Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cook The Book May–Dessert / Posted by J.K.

This is my second attempt at this cake (an extremely moist chocolate-beet cake,"page 54 of Nigel Slater's Tender). I have somehow misplaced my springform pan, which I didn't discover until the last minute, so I made the first one in a nine inch cake pan with an aluminum foil collar. It was delicious, but it didn't look like much. Angela offered me a box of three springform pans. The biggest one was too big and the smallest one was too small. The just-right size is heart-shaped, which isn't seasonal but seems appropriate for a cake that's tinted red by the beets.

The instructions weren't very clear, so the first cake was a learning experience and the second one was a lot easier to make. I started by preparing all my ingredients. First I chopped my frozen butter and measured the dry ingredients. Chopping the butter gives it more surface and enables it to melt faster.

The recipe calls for cooking raw beets, but I cheated and bought a can of beets. The one pound can gave me the half pound of beets I needed. I cut the little beets in half and pureed them with my immersion blender. I had one cup of beet mush.

I weighed my chocolate. Chopping isn't necessary. Two minutes in the microwave will melt any quantity of chocolate.

Then I separated my eggs. One yolk broke, but that isn't important, as they get stirred together before being added.


All the ingredients (except the hot coffee), ready to go!
I added the hot coffee to the melted chocolate.

And stirred in the butter, covering it completely.

When the butter was melted, I added the egg yolks.

 Then it was time to go to the mixer. I beat the eggs whites with the whisk, then slowly added the sugar and switched to the silicone paddle to stir in the chocolate mixture and then the dry ingredients. With this attachment, folding by hand is not necessary. Just make sure the ingredients to be folded are distributed evenly over the top of the egg whites. The pouring collar, however, is necessary to keep the dry ingredients inside the bowl.

If you overbeat your egg whites (you'll know because they'll look like little rocks), just add another white and beat until it's incorporated and you have a solid mass again.

Prepared pan, lined with parchment and a lot of Baker's Joy spray.
Filled pan.

The cake, right out of the oven.
 The top edgges are a little overdone, but the sides look fine. And Tea Time likes the crunchy parts! If I make this cake again, I'll take it out five minutes sooner, or cover the top edges with aluminum foil halfway through, like a pie.

The cooled cake, out of the pan.
The cake is now securely wrapped and residing in my freezer, waiting to be served during the potluck at the next Swap on June 9.

I also cheated by using instant coffee. This little gadget is a whistling teapot for the microwave. The red tongue keeps the water from splattering (no, it really doesn't explode) when you pour it over the coffee.