Chocolate Curls

November 26, 2009

Don’t ask me where I have been the past month. I have been here in Brooklyn and I have been cooking and baking a lot but I have not been posting. I have been busy at my day job making architecture, and prepping for my licensing exams, and helping plan flowers for a wedding, and volunteering at church, and seeing old friends,  and yes, filling the odd cake and cupcake orders. But not blogging.

So accept this bit of eye candy as a peace offering.

My best friend Carmen was visiting for two weeks earlier this month and we had a lovely time eating and gallivanting around the city and filling cake orders. I made a chocolate stout cake for a 50th birthday party that turned out quite well.

The cake is a wonderful recipe that involves cocoa, melted chocolate, Guiness stout, and very strong coffee. It has a full bodied, almost yeasty flavour, and gets oh so much better the day after it has been baked. I layered in a rich bittersweet chocolate ganache (essentially butter, chocolate, and heavy cream melted scrumptiously together).

I then did the crumb coat in chocolate ganache before I spread on the chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, which is a glorious creamy invention that I am one hundred percent in love with. And it forgives all flaws of the cake and in this case, of the decorator.

Decorating ended up being a bit of debacle– I tried a variety of decorating ideas including drizzled chocolate glaze and piped white buttercream dots, none of which came to anything. Thankfully I’d made a double batch of the chocolate buttercream so mistakes were quickly rectified. We settled on a simple design with gauzy ribbon and chocolate curls, which I discovered were extremely easy to make. I had to borrow my neighbour’s microwave to soften the chocolate but what a lifesaver it was.

The final result was quite satisfactory.

p.s. All photos were taken by Carmen with her smashing new camera. Brilliant, yes?