Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Cake Triumphant

My mother and sisters and I are recipe testers. Some of us follow the recipe as written the first time and then change it. Someone who can remain nameless changes things willy nilly from the get go. I must say I had to follow her lead and get adventurous.

Although Gourmet's 12 Layer Mocha Cake looked and sounded great, truth be told I don't like coffee flavored things or hazelnuts. The recipe is a bit of a challenge but fun to do. The layers come together fairly quickly but the classic butter cream takes nearly an hour to make. Most of the hour is just walking past the whirling Kitchenaid and cheering on the beaters but you can't rush things. But it is sooooo worth the time.

Imagine the look of warm, satiny smooth taffy. Such a sheen! The texture? Imagine ice cream stirred into a silky slush. I flavored one with melted white chocolate and one with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

So, assemble the basics: cake layer, chocolate souffle layer, meringue (with chopped toasted pecans instead of hazelnuts) and the butter creams.

Bush the cake layer with the Godiva liqueur instead of espresso. Cut the layers into rectangles. Begin stacking cake, butter cream, souffle, butter cream, meringue, butter cream and repeat. (Alternate the butter cream flavors of course.) The rough finish isn't so pretty:

Not to fear, after chilling for an hour you come back and slice the sides so it looks pretty. Unfortunately my camera phone won't let me have that photo. This is how the Gourmet gang finished their cake:

Then you find some guinea pigs and force them to consume the final product. I like to use the University of Rhode Island students that live with us in the winter and their friends. (If they object I point out the clause in their lease that requires them to attend taste tests.)

All's well that ends well, the modified recipe is a keeper. A little more work on presentation and it is sure to debut on Chocolate Weekend.