sacrificed to test the texture

Let me pause here and say .. the beewax butter mixture, while worth the culinary result, is a giant pain. Only rolling boil water takes the goo off. A bowl, two pair of tongs, a silicon brush, and a measure cup is still coated with this stuff.

IMAG0191second class silicon baked caneles

I hope you enjoyed them. They are quite a project. For a quick hit, I would use the silicon mold. For a better deal, I would use the aluminum molds with beewax butter coating. Maybe someday, I will pony up and get the real copper molds.

Happy April. Glad you and N enjoyed the cakes.

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  1. caneles! I am so lucky. N ate the !*&( out of them. I should have hoarded more. 😉

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