I went to the very edge of CAKE FAIL, but made it out on the other side with HEAVEN ON A PLATE.
Yes, my cake might not look like much. It doesn’t look like the elegant picture in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. I overcame a lot of obstacles to make it, but it was worth it–so worth it.
- This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie–Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake–calls for jarred chestnuts. Week after week I would walk down the baking aisle at my local gourmet grocery store and see the jarred chestnuts thinking, “one day I will buy you for a recipe”. Of course, because this is the way things happen, this week the store didn’t have them. I also didn’t have the required sweetened vanilla chestnut spread. I did find and buy unsweetend chestnut puree which I figured I could sweeten myself the next time I make the cake (and there will be a next time).
- Not having enough time to drive all the way to Whole Foods/Los Angeles, I made the cake with toasted hazelnuts, Nutella, and instead of brandy–I used Frangelico.
- I made 1/4 of the cake batter recipe, 1/3 of the ganache, 1/8 of the syrup, and 1/8 of the glaze. In retrospect, I should have made more glaze.
- I baked the cake in my 4″ round pan. I should have used two pans. I knew I should have used it. I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like prepping the second pan. The cake rose like crazy and overflowed like one of those constantly erupting volcanoes in Hawaii. Luckily, once I scraped away the overflow parts I was able to salvage two 1/2″ layers.
- I made the ganache a couple days ahead and it was too hard to spread directly on the cake. I had to wait for it soften a bit.
- My glaze wasn’t smooth. I blame this on not making enough and having to play with it a lot to coat the cake.
Oh, I almost forgot. I had extra ganache, so I made truffles by rolling balls and dusting with cocoa powder.