So if I prepared ahead, and made this fabulous cake, why didn't I post yesterday in honor of Julia's birthday? Well, see, the Brain and I decided to go for my first bike ride post Wilma. And because I'm me. Something similar to this happened.How? I have clipless pedals. That means my special bike shoes snap in to these little knobs instead of pedals. SO in order to stop I have to unhook a foot to be able to set it down. This only gets to be a problem if you unhook you right foot, for example, and lean left. That left foot would still be hooked to the bike and over you go. This in itself isn't too bad, although it's how I sprained my wrist. It gets a little more fun if your husband happens to be following along behind you when you go over.
The Brain is a terrific husband because although he wasn't going fast enough to swerve around me, and wasn't going slow enough to stop, he ran me over in the least damaging way possible. He's terrific because he managed to miss me with the wheel, so there's no tire tracks on my head. And he managed to get his foot up so he didn't literally kick me when I was down. Unfortunately his pedal whacked me smack in the back and I now have a strained dorsal (that's what the ER discharge papers say). I also have a nice pedal imprint going on.
I think that's a good reason for not posting. This cake is delicious. Please make and enjoy. And don't worry, we're putting my racing bike, with the clipless pedals and aerodynamic posture, away for a while. I will now try to ride, without further injury, the Brain's hybrid bike. It's like trading in a Ferarri for a family sedan.
verbatim from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 2
7 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4 cup orange liqueur
The grated rind of 1 orange
2 four cup cake pans (such as round ones 8 by 1 1/2 inches), bottom lined with waxed paper, pans buttered and floured
2 sticks butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in middle level. Break up chocolate and melt with orange liqueur and orange rind over hot water; it must be perfectly smooth and creamy. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch slices and beat piece by piece into the chocolate, again making sure mixture is perfectly smooth and creamy. (A hand-held electric mixer is useful here.) If consistency is too liquid- it should be like a heavy mayonnaise- beat over iced water. Set aside.
2) The cake batter
5 "large" eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
An electric mixer and 3- to 4- quart bowl (be sure mixer blades and bowl are clean and dry)
1 cup (4 ounces) cornstarch measured by scooping dry-measure cup into starch and leveling off
A sieve or sifter set over waxed paper
The chocolate-butter mixture
A rubber spatula
Beat the eggs and sugar for a moment at low speed to blend, then increase speed to high, add vanilla, and beat several minutes (7 to 8 with a hand-held machine) until mixture is pale, fluffy, doubled in volume, and holds soft peaks.
Just as you are ready to blend the various batter elements together, sift the cornstarch onto the paper, check on the chocolate-butter to be sure it is a smooth, thick cream, and give the eggs and sugar a few turns of the beater if they have lost their body.
At slow mixing speed, gradually sprinkle the cornstarch into the egg mixture, taking 15 to 20 seconds to incorporate it but not trying for a perfect blend; you must not deflate the beaten eggs. Remove bowl from stand, if you have that kind of mixer. Fold a large gob of egg mixture into chocolate-butter to lighten it. Then, a large gob at a time, start folding chocolate-butter into eggs, rapidly cutting down through batter and out to side with rubber spatula, rotating bowl, and repeating movement 2 or 3 times. When almost incorporated, add another gob, and continue until all is used. Immediately turn the batter into the prepared pans. Rapidly push batter up sides of pans all around and bang lightly on table to deflate possible bubbles. Pans should be about 2/3 filled. Place at once in middle level of preheated oven, leaving at least 2 inches of space between pans as well as walls and door of oven.
3) Baking, filling, and frosting
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cakes should remain slightly moist, in the French manner, and are done when a skewer or toothpick plunged into center comes out looking oily, with a few speckles of chocolate clinging to it. Cake will usually rise 1/4 to 1/2 inch above rim of pans. Cool for 10 minutes. Top of cakes will crack and flake slightly, which is normal. Make the following filling while cakes are cooling.
the chocolate filling:
3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
1/2 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
3 Tbsp orange liqueur
4 to 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Melt the chocolate in the liqueur over hot water. When perfectly smooth and creamy, beat in the butter piece by piece. If mixture is too soft for easy spreading, beat over iced water until the consistency of mayonnaise.
filling the cake:
A cake rack
A cookie sheet
When cakes have cooled for 10 minutes, ran a knife around edge of one to loosen it from the pan and unmold onto cake rack. Peel off waxed paper.
Spread top with filling. Immediately unmold second cake onto one end of cookie sheet. Line up cake on sheet exactly with cake on rack, then slide the one upon the other. Peel paper off top of second cake. If sides are uneven, trim with a knife.
(*) AHEAD-OF-TIME NOTE: If not to be iced or served immediately, cover airtight as soon as cake is cool or it will dry out. Cake may be frozen at this point; thaw for several hours at room temperature.
4) Frosting and serving
WHIPPED CREAM. To serve the cake as a dessert or with tea, spread lightly whipped cream, sweetened and flavored with vanilla or orange liqueur, around and over the cake. Decor ate with shaved or grated chocolate.
MERINGUE ICING. Or use the plain Italian meringue (hot sugar syrup whipped into stiffly beaten egg whites, Volume 2, page 426) or the meringue butter cream in Volume 2, on page 489. (I'll be posting this next time.)
CHOCOLATE ICING. Or while the cake is still warm, spread on the same chocolate and butter mixture that you used for the filling, or use one of the chocolate butter creams listed in Volume 1, pages 680-4.