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Old 03-31-2011, 11:09 PM   #1
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How to alter Chocolate Ribbon Torte?

Each year I am responsible for making some awesome cake for my friends B-day bash. She throws herself a party (sit down dinner) and invites about 20 people. I bring the cake.

This year she has specifically requested the Chocolate Ribbon Cake that has been featured in Bon Appetite Magazine several times. I have never made it and need to do a test bake, but the original cake recipe makes three 9 inch rounds and I believe it will not be a large enough cake.

Here is the recipe Spiced Chocolate Torte Wrapped in Chocolate Ribbons: Recipe : bonappetit.com

How big does a cake need to be to serve 20 ~ folks?
Any recommendations to up-size this one?


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Old 04-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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I don't have answers for you, but that is sure one pretty cake!
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:01 AM   #3
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Twenty if they are all like me. I would say that if the cake is for after or with the sit down meal one would be enough so I would make two
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:49 AM   #4
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Janet, you have to remember one thing - this is a very rich cake and it is three layers, where most are only two. So, you don't need that much more to make it work.

What I would do is make 1 1/2 batches and either make 4 layers then cut thin slices, or, if you can find 10 inch pans (too bad we don't live closer you could use mine) divide the batter between three of them.

Remember if you are putting more batter into the pans and/or using larger pans, to adjust your time accordingly. If you got a 10 x 3 inch wedding cake pan and then sliced it into three layers, you should decrease your heat to 325 and cook it longer so the center is cooked and the outside is not dry.

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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This helps a lot! I have some 10 inch pans and would like to keep the 3 layer format so that should work. Will a 10 inch version be big enough for 20 (maybe a couple more) folks?

Has any one ever tried this cake? Any tips?
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:28 AM   #6
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Like I said before, this is a very rich, dense, and taller cake. A ten inch should be totally adequate for 20 (or a few more people) I will find my portion guide for you.

I have not made this particular cake, but can help you with the decorating part as I have done those steps countless times.

You should have fun with this one!
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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Don"t try this at home

SO an update... The big day is in a week or so and this cake has me spooked. I have an informal potluck get together to attend tonight and so I thought I'd try a test baking and see how everything worked. I figired I'd make the buttercream and glaze but forego the ribbons for the test.

Sounds reasonable - yes? Not even a little!

I thought long and hard before doing this because this is an expensive cake to make. - Check out the ingredient list and start adding...

Assembly of the batter took an hour start to finish. Nut chopping, measuring, pan prepping, egg separating, etc it took forever. I had the bowls washed up by the time it was cooked. It looked a bit dry to me (baked yesterday) but I pressed on today with buttercream.

The recipe calls for whipping egg yolks and adding hot sugar syrup and other ingredients then whipping for 5 mins more.

Disaster 1: I did not have enough eggs after finding bloody yolks in three of the 6 eggs I had left in the house (remember the cake takes 8). Off to the store.

Disaster 2: the recipe calls for you to have the sugar syrup hot and the chocolate melted... so I melted the VERY EXPENSIVE chocolate (6 oz). All good. Except I hooked the pan handle in my sleeve and launched it across the kitchen - chocolate everywhere. Melt another 4 bucks worth of chocolate.

Disaster 3. Did you know that you can make spun sugar in a kitchenaid? I proved it today. It seems that when they tell you to whip the egg yolks till yellow ribbon forms, they intended that you do it with a paddle - not the wire whip. As I poured the hot sugar into the running mixer (as recommended) the whip caught it up and made perfect spun sugar - just above the egg yolks. Instantly hard - there was no way to recover or scrape it down....

Disaster 4: Now I'm in the weeds. I'm late. I have stuff to do and an un-iced, possibly dry, very expensive cake. I have already promised the crowd tonight a chocolate cake. ... So I decide to make up a traditional (uncooked) buttercream. I am in a hurry. Question: what happens when you pour powdered sugar in to a mixer and turn on the paddle too fast? Yup - everywhere!!

Sigh....

Stay tuned - for the tasting results....
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #8
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Oh no! (((hugs)))
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Janet, I could feel the agony growing inside me as I read your post. When I have days like that I want to throw large heavy things through windows and doors. If humans are near they know to "run an errand" for a couple of hours.

On a positive note, you've screwed up every way possible ( Ooops, I mean 'gained a lot of experience') and the cake should turn out great!

P.S. You should probably take some time before the big event to screw up the ribbons...

...just to be on the safe side.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post

P.S. You should probably take some time before the big event to screw up the ribbons...

...just to be on the safe side.

Yeah - I also came to that conclusion today... but first I am going to taste this cake tonight and decide if it's worth the trouble. I can make a killer chocolate cake from a known recipe and still decorate it with ribbons. She may just love the pic??
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