Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Catching up on my Chocolate with Francois group

Wow! Has it really been almost two months since I posted on my blog? I am ashamed to admit that. But, when you work two jobs, bake on the side (though not as much as I wish) and keep up (somewhat) with a household, I guess the time can get away from you. Or me. Which is what happened. That's my story and I am sticking to it! :)

Though you can't tell it because of the lack of posts, I have been baking. I had a bridal shower cake last month. The woman who ordered it gave me a copy of the invitation and there was a tree with many branches on it. She wanted the cake to reflect that. Here's what I came up with.

 I later heard back from the woman who ordered the cake that "the cake was wonderful...everyone was blown away". Pretty high compliments I thought.

  I also had a baby shower cake. That cake was for my daughter-in-law, Katey. Yup! I am going to be a Grandma! My first grandbaby! Baby Gulla is due in May, the 20th, and my son and daughter-in-law couldn't be happier. I called her aunt, who was hosting the party and told her I would supply the cake for the party. This is what I made...

 It was such fun!! All of the characters are made of either fondant or chocolate, covered in fondant. Humpty Dumpty, three blind mice, the dish and the spoon, the cow and the moon. Oh, and twinkle stars. :) The "books" are cakes. The cake was a White Almond Sour Cream cake and I filled one layer with caramel icing, one layer with orange buttercream, and the last layer with almond/vanilla buttercream. When I came in with the cake no one could believe it was cake! I think it was one of my best so far. Maybe that's because it was made with so much love. :)

  Back in December I baked a birthday cake for a little girl who was having a pool party and the Mom wanted a "Summer in December" theme. I had fun with this one and thought I would share it with you here...

Fondant characters, blankets, ball, flip flops and life preserver. The "water" was blue icing. This was another fun cake to make.

But, this was supposed to be a catch up post for my CWF group. I have made the last two recipes...Cracaos and Chocolate Pudding Cake. I just hadn't gotten around to posting my reviews and pictures. So, here goes...

First off? The February pick, which was Cracaos. This is a traditional European cookie, with walnuts and pistachio nuts. Chocolate, as are all the recipes in CWF. With a touch of cinnamon.

These were pretty simple to put together. I read over the recipe and seeing that it made 80 cookies decided to cut the recipe down to better suit my family size (the hubby and me). I ended up making 1/4 of the recipe, which took a calculator and a scale that weighed grams to figure out.

I also used almonds instead of pistachios. I looked around and couldn't find pistachios anywhere. I thought about using hazelnuts, but couldn't find them either. (Of course, the other day while shopping, because I didn't need them, I found hazelnuts, lots and lots of hazelnuts). Other than that, I kept to the recipe.

I liked these. Chocolate? Good. Nuts? Good. Cinnamon? Good. All of those together, in one cookie? Good, good, good! Mine baked just a tad too long. I think next time I would check them after 9 minutes. But, all and all, they were great! I believe that Astheroshe-accro picked this recipe and I say she deserves a big "Thank You" for her pick.

March's choice? That would be Charlie's Chocolate Pudding Cake which Pantry Revisited picked. All I can say to Peggy is... "Oh My Goodness!! What an amazing cake!!"

I almost didn't make this one. I have been working hard at watching what I eat and I started  Body By Vi shakes back in January. Since then I have lost 20 pounds. I feel great and have lots more energy than I used to. So, when I read the recipe and saw that there was a total of 15 tablespoons of butter, 19 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, and 2 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream, well, you can imagine my reaction. But I really like our group and decided to bite the bullet and make the cake. Boy am I glad I did. Well, I will probably hate that I did in the next day or so, because the cake is so good that I probably won't be able to leave it alone and will probably gain 10 pounds eating it, but, hey, for the group? It's the least I can do. :D

I thought this was a fairly easy cake to put together. The cake is just a few simple ingredients...flour, butter, chocolate, sugar, eggs and heavy cream. Mix it all together and bake it. There was a bit of confusion for me and for several other bakers. In the opening paragraph Francois mentions the cake being baked in a water bath. However, in the actual directions? There is no mention of placing the pan in a water bath. I decided to use a water bath, since he mentions it. I baked the cake according to the directions. I think I could have baked it another minute or two during the beginning baking as I thought the center was a bit soft. I know it's called "Pudding Cake", but I still think it was a touch under-baked. I will confess though, it in no way impacted the flavor of this cake.

This cake is so rich, so smooth, so creamy, so chocolate-y. My hubby practically licked his plate clean when he finished his slice. I cut myself a small slice and think I actually moaned out loud when I first tasted it. Incredible! If you want to impress someone, make this cake! You can find the recipe at Pantry Revisited's site.

Now, as Porky Pig used to say... "Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-... That's all, folks."


  1. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Congrats on the grandbaby and the weight loss! Your cakes are fantastic.

    Both of the CWF recipes look delicious. I'm going to check out the one for pudding cake.

  3. Great post Susan. I actually did cook my pudding cake a few more minutes than it said. I thought it was a great cake. I just hated that I accidentally deleted my best photo of it before I posted. Or before I dug into it and ate it! It was very rich though. I don't think I could eat a large piece of it in one sitting. Thanks for baking that along with me this month. Love all your cakes!

  4. I need that last cake in my life seriously.

  5. What wonderful cakes you make. Gorgeous and delicious!

  6. What beautiful cakes!! Congratulations on the weight loss! We loved this chocolate cake, too. I tried to not think about how much butter and cream was in these!

    Also, congratulations on becoming a grandma!!

  7. What great cakes! Love the baby shower one and the penguins--cute idea.
    And that chocolate cake--whoa. Need to go look that up to impress a few chocolate-fiend friends.

  8. OMG I cant look at it! I'm really hungry! :)

    you might consider following my blog!




Please let me know what you think. I love to hear from other bakers.