After I went back to the workforce, my time for baking was severely reduced. So sad.. , and not being in the full swing at work for almost 2 years – did take a bit of a toll on me. Was practically exhausted daily, and I needed time to get into the rhythm again. Sometimes I wonder for the meagre salary is it all worth it to lose your freedom ? Unfortunately in such times, you need to still accummulate what you can and save for a rainy day. With that, I ploughed on.
To be fair the job isn’t that bad, salary could have been better, but you know as a foreigner working in Singapore, you don’t really get much rights or protection (even for your regular Singaporean, what more as a foreigner). I did lose out a large chunk of pension legally bound by employers to pay their employees because I am a foreigner, good deal for the employer! Suffice to say, when one is already unemployed and have left the workforce for 2 years, not likely you are in much of a bargaining position. OK enough of my griping about work.. back to the cake!
Anyways, so for the first time after a long time (since Nov 2010), I am trying a new recipe – back to NON GLUTEN FREE. It is Henrik’s birthday today – Jan 16th. A nice dinner was planned yesterday evening at Au Petit Salut – a French restaurant, good – yes pricey but not overly , serving above average French food. For a little nicey surroundings, this place is not that bad, service, ambience and foodwise. (ps -I was told that Bistro du Sommelier serves very good down to earth Frenchie food, will need to check that out next time)
But as a tradition goes birthday cakes in this household will always be homemade – come hell or high water!
Went through Rose Levenbaum’s cake recipes (her Heavenly Cakes) and decided upon her wicked Chocolate Devils Cake with Midnight Ganache. This chocolate cake is intense but not quite heavy (kidding – it is a very dense chocolate cake) . We really liked the addition of the cognac cherries. It is a grown up cake, no fancy cake decoration , just loads of chocolate piled in the cake itself and on the frosting. Yum..
Lessons in baking, I made 2 mistakes in baking the cake, first the sugar – it asked for superfine, not icing, but castor. I had only fine sugar in the store, so thought I could just use that. It does not affect the taste or texture too much, but the lumps you get does make difference to how the cake looks. Secondly, the speed of the mixer, the last part when everything else has been incorporated I should have beat it in medium speed (2-3 , for my Kenwood Chef Major) and not at ‘min’! That would have help even out the sourcream and the rest of the batter with the chocolate paste mixture.
Be warned! This cake needs to be made in stages, especially the cognac cherries which needed to be soaked for 8 hours. So obedientlythe last 2 evenings, I made part of the cake for the final assembly today! The ganache needs time, so don’t be like me, not patient enough to let the ganache thicken on her own. It has to sit for at least 5 hours. In our tropical heat, probably longer even in the fridge – so ideally, when the ganache is hot, let it cool for 1 hour at room temperature , then cover it let it rest for 5 hours before popping into the fridge for the last 2 hours. Consistency should be like softened butter it says but not a runny paste.
It did not look as it should, but tastewise, it was yum..So did Henrik like it? Of course, that was his wish, he wanted a chocolatey chocolate cake and he got it. For any chocolate lover this cake will hit the spot!