Chocolate Cake, Anyone?

The monster continues even as I’ve finished all of the main crocheting. To be honest when there are no more color changes in a pattern, and I’m just going along until the end I don’t count rows. Especially, in C2C because once you are decreasing there is almost no way to lose count of the rows. It all comes to a corner, and if for some reason you do have a mental lapse it should be immediately obvious where you’ve gone wrong. So I’ve actually completed row 149-200, but don’t forget every row has been a decrease since row 100. Which means the last bunch of rows crochets up really fast. Now I’m just on to the boarder, and then weaving in the ends.
Since this is a rather uneventful week for crochet I thought I’d share another creative passion on mine. Cooking. More specifically, baking. Which happens to be my chosen profession. Even though I’m currently in the “stay at home mommy” profession. Read more about my start in the culinary world here. This is an excellent week to introduce you to my baking obsession as it is my father’s 61st birthday.
My father is the cornerstone of my extended family. He has always been there for support, advice, or just a hang out. My father is the most honest, peculiar, adventurous, steadfast person I’ve ever known. I’ve asked to hear the story of how he rode his motorcycle from Northern California to Colorado, and down to the Four Corners at least a dozen times. He was barely 18, and just took off on his motorcycle with little more than a sleeping bag. Just to see was beyond the mountains that framed his childhood horizons. Of course, he is not without faults, but for better or worse he is the voice in my head.
It goes without saying cake is appropriate for a birthday, but what cake could possibly be worthy to celebrate my father’s birthday? Chocolate Coffee Cake. Because that’s just him. Simple. I selected a recipe from Completely Delicious. Overall, I’d put it in the win column. If I make it again I will use 9” cake pans. As the suggested 8” produced cakes that overflowed out of the pans and sunk in the middle. I’ve also never seen a buttercream method like the one used here, and I might change to a more standard one.

I’ve had more buttercream battles than I care to remember. It seems every time a recipe claims “Just whip until light and fluffy” all I get is thick soup. I was skeptical of this recipe calling for heavy cream, and flour, just heat, mix and beat in the butter, and I thought my efforts were headed for the same soupy destiny. Nevertheless, I was able to recover the soup after chilling in the fridge/freezer for 10 minutes, trying to beat again, chilling again, then success! I will note the original recipe doesn’t describe how thick the mixture should be after heating. Mine was very dark in color and thick, not unlike ganache. It’s also worth mentioning with this buttercream “light and fluffy” refers not only to texture, but color as well. Which is not universally true of all buttercream.
The ganache for this cake also deviates from the standard. It’s a heated mixture of chocolate, butter, and corn syrup. I didn’t have any problems with the ganache, but I will confess I never use a double boiler for ganache. I know every baking instructor in the world would send the chocolate police after me for this, but I’ve always felt I never had time to mess around with a double boiler. If you understand how to control the heat on your stove, and you have the patience to stand over the pot stirring there is no reason to drag out more dishes. Now, if your stove has a mind of it’s own, and you’re easily distracted I would say it’s worth setting up a double boiler. To top off the cake, I took the lazy route and cut Lindt truffles in half.
Overall, the cake was an enormous success. Rich in chocolate, and coffee flavor. Light and subtly sweet. A large piece was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I hope you will enjoy making this cake as much as we all enjoyed eating it. You can find the original recipe here, and I’m also very excited to see all of your recreations of this cake.

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