it's okay to play with your food

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cake Time

This past week brought two occasions for cake baking, a fundraiser planning meeting and a long weekend with friends in Rhode Island. For the first cake, I stuck with a staple, a cake I've been making for years with great success: a chocolate-covered gingerbread cake. The second cake was brand new, a flourless chocolate cake with a cinnamon-ricotta dollop. I went for a flourless cake since our host for the weekend had recently gone gluten-free. Both cakes come from epicurious, with some additions/alterations by kitchenplay.

And sadly, I can't find my camera cord, hence no pictures right now. :(

Camera cord has finally been recovered! Pics below!

Chocolate-Covered Gingerbread Cake from Epicurious

from kp: I double the cake recipe and bake it in a bundt pan. Cooking time is
more like 45 minutes as a result. I keep the glaze recipe the same and drizzle it on the cake, rather than frost the whole thing.

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch square metal baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment. Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

Mix warm water and baking soda in small bowl until baking soda dissolves. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, molasses, eggs, and fresh ginger in large bowl until well blended. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with water mixture in 2 additions, beating until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool on rack 20 minutes. Run knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto rack; cool. Peel off parchment.

For glaze:
Bring first 3 ingredients to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla; stir until smooth. Let stand until cool but still pourable, about 20 minutes.

Place cake on rack set atop baking sheet. Reserve 1/2 cup glaze. Pour remaining glaze over cake, spreading with spatula to coat top and sides. Chill cake and reserved glaze until reserved glaze is just firm enough to pipe, about 1 hour.

Transfer reserved glaze to pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch plain tip. Pipe 5 diagonal lines atop cake, spacing evenly. Cluster crystallized ginger atop lines. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Flourless Chocolate Cake from Epicurious
from kp: I doubled this recipe and baked it in a 9-inch round pan. It didn't change the cooking time. I served it with a cinnamon-ricotta dollop (recipe below).

  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

Cinnamon-Ricotta Cheese by kitchenplay

Ricotta cheese (about 1 cup)

Sugar (about 2 tbls)

Cinnamon (about 1 tbls)

Nutmeg (about 1 tsp)

Smidge of salt

Blend together all ingredients to taste with an electric mixer or by hand. Serve with flourless chocolate cake.