February 28, 2017 · 1:29 PM
The recipe I made this week for Tuesdays with Dorie presented me with both a challenge and an opportunity. Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake calls for peanut butter and chopped peanuts. You may recall that I recently discovered I am allergic to peanuts. Thus, the challenge.
I am experimenting with different nut/seed butters for both eating and cooking. I currently have some cashew butter in the refrigerator and sunflower seed butter waiting in the pantry. I have tried the cashew butter on toast and apple for snacking, and I used it for a Thai “peanut” sauce. It’s pretty good, but still not as good as peanut or almond butter. But it definitely works.
I hadn’t had a chance to use the cashew butter for baking until the Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake recipe came along. I substituted it for the peanut butter and topped the cakes with roasted cashews, but otherwise did not make any other changes (other than my “altitude adjustments”).
The verdict? The cashew butter worked! The texture of the cakes seems slightly different than expected, but that may or may not be caused by the change in nut butters. Also, my cashew butter is unsalted, and I feel that my cakes would have benefited from a pinch more salt. I am pleased that I will not have to completely give up on baked goods that call for peanut butter.
Living in a dry climate at 4500 feet, I often have to adjust my cake recipes to account for my higher altitude and low humidity. I made two small adjustment for Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake: 1) I reduced the baking powder by a rounded 1/8 teaspoon; and 2) I added a tablespoon of milk.
The recipe for Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake can be found on page 72 of Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful book, Baking Chez Moi
January 14, 2014 · 5:45 PM
It’s my final Bouchon Bakery Challenge! I wanted to go out with a bang, so I made Palet d’Or (“gold disk”). It’s a fancy, rich, chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling and chocolate glaze. A lot of chocolate went into this cake!
This recipe caught my eye as soon as I received my copy of Bouchon Bakery. It looked like it would stretch my skills a bit, but I wanted to give it a try. Christmas seemed like the perfect occasion for such a decadent dessert.
Making and assembling this cake took a fair amount of time over three days (it can be done in two days), but it was fun to make and none of the steps was difficult. I learned several new techniques and ended up with a super dessert.
Unmolded cake ready to glaze
The Chocolate Cream layer is incredibly delicious! I may or may not have had a hard time not eating all the leftovers.
The Chocolate Glaze was very interesting in that it used gelatin to help it set. I have never seen a recipe do this before and I have to say it was the easiest chocolate glaze I have ever used.
All in all, this cake was fabulous! Everyone ate it very enthusiastically with lots of oohs and ahhs. What more can a baker ask for?
- I do not own a cake ring and didn’t really want to buy one for just one dessert (also, I had trouble finding the exact right size). I used my 8″ springform pan without the bottom instead. It was too tall, so I was not able to make the top as smooth as I could with the ring, but I am not selling this cake at a bakery and am not looking for absolute perfection. The pan worked well for making the layers and freezing the cake.
- The recipe calls for Brune pâte à glacer (also known as compound chocolate) or plain bittersweet chocolate. Since it was for such a small amount (to coat one side of each cake layer) I used the regular chocolate and it worked just fine.
- Instead of garnishing the cake with gold leaf, I used gold edible glitter, which I found at King Arthur Flour.
Cake with glittering Christmas lights reflecting off it
I made several adjustments for altitude (I am at about 4500 ft.).
For the Devil’s Food Cake: I used a scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda and a scant 1/8 tsp. baking powder. I used one whole egg and one egg white, for a total of 90 grams of egg. I added an extra tablespoon of water. The adjustments seemed to work, as the cake turned out well.
For the Chocolate Cream: When warming the egg mixture in the double boiler, I took it off the heat when the temperature reached 175°F to account for the lower boiling point.
There is no next month as I intended this to be a year-long project. However, I will continue to make an effort to use this book and try more recipes.