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Old 06-12-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
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Question HELP! Question re: recipe calling for mixing choc. + boiling water - already started!

Hey you guys,

I'm making a Fire Truck Cake for my son's 2nd bday party TOMORROW! I found a shape, but didn't come with a recipe, so I went off hunting for a gluten-free chocolate layer cake recipe.

Found one with a pic that's amazing, and I've started to make this. As I kept reading, it calls for mixing 4 oz. of semisweet chocolate DIRECTLY to 1/2 cup boiling water. !?&*@!!????

Does adding hot water straight to chocolate affect the chocolate? Water just doesn't strike me as a very flavorful ingredient. ;) I have a double-boiler, and I know how to use it.

Also, recipe calls for 1 stick butter + 1/2 veg oil - I want this to be a high quality cake - I've chosen grapeseed oil for the veg oil. Anything better? Why isn't it just more butter? Anyone know?

Oh, I should mention: INSTEAD of 4 oz. semisweet choc., I'm subbing a mix of 1 oz. Scharfenberger's 99% pure dark chocolate + 1 oz. Green & Black's 75% baking choc., increasing sugar by 6 Tbsp, and increasing butter by 1 Tbsp.

oh, just for full disclosure, i'm using 1/2 cup of sucanet sugar in lieu of 1/2 cup of the regular unrefined granulated sugar.

What would you do???

Thanks!

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Old 06-12-2009, 10:35 PM   #2
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Is this the recipe?

Chocolate Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Cummulative Rating
N/A
Servings
Makes 1 9-inch cake
Difficulty
Involved Ingredients

For the cake:
2-1/4 cups gf flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semi-sweet gf chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup creme fraiche
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs

Buttercream Frosting:
4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

(Optional) Gf Candy sprinkles
Assorted food colorings
Directions
Make the cake batter:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (2) 9" cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together, flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a small bowl combine chocolate and boiling water and stir until chocolate is melted; set aside.

In a small bowl add 1 cup creme fraiche and vanilla; set aside.

In a large bowl, add 1 stick butter and oil and beat on high until lighter in color and texture. Beat in sugar slowly. Beat in 5 egg yolks, one at a time. Add the chocolate and beat just until combined. Alternately, add and beat on low speed, the flour mixture and the creme fraiche.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into the batter. Stir gently until combined and pour two-thirds of the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool on a rack. Keep the oven on.

Line a mini muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill the muffin tins 2/3 way full with the remaining cake batter. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool.

Make the frosting:
In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir constantly with a spatula until the sugar dissolves and reaches 140-150 degrees F. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white mixture at high speed until thick and cooled to room temperature (see tips above). Add the butter, a little bit at a time, and beat until the buttercream is smooth, thick and spreadable. Add the vanilla and beat briefly until incorporated.

Assemble the cake:
Put 1 cake layer, rounded side up, on a cake stand or platter, and using an offset spatula, spread the top with about 3/4 cup of buttercream frosting. Top with the remaining cake layer, rounded side down, and frost the top and sides of the cake with 1-1/2 cups of frosting.

Decorate cake: For each color (you can make 3), transfer 1/4 cup buttercream to a separate bowl and tint with food coloring.

Spread about 1 teaspoon of frosting onto 12-13 of the mini cupcakes (alternating colors so cupcakes are various colors - see picture). (You may have some cupcakes left over.)

Using a spatula transfer the remaining buttercream frosting of each color to 1 of 3 plastic bags. Snip off 1 corner of each plastic bag to create a 1/4-inch opening. Twist each bag firmly just above buttercream, then decoratively pipe colored buttercream onto cake.

Stack 6 cupcakes in a circle on top of the cake. Stack 4 cupcakes on top of the first layer of cupcakes. Stack 2 on top of the 2nd layer. Stack one cupcake on the very top of the pyramid.

(Optional) Sprinkle the top of cake with gf candy sprinkles.

Chill cake until buttercream is set, about 30 minutes.
Tips
This cake is not that difficult - it just takes a few steps. The end result is a beautiful, fun cake, perfect for Easter!
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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hmmmmmmmmmm i am no expert i hope someone can help you.

i have always read that water will seize chocolate.
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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yes, that's the recipe. and at this point, i have completed the cake b/c i still have to make the icing, colored multiple times, cut and stack cake, frost, decorate, and make a nummy g-f cornbread that's almost like spoonbread.

i'll taste it soon and give my feedback, but i'd really like opinions on the process! thanks!!!
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by at0micgirl View Post
yes, that's the recipe. and at this point, i have completed the cake b/c i still have to make the icing, colored multiple times, cut and stack cake, frost, decorate, and make a nummy g-f cornbread that's almost like spoonbread.

i'll taste it soon and give my feedback, but i'd really like opinions on the process! thanks!!!
so how was the cake? i hope you took a pic to post. i can't wait.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:58 AM   #6
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Smile Cake is delicious!!!

Well, since you requested it - here it is! An image of my cake!



I have to say - it was delicious! Extremely moist and weirdly dense and spongy at the same time. The cupcakes were so fluffy/spongy they bounced as you ate them (when i ate my small sample right after coming out of oven). I think this texture was the result of the separation of egg yolk from white when mixing into cake, whipping the egg whites til soft peaks before adding to batter.

I did have to cook entire cake for an additional 5 minutes, two times, because the inside was still too raw. My oven runs hot so I compensated while cooking, by turning to 345 F. (But my oven themometer read 350). (I'm always a fan of lower temps for longer.)

I did add xanthum gum to the flour blend b/c i never trust g-f recipes that don't call for it. I follow the advice from "The Gluten-Free Gourmet" of 1/2 tsp xanthum gum per cup of flour. So I put 1 1/4 tsp in.

Also, as I said I mixed chocolates and put less in per consensus on baking websites. HOWEVER, I think that this cake would have had a better chocolate flavor if I had actually put in same amt of chocolate, oz for oz, and added the sugar to compensate for sweetness. I mean, really - can you HAVE too much chocolate???

I mean, it's pretty d**m good, but why strive for average, right???

I also still think that the boiling water scalded the chocolate a bit, but it didn't come through in the cake. I can imagine trying to get pure melted chocolate evenly mixed into batter without overmixing might be hard. Although, I would like to try a substitute, like mixing a little rum or such into over a double-boiler. Will have to try that next month.

Oh, and the FROSTING. I have to admit - it didn't turn out. Definitely a difficult method. It probably would have been better if I realized how important a few things were. One - my butter had been sitting out to soften while I made cake, so this was SUPER soft by the time I was adding the frosting (not good). AND, it was so late and I was so tired by the time I finished heating the egg white mix, that I was impatient to start adding butter after I transferred it from double-boiler into my mixer. So it was TOO HOT, and stayed very liquidy.

I stuck it outside to cool overnight, and put the butter back in the fridge. In the AM, I added slightly harder butter to the thicker batter. Which was working ok, except started getting lumps of butter, and then - I ran out of red food coloring! Icing was pink, and I had to wait so long to get the replacement, that icing was super runny. It went thru too much before getting on the cake, so finally I just dumped a bunch of powdered sugar in there, and whipped it on HIGH on my kitchen aid, and it gave it life again! Finally became a thick whipped looking frosting. But after too much work!

Well, now I've learned, and maybe you can learn from my mistakes.

Alright, getting tired again - back to bed. Still would love any expert chocolate advice if it's out there!
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for the update and the really good analysis. I am just starting to learn about this gluten-free thing myself, having just been diagnosed in the last year.

Since you seem knowledgeable on the subject, do you know of any good gluten-free homemade pasta recipes?
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikC View Post
Thanks for the update and the really good analysis. I am just starting to learn about this gluten-free thing myself, having just been diagnosed in the last year.

Since you seem knowledgeable on the subject, do you know of any good gluten-free homemade pasta recipes?
i found this HTH Gluten Free Homemade Pasta
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:42 PM   #9
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actually, since we don't have a pasta attachment, i haven't needed to do this yet. sorry. so far i've been very impressed by the g-f pasta I was getting from Glutino (Italy). However, the distributor just dropped the item from our store, so I'm back to quinoa-corn pasta and other varieties.

when we have the money though, i really would love to get all the pasta attachments for the Kitched Aid I got last year. Heck, at least now I have a real Kitchen Aid! =)
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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Thanks for both responses. Xantham gum sure seems to be the magic ingredient, doesn't it!
Anyway, I will be trying that shortly, as I really do miss my pasta.
The only product I ever tried from Glutino was a breakfast cereal...and I was really not impressed. I bought some Mesa Sunrise from Nature's Path, and I am really happy with it.
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