Wednesday, May 18, 2005

sponge bob and sponge cake

hee hee!!! Lindsay's post on cooking was hilarious! check it out. . not to mention her "I H8 The Music Industry" which i thought was brilliant. . .

So, today was a spongey day all around for me. . I watched "Sponge bob" with Rob and Lindsay and our grandkids - HILARIOUS! Then Rob and I went out to get ingredients to make a couple of cakes for my office fundraiser for our buddy, Alvin, who's going to medical school in Grenada. I decided to make my "Ultimate Chocolate Cake" and my "Lemon Mousse Cake". . if i get pictures taken of these b4 i take them in, i'll post them. . i worked hard on them and they are to die for!!!

The 'sponge' part of the cake comes with the 'genoise sponge cake' which was the base for the lemon mousse cake - which i must say is a finicky, multi-step, fussy, fussy thing - i had to make the sponge cake, lemon syrup, lemon mousse - and its all very laborious but challengingly fun! Last time i made this dessert, i used a cake pan that was too wide in diameter, so the cake was too thin! bah. . . AND I discovered that my recipe book made a BOO BOO! It told me to add melted butter and lemon juice and a couple of other ingredients to eggs and sugar that had been whipping for 15 minutes!!! Thing the book didn't tell you was to 'temper' the melted butter with some of the whipped eggs and sugar before you added it. . Last time i just did what it told me, dumped the works into the frothy almost-filled-up-the-mixer-bowl eggs! At which point the foamy, voluminous eggies went THUD! splat!!! FLAT! EEK!!!! It was a nice-tasting disaster! right, Linds? but this time, i was doing cartwheels in my kitchen cuz the genoise was GORGEOUS!!!! light and beautiful. . oh wow. . i couldn't believe that i did it!!! I made a difficult to master (so Baking911 website tells me) genoise sponge!!!

The chocolate cake turned out well, but the icing !!! GAH! talk about frustration!!!! I'm not used to encountering that whilst baking anyway - but hey, stuff happens! I used 3/4 of a bar of french bittersweet chocolate in this batch that i had to throw in the garbage cuz for some unknown reason the chocolate 'split' , it seized up and the icing could not be made homogenous, it was unsavable. . i had a funeral for it before it went into the trash. *sniff* Rob was kind enough to go to the local grocery store to get more icing sugar. . and i used another recipe which was bizarre. . and did not turn out at first. . it was runny and i despised the sickly sweetness of it. . so i 'doctored' it, dumped the cocoa in there. . and you know, i wasn't happy, but Rob and I both tasted it a few times and i was so tired and it was good, very fudgey. . so onto the cake it went. a VERY cool thing i taught myself was how to make "caraque". . which is long, pointed cylinders of chocolate. . like curls, only more spikey in appearance and very elegant! you spread your melted chocolate on the back side of your cookie sheet, or onto a marble board, spread it flat with an offset spatula - pop it in the freezer, then take a long-bladed sturdy knife and drawing the knife from the upper left corner of the pan (which you brace against your middle) you draw the knife at a 25 degree angle scraping the knife across the chocolate until it curls into this long, elegant, tubular curl of chocolate. Lift it with a toothpick and place these beauties in the middle of your frosted cake! took me a few tries. . but once i got onto it i was like a 'caraque-making' machine!!!

so, yeah, sponges and chocolate -- what a tiring but fantastically kitchen-educational day!!!


Denise said...

I really need to STOP reading your food blogs first thing in the morning!!

Lindsay said...

I don't know which are better, your food or your desserts! They're both so excellent.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate cake sounds good! I wish I could bake but its just not a guy thing to do, I'd probably ending up burnig down the house.

Anonymous said...

OOPS,i meant burning!

Kathryn said...

not a guy thing??! you know, its a stereotype, eh? women in the kitchen (get out in that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans. . good song b.t.w.!) guys in the garage, fixing the car. . i say, whomever likes to bake should bake and whomever likes to tinker with engines, let 'em tinker!!!

Dee. . i would LOVE to cook a great meal for you b4 you to go away!!!!

and Lindsay, i don't think that i deserve such high praise. . i'm sure there are MUCH better cooks out there. . and great pastry chefs. . but thanx!!! I really dig it, as you know, and i try just about anything and sometimes i hit and sometimes i miss. . but i always try!!! sometimes i just like to make some cream of tomato soup and BLTs. . but always have to add a little extra something. . to 'kick it up a notch'! ha ha. . Emeril - BAM! that guys needs Valium.