My husband and I agree on most important subjects, from personal finances to laboratory experiments.  However, we  can’t decide who is the most stubborn.  Obviously, it is not me, but this week, I confess to a certain amount of stubborn determination…  

…I baked a cake.

(from a food blog)

175 g  bittersweet chocolate
240 g  butter
400 g sugar
8 eggs
130 g all purpose flour

Butter a 10-inch round cake pan.

Melt the chocolate with the butter and reserve.

Place a pan with a small amount of water inside over the stove burner, and bring the water almost to a boil.  Place a large bowl over the simmering water, and add to it the sugar and the eggs (still cold from the fridge).   Beat them together with a whisk or an electric beater, just until the mixture is at room temperature.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg/sugar, whisk to incorporate.   Sift the flour over it in three additions, and mix with a spatula until smooth, but do not over-mix.

Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake in a 350F oven until barely set in the center.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was the most straightforward recipe!  No creaming butter and sugar, no cooking syrup to the  “hair-of-an-angel” state, held at exactly 237.8 F while pouring over the spinning blades of a  mixer. Still, I created another Armageddon in my kitchen.

The recipe instructed to bake the cake for 30 minutes until barely set.  I baked for 35 minutes and it seemed set. Unfortunately, I didn’t stick a tester in the center because I didn’t want to ruin the surface.   Unfortunately, I trusted my  “instincts” and removed it from the oven. You’ll notice that I omitted the baking time in the recipe: please use a toothpick to make sure the fondant is cooked.

The recipe didn’t specify when or how to unmold it.  I am aware that some cakes should  cool in the pan,  others should come out right away.  I compromised  and waited 10 minutes.  It unmolded easily, but while flipping it over, the cake broke in two unequal pieces. One fell on the cake stand, the other on the countertop. Between them flowed a voluminous  lava of chocolate batter, too much to qualify my production as a “molten chocolate cake“.   Instead it became a “Cocoa Tsunami”, that took no prisoners.

I admit to shedding a few tears.  The saint I married assembled the pieces on a baking sheet,  placed them back in the oven at a mellow 325 F for 30 minutes, and I regained my composure.  Once both the cake and I had cooled off,  I shaved chocolate all over to cover the abuse.

Fate has repeatedly told me to stay away from cake baking.   I’m  just too stubborn, perhaps I must now admit, more than the man I married.   But, no need to tell him that…   😉

Notes to self:
1. Never use your bare hands to stop a flow of hot cake batter.
2. Chocolate fondant cake is so awesome that it’s worth the struggle.

ONE YEAR AGO: Pain de Campagne

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